Bassano in Teverina

The Borgo of Bassano in Teverina is home to our Intensive English Summer Camps.  It is a small medieval village with a population of about 1,300. It is located in the area of Tuscia in Alto Lazio, the province of Viterbo approximately 90kms (56 miles) north of Rome Fiumicino Airport.

The Borgo itself with its fortified medieval walls, and seems to have been present since the Etruscan era. Sitting on the top of a volcanic rock spur, above the Tiber valley, its position, hidden by the surrounding hills, led the inhabitants to create a sighting and communication system of towers and buildings through the Sasso Quadro and Poggio Zucco hills, through old paths and locations of ancient settlements. Many of these ancient old ruins still exist today. On the banks of the Lacus Vladimonis, which rises in the valley next to this historic centre, the ancient Etruscans performed their rituals and celebrated their divinities. The small lake or “Laghetto”, as it is currently called, was described by “Plinio il Giovani” as “a wheel lying down, with a completely regular circumference of a paler, greener colour, more intense than the sea”. Today almost completely buried, he saw the abandonment of the Village of Bassano in Teverina during the Roman domination that began in the battle of 309 BC, under the guidance of the Quintus Fabio Rulliano and ended in 283 BC when the Romans definitively defeated the Etruscans.

Church of Santa Maria dei Lumi – Bassano in Teverina
Church of Santa Maria dei Lumi – Bassano in Teverina

It is only around the year one thousand, however, that the Bassano in Teverina takes this name, thanks to the Countess Matilde di Canossa. Owner of vast estates in the Viterbo area, the Countess would have donated the castle of Bassano and other places of Teverina to Pope Gregory VII in 1070, bringing the country under the protection of the Church. In the following centuries, under the gaze of the Holy See, Bassano in Teverina experienced numerous periods of expansion and prosperity by acquiring the Banco delle Civitelle, the Monte di Pietà and the Monte della Semenza. But with the two world wars, especially the second, the village suffered a demographic decline and a subsequent destruction of most of its buildings due to the explosion of a German train loaded with ammunition. For several decades in the village of Bassano in Teverina a series of recovery interventions have been carried out to restore its ancient beauty.