THREE GOOD REASONS TO VISIT CASTEL VISCARDO
Castle of the Dukes of Montevecchio
Etruscan necropolis of Caldane
Ovens for bricks and terracotta HISTORY
Originally an Etruscan settlement, the town of Castel Viscardo was founded in 1263 by Giuscardo da Pietrasanta, Pope Urban IV's nephew. It was for many years an important lookout in the defence of Orvieto, and along the complete length of the Upper and Lower Paglia River Valley, thanks to its towers (the castle and the Vitiano turret). The town owes its development to the presence of the castle of the Dukes of Montevecchio that until the 16th century was the stronghold of the Monaldeschis, and then fief of the Spada princes. Castel Viscardo became an independent commune only in 1860 with the creation of the Kingdom of Italy. ART, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
Of interest is the medieval castle of the Dukes of Montevecchio, known as the "Castle of the Madonna": it has an irregular polygonal shape with a wide moat crossed by a bridge leading up to an elegant Baroque entranceway featuring a round arch adorned with side niches containing statues, topped by an 18th century clock. The mighty outer walls are in local stone while the windows are framed in stone from Bagnoregio. Also of interest is the church of Maria SS. Annunziata (1682): along the nave can be seen four chapels with paintings by Carlo Maratta (1683-84), by Wernle, a German painter in the service of the Spada family, and by Bernabei of Perugia. In the vicinity and worthy of a visit, are the picturesque hamlets of Monterubiaglio and Viceno that developed around the castles of the same names; and the archaic Etruscan Necropolis of Caldane (6th century BC) with burial chambers dug out of the earth. The district is interesting from an environmental point of view because of its geographic position in the S.T.I.N.A. Nature Park that features sulphur water springs, well-known since the times of Imperial Rome.