Valentano, Province of Viterbo, Lazio

Valentano lies 33 km from the provincial capital, Viterbo. The placename is of uncertain origin. Some identify the town with an Etruscan Verentum, others trace the name to ontano, Italian for alder, since alders cover the slopes of a nearby valley: Valle Ontano becoming Valentano.


  • Altitude: 538 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 2800 inhabitants in 2011
  • Zip/postal code: 01018
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0761
  • Patron Saint: St. Giovanni the Apostle and Gospelwriter, celebrated on 27th December
  • Frazioni & Localities: Felceti, Villa Fontane.


The town is named for the first time in a manuscript of 813 in the Farfa Register; starting in 844 a "Balentanu" appears in other documents of the abbey of San Salvatore on Mt. Amiata. The land was definitely inhabited in prehistoric times, and important finds in the Lake Mezzano and near Mt. Becco, Mt. Saliette, the Poggi del Mulino and Mt. Starnina seem to confirm the theories of historians, who identify the lake with the Lake of Statonia (Lacus Statoniensis) described by Seneca in his Naturales Quaestiones and by Pliny the Elder.

In the Renaissance period, the town fell under the dominion of the Farnese family: it is to them that Valentano owes its fortress (Rocca) and many of its churches. In 1649, when the town of Castro, capital of the Duchy of Castro, was destroyed, Valentano became the natural center of the Castrense region and the custodian of its archives.

In June of 1944, an artillery shell exploded in the "Portonaccio" gate, killing seven civilians who had taken shelter in it. The gate itself is a witness to the tragedy, since one of its stones is missing, but in 2004 a plaque was placed in the Via Trento e Trieste to commemorate all local victims of World War II.

[the text above is derived from Wikipedia and is subject to the GNU licence]

What to see

  • The church of San Giovanni Evangelista
  • Museum of the Prehistory of Tuscia and of the Rocca Farnese.

Where to stay in Valentano

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