TOWER OF THE BEAUTIFUL GALLIANA
HISTORY and DESCRIPTION
The Torre della Bella Galliana, located in the southern part of the city, near the Porta di Valle, together with the high towers that still exist, gives the city of Viterbo a still medieval-looking panorama. The Tower is also called del Branca and was built by Corrado di Branca Podestà of Viterbo in 1295. He built it with the customs proceeds from the port of Montalto as a tributary of Viterbo.
The Tower is linked to the History of the beautiful Galliana narrated by Lanzillotto chronicler from Viterbo of the 13th century, according to which a beautiful girl called Galliana the beautiful lived in Viterbo. Given her beauty, young people came from different countries to be able to admire her. One day Giovanni di Vico, a descendant of a prefectural family from Rome, came to Tuscia and saw her leave the church of San Silvestro and she didn’t even deign to look at him. So Giovanni tried to kidnap the young woman in one night but lightning struck a bell, the townspeople ran and prevented the young man from kidnapping the beautiful girl. Time passed and Giovanni gathered an army and siege Viterbo asking the young woman to marry, the people refused and fought fiercely to wound Giovanni. He promised at that point to retire on condition that they showed him Galliana. The next day Galliana looked out of a tower window, so she was hit by an arrow from Giovanni’s soldiers and she died. The reaction of the Viterbo people was very harsh and Giovanni also died in that clash. Thus the Tower took the name of the Bella Galliana. The square-plan tower is in a good state of conservation, in the center of the tower it is possible to see the window from which it is said that the beautiful Galliana looked out. On the top of the Tower there is a rectangular stone with a hammer on the left, two wavy bands in the center and the papal keys on the right. In the middle of the facade there is, in a square frame, a round opening which perhaps contained an inscription or a bas-relief. Immediately below we find the epigraph with the inscription in ancient Gothic: in nomine domini amen. In nomination Domini amen anno Dni MCC. nonagesimo VI nobilis vir dominus Conradi de Branca civis eugubinus, potestà civitatis viterbii happy his regimine civitatis deoratus honore, hanc turrim fecit edificari de redditu centum cinquaginta librarum papalinorum, que castrum high mountains coming apart portus pertinent to common annuidem tenim gratias. (In the name of the Lord. Amen. In the year of the Lord 1296 the noble man Corrado del Branca, citizen of Gubbio, mayor of the city of Viterboonorato for his happy government, had this tower built with the proceeds of 150 paparine pounds, which the Castello di Montalto, the third part of the port belongs to the Municipality of Viterbo, is required to pay annually to the same Municipality. Thanks be to God). The first transfer of the third of the port of Montalto to the Viterbo people dates back to 1186. The Viterbo chronicler Niccolò della Tuccia (15th century) traces the vision of the Bella Galliana back to 1174. The Tower was restored in 1979 following the collapse of the arch due to the earthquake. During the restoration work in 1979 by the Antonio Ciorba firm, the epigraph was found nearby and then walled up on the facade. Also during these restorations an arrow was found stuck between the stones of the tower.
Scriattoli, Viterbo nei suoi monumenti, Roma, 1915.
M.Galeotti, Illustrissima città di Viterbo, Viterbo, 2001.