Placed on top of a hill on the side of the volcanic enclosure of the lake of Bolsena, Montefiascone dominates the surrounding panorama with its articulated historical center on the steep sides and surmounted by the huge cupola (third in Italy) of the Dome of Margherita The Saint..
The cathedral, as far as its construction, has lived alternate vicissitudes.
The first news we have, are of the end of the XV sec. d.C when started the jobs for the realization of the inferior church, which currently accommodates mortal remains of Lucia Philippine the Saint.
In 1500 we can discover, through some historical documents among which those of the Vasari, that the realization of the superior church comes entrusted to Michele Sanmicheli, already supervisor to the factory of the Dome of Orvieto.
The Sanmicheli planned all the church comprehensive of cupola, and finally the jobs could begin, but little time after, arrived at the completion of the drum of the cathedral, due to economic problems, the structure was covered from a traditional roof instead that the planned cupola.
In 1670 a violent fire destroyed all the internal part and the roof. At this point Altieri cardinal ordered to Architect Carlo Fontana to realize the cupola. The architect modified the original plans of the Sanmicheli and in four years he realized the cupola as we can admire at present day. In 1840, architect Gazola planned and realized the two tower-bells.
At the inside of the cathedral is possible to admire the wonderful wooden chorus, a wooden crucifix miraculously escaped at the fire of 1670, the stone statue of Saint Margherita attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio and the frescos of the painter Luigi Fontana.
Not so far from the cathedral we can admire the majestic "Rocca" of the popes, which gained its maximum splendor around at the XIII/XIV century when important popes like Innocenzo III, Gregorio IX, Urbano IV, fortified it, widened and trasformed in their summery residence. Unfortunately in XVII century began one slow forfeiture and the successive century, the structure came demolished in part for being able to use its materials for the construction of the cathedral of Saint Margherita and the Barbarigo seminary.
Today, only a meager part remains of that it had to be the "rocca" in its beauty and seems to be the one that could be admired between the second half of the XIII and the beginnings of the XIV century.
Immediately out Montefiascone, in the fraction "Le Mosse", "Le Mosse", the church of S.Maria in Monte d'Oro, can be admired in its octagonal plant, work of Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane. The church was erected over one stand representing the Madonna and attributed to the painter Antonio del Massaro.
The citizen of Montefiascone in 1523, decided to glorify the "Vergine" in order to free the town from the plague.
The plague obviously finished and in order to maintain the promise made, was called the Sangallo that planned the actual octagonal structure of the church and a great convent unfortunately never realized for lack of money.
At the place of the structure of the convent was realized a small "cenobio" for being able to accommodate the friars who had the job of maintenance of the structure.
Interesting example of Romanesque architecture is the church of S.Flaviano erected in the XII century, constituted by two environments superimposed by the contrasted orientation.
he inferior church, built in 1032, whereas a most ancient church rose, it is work of lombardi teachers that, in the decoration of the capitals of the columns that divide the three aisles, it seems they suffered the influence of the Etruscan art.
Inside S.Flaviano (inferior church) has put the tomb stone of the German baron Giovanni Defuk "discoverer" of the good local wine with the registration placed by the servant Martino: "EST! EST!! EST!!! Pr (opter) nim (ium) est est hic jo (annes) de Fuk do (minus) meus mortuus est". (Here lies my Lord Giovanni Defuk died for too much drinking of the EST! EST!! EST!!! wine).