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Template: Infobox municipality in Italy / maintenance / coat of arms missingNo coat of arms available.
Bolsena (Italy)
Country Italy
region Lazio
province Viterbo  (VT)
Coordinates 42 ° 39 '  N , 11 ° 59'  E Coordinates: 42 ° 38 '41 "  N , 11 ° 59' 9"  E
height 350  m slm
surface 63.94 km²
Residents 3,865 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 60 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 01023
prefix 0761
ISTAT number 056008
Popular name Bolsenesi
Patron saint Santa Cristina
Website Bolsena

Bolsena is a town with 3865 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) in the province of Viterbo in the Italian region of Lazio .

Western city gate and castle


Bolsena is located in the middle of the volcanic Monti Volsini on Lake Bolsena , a lake created by the collapse of an underground magma chamber. The Vulcano Vulsinio began its activity around 600,000 years ago and was last in 103 BC. Active.

The districts of Sant'Antonio and Val di Lago also belong to the municipality.

Neighboring municipalities are Orvieto (20 km), Montefiascone (15 km), Bagnoregio , Capodimonte , Castel Giorgio ( TR ), Gradoli and San Lorenzo Nuovo .


Bolsena is on the SR2 Via Cassia regional road that connects Rome with Florence . The nearest train station is in Montefiascone . Bus routes connect the city and a. with Orvieto , Viterbo (33 km) and Rome (120 km). The nearest motorway entrance is Orvieto ( Autostrada A1 ); the southern end of the A12 coastal motorway is 110 km away and the nearest coastal town, Albinia , 80 km.


Bolsena probably came into being when the Romans in 241 BC. The inhabitants of the conquered Etruscan capital Volsinii , today's Orvieto , moved here: This is where the ancient name Volsinii Novi for Bolsena comes from . Whether the central Etruscan sanctuary for the god Voltumna , the Fanum Voltumnae , was in the vicinity is disputed. Ruins of the ancient city can be visited today.

The Via Cassia runs through Bolsena , one of the old Roman roads that led from Rome into Tuscany and extended to Genoa . During the Middle Ages , this road became part of the Via Francigena pilgrimage route , on which pilgrims from Central and Northern Europe traveled across the Alps to Rome. Archbishop Sigeric the Serious of Canterbury gave a description of it around 990 AD.

The possession of Bolsena was disputed between the popes and the city of Orvieto in the Middle Ages. Charlemagne transferred the place to the popes in 774, during the period of the weakness of the papacy Orvieto assumed de facto supremacy and entrusted the Monaldeschi della Cervara family with the representation. This changed Pope Boniface IX. In 1398 officially in a vicariate over Bolsena and the surrounding area, which ended in 1451. Since then Bolsena belonged to the Papal States , and since 1870 to Italy .

Miracle of Bolsena

Santa Cristina Church

In the church of St. Christina , who is buried here , the catacomb named after her can be visited. Blood stains on an altar stone are said to come from a blood miracle : a Bohemian priest, who doubted transubstantiation , stopped in Bolsena on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1263. During the holy mass he broke a host from which, according to legend, blood was dripping. As a result, the Feast of Corpus Christi was established in Orvieto by Pope Urban IV . Later the cathedral was built there, in which the altar cloth, the corporal , is kept as a relic .

The feast of St. Christina is celebrated with great effort in Bolsena every year on July 24th. The dubious life story of the saint, who is said to have been killed there in 304 as a martyr , is staged in the form of a mystery play at various places in the area.

Population development

year 1881 1901 1921 1936 1951 1971 1991 2001 2009
Residents 2,736 3,288 3,704 3,996 4,253 3,946 4.064 4.111 4,237

Source: ISTAT


Paolo Dottarelli ( PdL ) was elected mayor in June 2009. He replaced Paolo Equitani for a council period. On May 26, 2014, he was re-elected mayor (Lista Civica. Ancora Insieme).

