The city of Viterbo
Viterbo is located in the middle of the Province area, at the foot of Cimini Mountains, near Vico Lake and Bolsena Lake. Surrounded by solid walls where, on each direction, several doors open connecting the historical centre on typical medieval style (San Pellegrino Quarter) with the most recent urban development, Viterbo gathers just more than 70.000 habitants. Just outside the town centre, there are two well known spas, the thermal spring of Bullicame and several pools scattered in the surrounding area. Just outside the town, the Castel d’Asso necropolis and, only nine km. away, the ruins of the marvelous Ferento.
Therefore Viterbo represents the ideal place to study and live.Viterbo, free Commune since 1095, was chosen as Papal seat from 1145 to 1281 by the Popes Clemente IV, Gregorio X, Giovanni XXI, Niccolò III and Martino IV; but also in the following times the town continued to host Peter’s successors thus earning the appellation of “Papal Town”. Viterbo, with the Unity of Italy, lost its status of chief town of the province that it regained only in 1927. The fascist regime started the first program of modernization of the town by means of important public works such as the covering of Urcionio ditch and the creation of Via Marconi, besides planning an expansion beyond the city wall with the first nucleus of Cappuccini and Pilastro areas. During the II World War the town underwent many hard trials while many bombings by the allies half destroyed the town, causing hundreds of victims. The 60es were characterized, like elsewhere in Italy, by the building boom that lasted till nowadays thus enlarging the town and increasing the number of habitants, that reached the present number. To the history of the town belongs the transport of Santa Rosa’s “Macchina”, a tower about 30 meter high and 5 ton weight, that every 3 September, since the year just after 1258, is lifted and carried on the shoulders by a hundred “Facchini”, for more than a kilometre, along a winding route, sometimes very narrow, between the crowd. In 1969 the Free University of Tuscia was set up, with the Faculties of Education, Economics and Political Sciences, till when 1979 Viterbo became seat of the Public University of Studies of Tuscia, according to law n. 122 of 3 April 1979.
Viterbo and the University of Tuscia
The choice of Viterbo as the site for the University is linked to the history and cultural traditions of the town. In the mid 13th century itinerant students were already present, where they taught the “trivium” (grammar, rhetoric and dialectic) and the “quadrivium” (arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy) arts, according to the Medieval teaching system. In the 15th century an interest in the humanities encouraged the emergence of personalities as Annio and Egidio of Viterbo. In 1546 a “Studium” was founded on the request of the Pope Paul III. This studium, which established professorships in Logic, Philosophy, Civil Institutions and Medicine, was based at the Priori Palace and struggled on until 1581, when the town council requested its closure “given that there are no wages and it is not profitable”. In 1805 was instituted the University school of medicine. The first teacher was Doctor Giuseppe Matthey of Parma, who was awarded the professorship of Theoretical and Chemical Medicine following a “regional” selection based on qualifications. In the following years further professorships were awarded in Anatomy and Surgery, Obstetrics, Physics and Chemistry, Legal Medicine and Toxicology. The University was based at the “Great Hospital for the Infirm” and continued to function until 1838, except for a seven-year interruption (1809-1816) due to the French occupation. Ecclesiastic authorities forced the hospital to limit its activities exclusively to the treatment of its patients, in accordance with the Papal bull of Leo XII of 1824 “Quod divina sapientia”. It reorganised studies in the Papal State, definitively excluding Viterbo from becoming a University town. In more recent times (1969), a private university was set up in Viterbo, the Free University of Tuscia, thanks to a consortium composed by Province, the Town council, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Craftsmen and Agriculture, and Cassa di Risparmio di Viterbo bank. The university included the faculties of Pedagogy, Economics and Business, and Political Science. It was closed in 1979 with the advent of the State University in Viterbo. Tuscia University is a relatively young university; infact, it was only on the 7th of July 1981 that the first academic year of Tuscia University was officially inaugurated. The first faculty to start lectures was Agriculture then, in 1983, the Faculty of languages and foreign modern literatures starts its lectures too. In 1987 it was activated the Faculty of Mathematical, physical and natural sciences, in 1990 the Faculty of cultural heritage and 1991/92, the Faculty of economics. In 2002/2003 the Faculty of Political sciences starts its activities.
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