Orvieto

Trip to Orvieto in central Italy (Umbria), an ancient city built over a volcanic basement surrounded by a cliff and very rich in art and culture. Visit to the numerous attractions, like the majestic cathedral, the San Patrizio well, and the underground caves digged during the history below the city. Tour of the countryside around Orvieto.

Orvieto downtown Orvieto, Italy Orvieto, tufa homes

Orvieto downtown, with the typical homes built using bricks of volcanic material (tufa, as the area was interested by a tremendous volcanic activity between 1 million and 100000 years ago).

 

 

Orvieto, Umbria, Italy Orvieto, Umbria, Italy
Views on the coutryside around Orvieto, seen from the outside city's walls.

 

Orvieto from an aircraft, Italy

Orvieto seen from an aircraft before landing in Rome Ciampino. The huge Orvieto cathedral, as well as the cliff surrounding the city, is clearly visible.

 

Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy

The majestic cathedral in Orvieto, built in about one century from year 1290 with the purpose to store the sacred relic from Bolsena miracle. This cathedral is known to have one of the most beautiful facade of the world.

 

Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy

Pictures of Orvieto cathedral's facade, decorated with mosaics made by millions of pieces.


 

Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy

Other views on the cathedral and on the belltower.

 

 

Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy
Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy
Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy
Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy

Inside the Orvieto cathedral. If compared to the external facade, the internals are much simpler, but still beautiful for the huge columns and the paintings on the walls.

 

Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy Orvieto cathedral, Italy

Orvieto cathedral, Italy

Orvieto cathedral, Italy Other views from inside the cathedral in Orvieto.

 

Orvieto, Italy, shopping street

On the left: the main walking and shopping street crossing the entire city. Below, St. Andrew church.

Orvieto, St Andrews church, Italy Orvieto, St Andrews church, Italy

 

Orvieto Italy, the congress palace

"Palazzo del Popolo" in the omonimous square, built using basaltic stones and tufa, currently used as a congress centre.

 

Orvieto, Italy, St Patrick well (Pozzo San Patrizio)

The St. Patrick well (Pozzo di San Patrizio) was built in the XVI century, digging for 62 metres into the basaltic rock and tufa under the city. The purpose was to create a water storage tank. Access to the water is guaranteed by two helicoidal stairs, one going down and one returning up, along the well's side, where large windows are also present.

Orvieto, Italy, St Patrick well (Pozzo San Patrizio) Orvieto, Italy, St Patrick well (Pozzo San Patrizio)

 

Orvieto, Italy, St Patrick well (Pozzo San Patrizio) Orvieto, Italy, St Patrick well (Pozzo San Patrizio) Orvieto, Italy, St Patrick well (Pozzo San Patrizio)

Views on the stairs, windows and water in the bottom of the well.

 

Orvieto, Italy, cliff and city walls Orvieto, Italy, cliff and city walls

The cliff surrounding the city, in some place it is reinforced by walls.

 

 

Undreground Orvieto, Italy Undreground Orvieto, Italy

Excursion to underground Orvieto. Below the city there are about 1200 caves and tunnels, digged in the past centuries to get additional space for workshop, shops, storage, and to extract building materials. Digging below the city was relatively easy, because of the soft basaltic rock and volcanic debris, but it has compromised the stability of the city laying above.

In the pictures above, an old olive processing machine, from XIV century.

 

Undreground Orvieto, Italy Undreground Orvieto, Italy

On the left, a mining area used to extract a building material until the past century. Pillars of soft rocks where left to avoid the mountain's top, with the city above, to collapse. On the right, a very ancient 45 meters deep well, digged in the hope to find water (because of the geological features, the water can be found digging at least 90 meters).

 

Undreground Orvieto, Italy

New pillars were built very recently to give more stability to the city laying above these caves.

 

A medieval cantina, Orvieto, Italy Orvieto, Italy, well in the basaltic rock

The tour to Orvieto finishes with a visit to "Pozzo della Cava" where there is an impressive well digged into the basaltic rocks and many archaeological findings from different centuries.

 

Orvieto, Italy Orvieto, Italy
Orvieto, Italy

Views on the cliffs around Orvieto city.

 

B&B in Orvieto B&B in Orvieto B&B in Orvieto

Palazzo del Cardinale is a beautiful B&B to stay while visiting Orvieto and surroundings. The palace is 500 years old and is conveniently located very close to the city centre.

 

HOW TO GET TO ORVIETO

The nearest airports are Rome Fiumicino or Ciampino, Florence and Perugia. The most convenient is probably Rome Fiumicino, as there are frequent trains with only one connection in Rome. If you are already in Italy, the most convenient transport is by train, as Orvieto is halfway along the Rome - Florence railway, approximately one and an half hour from both cities. Here you can check the train schedule. The railway station is connected to downtown by a cable car and all the attactions are within walking distance from city's centre. If you are arriving by car, just leave the A1 highway at Orvieto, about one and an half hour north of Rome or south of Florence.

Please click this link if you are looking for a private taxi from Rome airport to Orvieto.

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