Orvieto is a city and comune in the Province of Terni, southwestern Umbria, Italy situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, the ancient city, populated since Etruscan times, has usually been associated with Etruscan Velzna, but some modern scholars differ. Orvieto was certainly a centre of Etruscan civilization, the archaeological museum houses some of the Etruscan artifacts that have been recovered in the immediate neighbourhood. Orvieto was annexed by Rome in the third century BC, because of its site on a high, steep bluff of tufa, a volcanic rock, the city was virtually impregnable. It was last conquered by Julius Caesar, by the thirteenth century, three papal palaces had been built. In the 13th century bitter feuds divided the city, which was at the apogée of its wealth but found itself often at odds with the papacy, Pope Urban IV stayed at Orvieto from 1262-64. The city became one of the cultural centers of its time when Thomas Aquinas taught at the studium there.
A small university, had its origins in a studium generale that was granted to the city by Pope Gregory IX in 1236. The territory of Orvieto was under papal control long before it was added to the Papal States, it remained a papal possession until 1860. The design has often attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. The church is striped in white travertine and greenish-black basalt in narrow bands, similar in ways to the cathedral of Siena. In the following decade, cathedral authorities called Sienese architect and sculptor Lorenzo Maitani to stabilize the building and he enlarged the choir and planned a transept with two chapels, spaces that were not finished until long after his death. The Cathedral has five bells, tuned in E flat, which date back to the renaissance, the façade is particularly striking and includes some remarkable sculpture by Lorenzo Maitani. Inside the cathedral, the Chapel of San Brizio is frescoed by Fra Angelico and with Luca Signorellis masterpiece, from the 11th century onward, the popes maintained an aggressive political presence in the papal territory which occupied central Italy.
Together with his court, the pope moved from palace to palace in the manner of his European secular counterparts, several central Italian cities hosted the pope and his retinue during the years of wandering, housing them in the bishops palace. Outside Rome, only Orvieto and Viterbo had papal palaces, Pope Adrian IV was the first pope to spend significant time in Orvieto. His successor, Pope Innocent III, was a militant opponent of the Cathar heresy, which had infiltrated the city, in 1227, Pope Gregory IX confirmed the Dominican studium generale in Orvieto, a school of theology, and one of the first in Europe. Pope Urban IV, a Frenchman who was crowned in the Dominican church in Viterbo, in 1263, he began a papal palace, perhaps the first outside Rome, and consecrated the new Dominican church in Orvieto
Lazio is one of the 20 administrative regions of Italy, situated in the central peninsular section of the country. With almost 5.9 million residents and a GDP of more than 170 billion euros, Lazio is the second most populated region of Italy and its capital is Rome and largest city of Italy. Lazio comprises an area of 17,236 km2 and it has borders with Tuscany and Marche to the north and Molise to the east, Campania to the south. The region is flat and hilly, with small mountainous areas in the most eastern and southern districts. The coast of Lazio is mainly composed of beaches, punctuated by the headlands of Circeo. The Pontine Islands, which are part of Lazio, lie opposite the southern coast, behind the coastal strip, to the north, lies the Maremma Laziale, a coastal plain interrupted at Civitavecchia by the Tolfa Mountains. The central section of the region is occupied by the Roman Campagna, the southern districts are characterized by the flatlands of Agro Pontino, a once swampy and malarial area, that was reclaimed over the centuries.
To the south of the Tiber, other groups form part of the Preapennines, the Alban Hills, of volcanic origin. The highest peak is Mount Gorzano on the border with Abruzzo, see also, History of Italy The Italian word Lazio descends from the Latin word Latium. The name of the region survives in the designation of the ancient population of Latins, Latini in the Latin language spoken by them. Although the demography of ancient Rome was multi-ethnic, for example and other Italics besides the Latini, in Roman mythology, the tribe of the Latini took their name from king Latinus. Much of Lazio is in flat or rolling. The lands originally inhabited by the Latini were extended into the territories of the Samnites, the Marsi, the Hernici, the Aequi, the Aurunci and the Volsci, all surrounding Italic tribes. This larger territory was still called Latium, but it was divided into Latium adiectum or Latium Novum, the lands or New Latium, and Latium Vetus, or Old Latium. The northern border of Lazio was the Tiber river, which divided it from Etruria, the emperor Augustus officially united almost all of present-day Italy into a single geo-political entity, dividing it into eleven regions.
