Sunday, May 4, 2014

Secrets of San Pellegrino, Viterbo's Medieval Quarter

dressed for the flower festival in San Pellegrino  
Pauline Stiles was a rare American visitor to Viterbo  a century ago  who penned an  uncomplimentary description of the  San Pellegrino medieval quarter of Viterbo  in her book “New Footsteps in Old Places” (1917). 

lilies leading to the Duomo 
She described the quarter  as a dark, mysterious and smelly place  with ."....an odor that disgusts one’s olfactory sense so completely that the others hardly survive!”*

crowds at the Duomo and Papal Palace 
 
Times have changed over the century and  the droves of visitors to the San Pellegrino flower festival  (May 1-4) were thrilled with the colors and perfumes  that wafted through the narrow medieval streets and piazzas decked with flowers.


a beautiful piazza and B&B 
Surely there were many American  and other foreign visitors in Viterbo  from May 1st to 4th  who enjoyed  the highlights and novelties of  this year's San Pellegrino's  festival. 

Were you one of them? What piazza or corner did you like best?  
medieval shards at the tiny St. Rosa Venerini museum

I noticed a definite  improvement on the past editions of the festival, with dozens of new  stands and activities that the thousands of visitors  much appreciated.


new bookshop  near Duomo 

orchids decorate Piazza della Morte 

Piazza San Carluccio  should be like this all year round

There were concerts, encounters with artisans, treasure hunts for children, minting of coins, wine and food tastings  held in the church of San Salvatore organized by the  Chamnber of Commerce  and Archeoares.

with Irene, head of Viterbo's Pro Loco, Davide and Franco 

a gurgling fountain 

sleepy cat ignores tourists


medieval  arches and colorful  flowers 

with sculptor Morucci 
sculptor Ivano learns the drums 
 Click on the highlighted link to discover other interesting festivals that are coming up in the month of May including the Wedding of the Trees on May 8th in Vetralla  and  La Barabbata  in Marta  on May  14 .  
corks with cacti

Viterbo has come a long way since the days when  early American writers,  including Nathaniel Hawthorne, ignored the filthy alleys  of San Pellegrino and wrote negative reviews for the city. **

dining amid the flowers 

colorful palette 
Please share with friends, leave a comment and mark your calendar for next year. 
*p 54  Etruria Travel,History and Itineraries in Central Italy 
** p 46  ETRURIA TRAVEL,HISTORY AND ITINERARIES IN CENTRAL ITALY

1 comment:

  1. It certainly has. A nice, succinct post - enjoyed the photos.

    ReplyDelete