Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Sce Valentine (Viterbo), Circa 990 AD

Submansio VI – Sce Valentine

In 773, Viterbo (Castrum Viterbii) was fortified by Desiderio, King of the Lombards. From this moment on the city became the second stronghold of the Papacy, hence its name: City of the Popes. During the period of struggle between the Catholic Church and the Empire, Viterbo became a free municipality and then, thanks to the Franks, it was included in the Papal State.


Fortifications of Viterbo by Desiderio, King of the Lombards, 773

In 990, Sce Valentine was a suburb of Viterbo. The Burgus Sancti Valentini was called this way because of the church of St. Valentine, built on the tomb of this martyr, and it also had another church dedicated to St. Hilary. Both saints had been beheaded in 304 at Viterbo, during the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian. Another church of St. Valentine, together with the pieve of St. Peter, belonged to another suburb of Viterbo, the Borgo San Pietro. Viterbo was closely associated with the monastery of Farfa, which had a cell there, Santa Maria in Fagiano (Ortenberg West-Harling, 1990).

From the Etruscans to the eighteenth century the region of Viterbo/Bullicame was home to thermal baths. Already known in antiquity as “Aquae Passeris” the waters are of the sulfate / bicarbonate / alkaline type and they are earthy slightly sulphurous.  Located 8km northwest of Viterbo; the archaeological site of the Terme Romane del Bacucco Rovine is situated on what was the ancient via Cassia on the road to Montefiascone. There are still many thermal institutions to choose from today including the luxurious Terme dei Papi, and the Bagnaccio baths.


Terme Romane del Bacucco Rovine, photo courtesy


The Bagnaccio, photo courtesy of


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