However, the wars against the Longobards weakened the region. With the Donation of Sutri in 728, the Bishop of Rome acquired the first territory in the region beyond the Duchy of Rome, the strengthening of the religious and ecclesiastical aristocracy led to continuous power struggles between secular lords and the Pope until the middle of the 16th century. Other popes tried to do the same, during the period when the papacy resided in Avignon, the feudal lords power increased due to the absence of the Pope from Rome
Regions of Italy
The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of Italy, constituting its second NUTS administrative level. There are 20 regions, of five are constitutionally given a broader amount of autonomy granted by special statutes. Each region, except for the Aosta Valley, is divided into provinces, regions are autonomous entities with powers defined in the Constitution. As the administrative districts of the state during the Kingdom of Italy. The original draft list comprised the Salento region and Venezia Giulia were separate regions, and Basilicata was named Lucania. Abruzzo and Molise were identified as regions in the first draft. They were merged into Abruzzo e Molise in the constitution of 1948. Implementation of regional autonomy was postponed until the first Regional Elections of 1970, the ruling Christian Democracy party did not want the opposition Italian Communist Party to gain power in the regions, where it was historically rooted. Regions acquired a significant level of autonomy following a reform in 2001.
In June 2006 the proposals, which had been associated with Lega Nord. The results varied considerably among the regions, ranging from 55. 3% in favour in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria, number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1995, Macroregions are the first-level NUTS of the European Union. These regions, whose statutes are approved by their councils, were created in 1970. Since the constitutional reform of 2001 they have had residual legislative powers, the regions have exclusive legislative power with respect to any matters not expressly reserved to state law. Yet their financial autonomy is quite modest, they just keep 20% of all levied taxes, Article 116 of the Italian Constitution grants to five regions home rule, acknowledging their powers in relation to legislation and finance. These regions became autonomous in order to take into account cultural differences, the government wanted to prevent their secession from Italy after the Second World War. Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol constitutes a special case, the region is nearly powerless, and the powers granted by the regions statute are mostly exercised by the two autonomous provinces within the region and South Tyrol.
In this case, the regional institution plays a coordinating role, the latter is directly elected by the citizens of each region, with the exceptions of Aosta Valley and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, where he is chosen by the regional council. Under the 1995 electoral law, the winning coalition receives a majority of seats on the council
Volsinii or Vulsinii, is the name of two ancient cities of Etruria, one situated on the shore of Lacus Volsiniensis, and the other on the Via Clodia, between Clusium and Forum Cassii. Modern Bolsena, Italy, in the region of Lazio, descends from the Roman city, the location of the Etruscan city is debated. Umbrian Orvieto, about 14 km from Bolena, is a strong candidate, the Byzantine historian Joannes Zonaras states that the Etruscan Volsinii lay on a steep height, while Bolsena, the representative of the Roman Volsinii, is situated in the plain. Scholars of the 19th century debated the location of this elevated site and he adduces in support of this hypothesis the existence of a good deal of broken pottery there, and of a few caves in the cliffs below. Bolsena is 6 km from Montefiascone, and 14 km from Orvieto, Fanum Voltumnae was the chief sanctuary of the Etruscans. Numerous sources refer to a league of the “Twelve Peoples” of Etruria, the exact location of this shrine is still unknown, though it may have been in an area near modern Orvieto, believed by many to be the ancient Volsinii.
Professor Simonetta Stopponi of the University of Macerata, an Etruscologist, has been excavating at Orvieto since 2000 and she believes that Fanum was located at this site. An Etruscan substructure, datable to the 6th-4th centuries BC, has been uncovered, most impressive was the excavation of a round fountain area, on a slight rise above and overlooking the temples, whose decorations included the head of a lion. According to Stopponi, ‘This would have been the sacred spring and it is described by Juvenal as seated among well-wooded hills. Volsinii first appears in history after the fall of Veii, the Volsinienses, in conjunction with the Salpinates, taking advantage of a famine and pestilence which had desolated Rome, made incursions into the Roman territory in 391 BC. They were defeated, and 8,000 of them were taken prisoner, they purchased a twenty-year truce in exchange for returning the booty they had taken, and furnishing the pay of the Roman army for a year. They appear next in 310 BC, when, in common with the rest of the Etruscan cities, except Arretium, they part in the siege of Sutrium.
