Pope Alexander IV built this famous palace, where he and several subsequent Popes chose to reside. It was here that, after the death of Pope Clement IV in 1268 the cardinals gathered to elect the next Pope. When, after 33 months, they still couldn't agree upon the election, the upset Viterbese decided to lock them in the hall of the election, breaking the roof open so as to leave them exposed to the weather, and feeding them with bread and water until they would make a choice. In a short time the Cardinals elected Pope Gregory X: the Papal Conclave tradition was born, setting up the rule of isolation of the cardinals by Gregory X in the Second Council of Lyon in 1274.
However Viterbo, also called the city of the Popes, only saw six Conclaves, as on the last of these in 1280 Charles of Anjou intervened arresting the two most prominent Italian cardinals who were preventing the election of French Pope Martin IV - who moved on to nearby Orvieto with the papal court after being elected.
More info and virtual tour of Viterbo.
The name "Italy" is shrouded in mystery; some etymologists trace it to a Greek word meaning "the land of young cattle."Italy was fond of Jupiter and Mars from the very start, Jupiter for fatherly good luck and Mars for war!But it all began with Rome. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were sons of Rhea and Mars.The twins were abandoned at birth out of a fear that they would grow up and later overthrow Amelius, usurper of their grandfather's rightful throne.Wrongful mis-doings most foul! Treachery and sabotage!! HOW would these two blessed infants make their way in such a world?As it turns out, the twins didn't have to make their way very far, because one of them killed the other one and then they weren't twins anymore. But that happens later.First they got rescued by a she-wolf who suckled them with her milk and raised them as her own until they were discovered by the shepherd Faustulus.Faustulus fed them meat and bread and also raised them as his own until they were old enough to return to Amelius and hack him up as planned. They reinstated the grandfather Numitor to his rightful throne and went off to celebrate by starting a town of their own.They chose a hilly area where the mama wolf had saved them from certain death in the barren wilderness and began scouting locations.Romulus liked one hill. Remus liked another. The circle of crows like Romulus' hill, so Romulus killed Remus and named the town after himself. Thus Rome was born and Italy with it.Text by Steve Smith.