Known above all for having given birth to the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the I century B.C., the city of Velletri is located at the southern end of the Roman Castles and constitutes the most extensive commune.
In the center, in Piazza Cairoli, stands the Torre del Trivio of fourteenth-century origin, whose current appearance is due to the interventions that were needed after the Second World War. Next to it is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo, rebuilt between the XVII and XVIII centuries. The most important place of worship of the city and seat of the diocese Suburbicaria Velletri-Segni is however the cathedral of San Clemente, attested on the place already in ancient times, and rebuilt first in the thirteenth century and then in the seventeenth century. Inside, among the many works of artistic interest, stand out the medieval mosaics of the crypt, depicting the translation of the bodies of the Saints Ponziano and Eleuterio, here preserved, and that place next to the portal of access to the sacristy in which we see portraits of the Virgin and four Saints.
In the cloister of the cathedral is the Diocesan Museum founded in 1927 by Cardinal Basilio Pompili, and here rearranged in 2000. The collection is exhibited in six halls and boasts pieces of great value such as the precious Veliterna Cross decorated with enamels and pearls, dating back to the XII century, and the medieval and renaissance tables painted by Gentile da Fabriano, Bicci di Lorenzo and Antoniazzo Romano.
The Diocesan Museum is today part of the Velletri Urban Museum system, together with the Museum of Geopaleontology and Prehistory of the Alban Hills and the Civic Archaeological one.
The latter is housed in the imposing town hall, where it is set on two floors, and exhibits archaeological finds from Velletri and the neighbouring territory. There are urns, sculptures, epigraphs, clay slabs and everyday objects. Among the most interesting works are certainly the sarcophagus of the II century A.D. carved with depictions of the “Fatigues of Hercules” and the “Slab of the Orante”, late antique sepulchral slab with scenes of the Old and New Testament.
In the center, near the Cathedral, finally rises the sixteenth century “Porta Neapolitan”, the last shred of the ancient city walls, damaged but not destroyed by the heavy bombing suffered by Velletri in 1944.