This war was terminated by the defeat of the Etruscans at the First Battle of Lake Vadimo, three years afterwards the consul Publius Decius Mus captured several of the Volsinian fortresses. In 295 BC, Lucius Postumius Megellus ravaged their territory and defeated them under the walls of their own city, consequently they, together with Perusia and Arretium, purchased a forty-year peace by paying a heavy fine. Not more than fourteen years, had elapsed, with their allies the Vulcientes, but this attempt ended in their final subjugation in 280 BC. Pliny tells a story, taken from the Greek writer Metrodorus of Scepsis. The story, suffices to show that the Volsinians had attained great wealth, the attempted revolution apparently began with the admission of freedmen into the army, which must have been in 280 BC. They became a powerful class, who were subsequently allowed to become members of the Senate
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
The four Raphael Rooms form a suite of reception rooms in the palace, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop, together with Michelangelos ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, they are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome. The Stanze, as they are called, were originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. He commissioned Raphael, a young artist from Urbino. It was possibly Julius intent to outshine the apartments of his predecessor Pope Alexander VI and they are on the third floor, overlooking the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard. After the death of Julius in 1513, with two rooms frescoed, Pope Leo X continued the program, following Raphaels death in 1520, his assistants Gianfrancesco Penni, Giulio Romano and Raffaellino del Colle finished the project with the frescoes in the Sala di Costantino. The scheme of the works is as follows, The largest of the rooms is the Sala di Costantino.
Its paintings were not begun until Pope Julius and, indeed Raphael himself, had died, the room is dedicated to the victory of Christianity over paganism. Its frescoes represent this struggle from the life of the Roman Emperor Constantine, because they are not by the master himself, the frescos are less famous than works in the neighboring rooms. Continuing a long tradition of flattery, Raphaels assistants gave the features of the current pontiff, Clement VII, the fresco of The Vision of the Cross depicts the legendary story of a great cross appearing to Constantine as he marched to confront his rival Maxentius. The vision in the sky is painted with the words in Greek Εν τούτω νίκα written next to it, the Battle of Milvian Bridge shows the battle that took place on October 28,312, following Constantines vision. The next room, going from East to West, is the Stanza di Eliodoro, painted between 1511 and 1514, it takes its name from one of the paintings. The theme of this private chamber – probably an audience room – was the protection granted by Christ to the Church.
The four paintings are, The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, The Mass at Bolsena, The Meeting of Pope Leo I and Attila, Raphaels style changed here from the Stanza della Segnatura. Instead of the images of the Popes library, he had dramatic narratives to portray. The composition is more dramatic than Raphaels earlier frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura. Although the focal point is the figure of the priest at prayer, Heliodorus. At the left Julius II, carried by the Swiss Guard in a chair and his inclusion here refers to his battles to prevent secular leaders from usurping papal territories
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael was enormously productive, running a large workshop and, despite his death at 37. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, the best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings and he was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking. Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region and his poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, and Early Netherlandish artists as well.
In the very court of Urbino he was probably more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture, growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but frequently visited, Raphael mixed easily in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a humanistic education however, it is unclear how easily he read Latin. His mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1,1494 by his father, Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven, his formal guardian became his only paternal uncle Bartolomeo, a priest, who subsequently engaged in litigation with his stepmother. He probably continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master and he had already shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been a great help to his father.
A self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity and his fathers workshop continued and, probably together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a very early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello, previously the court painter, and Luca Signorelli, according to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice despite the tears of his mother. The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, an alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. An excess of resin in the varnish often causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters, the Perugino workshop was active in both Perugia and Florence, perhaps maintaining two permanent branches. Raphael is described as a master, that is to say fully trained and his first documented work was the Baronci altarpiece for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino.
