What to see in Nepi, an itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including the Duomo, the Church of San Tolomeo, the Borgia Castle and the Civic Museum.
Located in the province of Viterbo, from which it is about forty kilometers away, Nepi has a medieval core enclosed within the sixteenth-century walls.
Among the main monuments and places to visit, there is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, of early Christian origins but rebuilt in 1180.
The interior, developed on a basilica plan, has five large naves divided by pillars and a high presbytery which rises above the crypt.
There are numerous frescoes made by the painters Domenico Torti and Di Mauro in the second half of the nineteenth century, depicting scenes taken from the life of the Virgin Mary.
The vault shows the coronation of Mary among the saints, including Pope Pius V, who was first bishop of Nepi, the patron saints Ptolemy, Roman and Santa Savinilla.
From the crypt, which was built on top of a previous temple dedicated to Jupiter, a series of tunnels leave that were once part of the early Christian catacombs.
The Church of San Tolomeo, also known as the Church of the Rosary, was started in 1543 following the project of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, with the intent to use it to be able to find a place in the relics of the Holy Martyrs, found inside the Catacombs of Santa Savinilla.
The works were suspended in 1550 for unforeseen reasons, including the departure of Pier Luigi Farnese, who had been the client, and the death of Pope Paul III.
In 1588 the works were resumed, with a project reduced from the original one, carried out by Giovanni Antonio Garzoni da Viggiù, architect commissioned by Alessandro Farnese.
Later the architect Giovanni Rosa and Flaminio Ponzio, who designed the facade and the portal, also took part in the work.Recommended readings
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The building was completed and opened for worship in 1606.
The interior has a single nave, on which three chapels open on each side.
The wooden altars all date back to the early seventeenth century, the presbytery area, raised and accessible through some steps, is delimited by eight majestic columns that have the function of supporting the dome.
In the main altar of 1654 are preserved the relics of the Holy Martyrs, worthy of note is the reclining statue of San Ptolemy, made by Giovanni Francesco De Rossi in 1664.
On the left is the altar of the Madonna del Rosario, also called Madonna della Vittoria.
It is a magnificent structure in gilded wood, created with the aim of enclosing the image on canvas of the Virgin Mary, the cult of which is linked to the battle of Lepanto.
In 1695 a statue of the Madonna was added.
On the right is the gilded wooden altar dedicated to the Seven Founding Saints of the order of the Servants of Mary, dating back to 1632, which includes a canvas of the twentieth century, made by the painter Sem Rossi.
The Rocca di Nepi, also known as Rocca dei Borgia, is a fortress located on the edge of the historic center, at the point where Rio Puzzolo and Rio Falisco converge.
The Borgia Castle owes its name to the Borgia family, who was of Spanish origin, it was at the behest of Cardinal Rodrigo, future Pope Alexander VI, that important changes were made in 1479.
The findings made inside one of the underground passages are very important, where a stretch of Roman paved road came to light and where three access gates to the city are visible, dating back to different historical periods.
The Civic Museum of Nepi, housed in the Town Hall, preserves numerous archaeological finds from the Roman era, including epigraphs and statues.