Twin cities


  • The medieval castle, the Rocca Monaldeschi della Cervara , with four rectangular towers rises on the hill that forms the historical center . Since 1991 it houses the Museo Territoriale del Lago di Bolsena with Etruscan, Roman and Medieval sections; The main components are products of Etruscan handicrafts, Roman inscriptions and medieval ceramics.
  • Directly below the castle is the Palazzo Crispi-Cozza-Del Drago, built around the mid-16th century as the seat of the papal governor of the province of Patrimonio; inside it has a cycle of mannerism frescoes .
  • Basilica di Santa Cristina, consisting of three churches side by side, which belong to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and include a pre- and early Christian catacomb, which was the original burial place of St. Christina applies: it contains her alleged sarcophagus , an antique plate with her alleged footprints and the fragmentary altar plate of the Corpus Christi miracle.
  • Church of San Francesco from the late Gothic period with extensive frescoes from the period of construction and the Renaissance, today a function room.
  • Palazzo Ranieri from 1299, built by Cardinal Teodoro Ranieri as a family palace.
  • Church and Franciscan monastery of Santa Maria del Giglio from 1626, today a place of accommodation for pilgrims on the Via Francigena .
  • Fontana di San Rocco, fountain system from 1835 using earlier Renaissance elements.
  • Two Renaissance gates from 1548 and 1550, built by Cardinal Tiberio Crispo , relative of Pope Paul III.
  • Ruins of the Roman city of Volsinii Novi on the Piazza del Mercatello with remains of the forum, two temples, thermal baths, latrine, aqueduct, residential district, amphitheater and buildings of the municipal administration.
  • Outside Bolsena there is the Madonna del Cacciatore country chapel with an extensive fresco cycle from the Renaissance.


In and around Bolsena the white wine Est! Est !! Est !!! cultivated, the center of which is the neighboring town of Montefiascone (see viticulture in Italy ).

Bolsena received the Bandiera Arancione from the Touring Club Italiano .

sons and daughters of the town


  • Raymond Bloch: Recherches archéologiques en territoire volsinien de la protohistoire à la civilization étrusque , Paris 1972.
  • Carlo Carletti - Vincenzo Fiocchi Nicolai: La catacomba di S. Cristina a Bolsena , Vatican City 1989.
  • Angelo Timperi et al: Bolsena e il suo Lago , Rome 1994 ISBN 88-7140-070-4 .
  • Pietro Tamburini among others: Un museo e il suo territorio. Il Museo Territoriale del Lago di Bolsena. Dalle origini al periodo etrusco - Dal periodo romano all'era moderna , 2 volumes, Bolsena 1998/2001.
  • Vers .: The State Museum on Lake Bolsena , Bolsena 2003.
  • Gerd Hofmann: Bolsenasee and surroundings (travel guide), 2nd edition Frankfurt a. M. 2009 ISBN 3-86099-769-6 .
  • Antonietta Puri: Bolsena and the Towns Around the Lake (travel guide), Florenz / Garsington 2004.
  • Christoph Henning: Lazio. The land around Rome. With walks in the Eternal City (= DuMont art travel guide ). 3rd updated edition, Ostfildern 2006 ISBN 3-7701-6031-2 .
  • Giovanni Feo: Il tempio di Voltumna: Alla scoperta del sacrario dei dodici popoli etruschi , Viterbo 2009 ISBN 978-88-6222-117-7 .
  • Giuseppe M. della Fina (Ed.): Da Orvieto a Bolsena. Un percorso tra Etruschi e Romani , Ospedaletto (Pisa) 2013 ISBN 978-88-6315-552-5 .
  • Angelo di Mario u. a .: La dea di Bolsena. La storia etrusca da riscrivere , Arcidosso 2014 ISBN 978-88-6433-482-0 .
  • Marco Castracane: Bolsena. Storia di Bolsena e del Fanum Voltumnae , Rome 2014 ISBN 978-88-98244-09-6 .

Web links

Commons : Bolsena  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. a b L'Apparato Vulcanico Vulsinio. ( Memento from April 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
  4. Il Messaggero June 2009 ( Memento from December 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  5. La Rocca Monaldeschi ( Memento from February 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
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