Evangelista da Pian di Meleto, who had worked for his father, was named in the commission
Province of Viterbo
The province of Viterbo is a province in the region of Lazio in Italy. Its provincial capital is the city of Viterbo, as of 2015, the province has a total population of 321,955 inhabitants over an area of 3,615.24 square kilometres, giving it a population density of 89.05 inhabitants per square kilometre. The provincial president is Marcello Meroi and the province contains 60 comuni, the area of the province of Viterbo contained a number of Etruscan cities including Tuscina, Vetralla and Viterbo. Matilda of Tuscany gifted the city to the papacy in the eleventh century, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor was based in Viterbo as he planned to invade Rome in 1153, and Frederick I conquered the city in 1160 while preparing to attack Rome. The Knights of Saint John were expelled from Rhodes in the 16th century and were granted refuge in Viterbo before they could travel to Malta. Pope Paul III described himself as a citizen of Viterbo and formed a university in the city and it joined the Kingdom of Italy on 12 September 1870 and during World War II, Viterbo was heavily bombed
Montefiascone is a town and comune of the province of Viterbo, in Lazio, central Italy. It stands on a hill on the southeast side of Lake Bolsena, the name of the city derives from that of the Falisci. Later, it was controlled by the Etruscans, under the Empire, the festival was held near Volsinii. The first documents mentioning Montefiascone are from 853 CE, when it belonged to the bishop of Tuscania, in 1058 and 1074 the Popes Stephen IX and Gregory VII, stopped here. In 1093 the fortress was besieged by Emperor Henry IV, the importance of the fortress was confirmed by Emperor Frederick Barbarossas visit in 1185. In the following two centuries, as a Papal possession, Montefiascone lived its period of highest splendour, the Castle was often residence of Popes, and was consequently enlarged and embellished. During Avignon Papacy, it was the residence of the Papal legate Cardinal Albornoz. In 1463, however, it was decaying, as in the words of by Pope Pius II. The decline increased after the plague of 1657 and the earthquake of 1697 and it became part of the new Kingdom of Italy in 1870.
It was damaged by two Allied bombings in May 1944, Montefiascone Cathedral is one of the earliest structures by Michele Sanmicheli. Dedicated to Saint Margaret, the cathedral was a ruin in 1330, subsequently, in 1670, it suffered a serious fire, with repairs taking a further decade. The interior was restored in 1893. Santa Maria delle Grazie, church by Sanmicheli, in the crypt is the grave of a traveler who succumbed to excessive drinking of the local wine known as Est. The story is that his valet, who preceded him, wrote est on the doors of all the inns where good wine was to be had, santa Maria di Montedoro, church SantAndrea Rocca dei Papi, formed by the remains of the old Papal summer residence. At the top of the hill it provides a view of Lago Bolsena and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. article name needed. Blog-y tourist information Montefiascone Comune web site
Christina of Bolsena
Saint Christina of Bolsena, known as Christina of Tyre, or in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Christina the Great Martyr, is venerated as a Christian martyr of the 3rd century. Archaeological excavations of an underground cemetery constructed at her tomb have shown that she was venerated at Bolsena by the fourth century, the existence of Christina herself is poorly attested. Inscriptions found on the site confirm that this martyr had a name like Christina, Christina is an early virgin martyr with a legend too fanciful to have much historical credibility. Nothing is now known about her life, but by the ninth century, an account of her martyrdom was composed, which developed many variants. According to these, she was either in Tyre or in Persia during the 3rd century or 5th century. She was born into a family, and her father was governor of Tyre. By the age of 11 the girl was exceptionally beautiful, Christinas father, envisioned that his daughter should become a pagan priestess. To this end he placed her in a dwelling where he had set up many gold and silver idols.
According to accounts, one time Christina was visited by an angel, the angel called her a bride of Christ and told her about her future suffering. Christina smashed all the idols in her room and threw out the window. In visiting his daughter, Christinas father, asked her where all the idols had disappeared, having summoned the servants, Urbanus learned the truth from them. Urbanus had his daughter tortured because of her faith, but God thwarted his efforts on several occasions, after her fathers death, his successor, continued to torture her. Some scholars have concluded that her legend is the result of pious fiction being mistaken for history, the theme of her legend is repeated in many ancient and medieval hagiographies, particularly that of Saint Barbara. The entry for her in the 2004 Roman Martyrology is very brief, At Bolsena in Tuscany, Saint Christina and she was once included in the General Roman Calendar. The Tridentine Calendar gave her a commemoration within the Mass of the Vigil of Saint James, when in 1955 Pope Pius XII suppressed this vigil, the celebration of Saint Christina became a simple and in 1960 a commemoration.
Toffia in the Province of Rieti displays her relics in a transparent urn, palermo, of which Christina is one of four patron saints, claims to hold her relics. The Eastern tradition that connects Saint Christina with Tyre, Lebanon may be due to confusion with the name of a locality near Bolsena, the relics were presented to Archbishop Schrembs in 1928 by Pope Pius XI. Tradition says that Christina was a girl of 13 or 14 who died for her faith around 300 A. D, a second legend is connected to St Christina