Orte is a town in the province of Viterbo, located on a tuff cliff of the Valley of the river Tiber, surrounded to the North and to the East by a bend of the river and to the South by one its tributaries, the Rio Paranza. The area was inhabited since the Paleolithic Ages, as evidenced by the finding of some flints and arrowheads, now preserved in Rome at the Museum Pigorini. Later it became an Etruscan settlement and suffered the Roman conquest. Being part of the Empire, the town followed the fortunes of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the town experienced the Barbarian invasions and their destructive incursions. Occupied by the Arabs and conquered by the Lombards in 914, between the X and Xi centuries, Orte intensified its control over the commercial traffic of the Tiber, contending its toll rights with Amelia, Narni and the Abbey of Farfa. In later centuries there was a decisive increase in population, accompanied by an urban, economic and cultural development. It became one of the major cities of the Patrimony of St. Peter in Tuscia and in 1864 began the construction of the railway of the Papal States.
Sites of Interest:
- Porta del Vascellaro, which takes its name from the nearby neighborhood, that in Roman and medieval times housed several pottery shops. On one side stands the small former Church of St. Gregory, with frescoes of the XV century;
- Porta Franca, a main gateway entrance to the city and one of the last traces of the ancient fortress;
- Porta San Cesareo, also named so, because it stood near a small church of the same name, of which today there are no remains;
- the Underground Fountain, with its current features of the XVII century, was in fact already present at the times of the Etruscans, later used by the Roman. For centuries it was the only source of water supply for the population of Orte.
- the Aqueduct in Renaissance style;
- the commercial port on the Tiber river, active since the first century B.C. until the XII century;
- the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, in Baroque style, was actually founded in the IX century, inside is preserved a fine XVIII century organ built with material from a previous instrument of the XVI century, choir stalls, a XVII century monumental altar and the altarpiece of Giuseppe Bottani (1752);
- the Church of St. Anthony, built in the XX century;
- the Church of San Pietro, built in the first half of the XV century;
- the Romanesque Church of San Biagio, which belonged to the Roman hospital of Santo Spirito in Saxia, of which it preserves as coats of arms on the entrance portal, the Cross of Lorraine;
- the Baroque Church of the former Convent of San Francesco;
- the Church of the former Augustinian Convent, a complex of three distinct religious buildings;
- the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto in Castel Bagnolo, dating from the XI century, with traces of ancient frescos and a statue of the Madonna carved into olive wood;
- the Shrine and Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie (XVI century);
- the Shrine of the Holy Trinity, in whose caves lived San Bernardino in 1426;
- the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto, built in the XVII century in the Hospital of the Recommended;
- the noble Palaces (Palazzo Nuzzi, the Town Hall, Palazzo dell'Orologio, Palazzo Roberteschi, Palazzo Alberti alla Rocca, Palazzo Alberti in Via Garibaldi, Palazzo Nerei-Roberti, Casa di Giuda);
- the Spa Complex with pools of sulphurous water.