Valentano, (Viterbo)
Valentano is a town and comune of the province of Viterbo, in the Lazio region of central Italy. It is 33 kilometres (21 mi) 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.HistoryAntiquity and High Middle AgesThe 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 (ii.209, xiv.67 and xxxvi.168).The FarneseIn 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.Modern timesIn June 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.Main sightsPalazzo Comunale (Town Hall)Porta Magenta, designed by VignolaVitozzi PalaceCruciani Palace, birthplace of Paolo RuffiniSan Martino lookoutMuseum of the Prehistory of Tuscia and of the Rocca FarneseChurches:Collegiate church of San Giovanni EvangelistaSanta MariaSanta CroceMadonna del MonteSanctuary of the Madonna della SaluteChiesa dell'Annunziata at Villa FontaneSancta Maria ad TemplumChiesa dell'Eschio 'Church of the Madonna della Pietà (also Madonna dell' Ospedale)Natives of ValentanoGaetano AmorosoRanuccio Farnese, Roman Catholic cardinalAlessandro GuarnelliLino LottatoriAlessandro MazzinelliAntonio Ongaro, 16th century poetPaolo Ruffini, 18th century mathematicianGiordano StarniniCelebrations and festivalsGood Friday: Procession of the Body of Christ ("Cristo Morto")3d Sunday in May: Cedar Fair, instituted by the Farnese in 1461August 14–15 Agosto: Feast of the Assumption, with a Plowing Competition.throughout the summer: various events, including the Palio of the Duchy of Castro, a historical pageant.Twin towns Haltwhistle, United Kingdom Saint-Méen-le-Grand, FranceExternal linksOfficial websiteValentano.OrgProLoco Valentano (Tourist Office)George Dennis on Valentano