Faleria is a small community in the province of Viterbo that has a little over 2.000 inhabitants. Located along the south east border of Viterbo, it is about 5 km from Via Flaminia and about 15 km from via Cassia. Faleria is a little town with a rich history full of art and architecture not to be overlooked.
The small town of Faleria is located near Rignano, Calcata and Civita Castellana, on a little rocky hill about 200 meters above sea level, that has been eroded by the Treia river. Visiting Faleria is a truly a unique experience, especially if you like small medieval towns, good food, and evening strolls through the village or its surrounding area which happens to be the Monte Soratte Nature Reserve.
Originally Faleria was called Stabla, then Stabbia or Stabia and finally Castrum Stabie. Some historians claim that the name derives from the latin Stabulum which was the name of station not too far away on an old roman road called the Osteria di Stabbia. Others believe that the name Stabbia comes from Stabilis, in the sense that the city was stable and with good fortifications and foundations.
During the Middle Ages Faleria was a papal territory. November 1st, 1504 is a famous historic date for the town when Girolama Farnese, the wife of Giuliano Anguillara, was accused along with her lovers, of trying to assassinate their son Giuliano. She was held guilty and brutally killed by her son in law GiovanBattista. On June 25th, 1660, Stabia (which is the other name for Faleria) was purchased by the Borghese Family. The walls and doors around the city were partially torn down in the 1900s for a much needed expansion of the city.
WHAT TO SEE IN FALERIA
The Anguillara Castle was one of the most ancient fortifications in the area and is said to have been built around 1200. The entrance to the castle is in Piazza della Colleggiata, where there are 2 large walkways at the end which are 2 archways and rows of egyptian granite columns. Once inside, there is a beautiful courtyard with a well made of tavertino stone that shows the crests of the Anguillara family and the Casa Strozzi family. The castle is currently being restaured.
Paterno Castle is quite ancient and was once one of the most important castles in central Italy. The castle is well known for the death of Ottone III, former emperor of Germany who died in this castle on the 3rd of January 1002. It is believed he was assassinated by his concubine. After having been passed down to different Italian noble families, Anguillara among them, the castle was finally abandoned around the XVI century.
Collegiate Church of San Giuliano
This church was built around the XII century and is believed to have been dedicated to Saints Peter e Paul. There have been numerous modifications to the church over the centuries, most noteworthy today were the addition of the 2 chapels on the sides dedicated to San Giuliano and SS. Salvatore.
The Church of the Madonna di Pietrafitta was built in 1599 by the Anguillara family with a sargophagus burried directly under the altar. The original shape of the church was rectangular, inspired bizantine and paleochristian architecture. Among the works of art found in this church, there is the fresco of the Madonna and Child, as well as the Black Madonna.
Church of Saint Agostino
The church of Saint Agostino was built as a simple church with a one nave and a single central altar with paintings of Saint Agostine and Santa Monica. The church was once connected to the Anguillara Castle by a small bridge.
The Ruins of Fogliano Castle
The remains of Fogliano Castle are right next to the Paterno Castle, near the protected area of the Valle del Treia Park. Among the ruins, you can still see the tower, the church, part of the walls and houses that once stood nearby. The Castle is accessible by a guided path about a half hour walk form the entrance.
For more information on the different places to visit, events, activities and useful tourist information, visit Faleria.info.
HOW TO GET TO FALERIA
From the GRA (circular highway around Rome):
Take exit 5 towards Cassia Bis, and follow this road for approximately 30 minutes towards Viterbo. After the turn off for Campagnano Romano, continue straight about 300 m, and exit towards Mazzano Romano – Calcata and follow this all the way to Faleria
Alternatively- Take exit 6 towards SS Flaminia, and follow this road for about 30 minutes towards Terni. Once you arrive at Rignano Flaminio, follow road signs towards the train station "Stazione Ferroviaria" and continue past that for about 4 km until you get to Faleria
From the Highway del Sole (A1):
Exit at Magliano Sabina. As soon as you exit, take the SS Flaminia towards Rome. Continue down this road for about 25 km. Keep left and follow road signs for Faleria - Calcata.
For more information, visit the official Comune di Faleria website.