Top 5 attractions in Orvieto, Umbria
In addition to Città di Castello, Orvieto is worth visiting during a holiday in Umbria.
This town is perched on a high tuff cliff and surrounded by the lovely countryside. Seeing it from afar, Orvieto seems suspended in the sky. This is especially true when the clouds are low and only the tip of the cliff is visible.
Orvieto is actually a double town.
At the top of the cliff is the old historic town. Below is the new center, where tourist arrive by car or train. A funicular connects the new town to the old one, where the most interesting attractions are located.
And really there are numerous places to discover in Orvieto! Here is our selection of the top 5 attractions in Orvieto.
WHAT TO SEE IN ORVIETO. TOP ATTRACTIONS
THE CATHEDRAL OF ORVIETO
The first of the top 5 attractions in Orvieto is the Duomo, whose façade leaves everybody amazed by the large number of decorations and mosaics. This is a really peculiar feature. In fact, mosaics are frequent in Byzantine style churches, but the cathedral of Orvieto is a remarkable example of Italian Gothic architecture.
Inside the Cathedral of Orvieto is the Chapel of San Brizio. The frescoes of the Judgment and Resurrection are incredibly beautiful.
POZZO DI SAN PATRIZIO, ST. PATRICK’S WELL
In 1527 Pope Clement VII decided to build a well to ensure water in Orvieto at any time of the year, and in case of sieges.
The result is the St.Patrick’s Well, which is 62 meters deep, entirely dug into the tuff and equipped with 72 internal windows. However, the uniqueness of this well is in its two large helical and independent staircases. One ladder takes you down to the bottom of the well, the other one takes you up to the exit. In the past this stratagem allowed pack mules to get on and off without crossing each other and block the passage. Oh, remember that each staircase has more than 250 steps!
THE UNDERGROUND TOWN
Of all the attractions in Orvieto this is certainly the most suggestive.
The tuff cliff of Orvieto hides more than1200 caves, tunnels, wells and cisterns dug by the ancient inhabitants.
Although some local legends spoke of an underground Orvieto, no one had ever seen anything until one day, when a landslide finally showed the first hidden passage.
Today it is possible to visit this multi-level maze beneath the town with guided tours.
THE NECROPOLIS AND THE REMAINS OF THE ETRUSCAN TOWN
Near St. Patrick’s Well are the remains of the ancient Etruscan Temple, while to the north of the Orvieto is the necropolis.
Visiting these sites means taking a step back in time, to the time when the Etruscan civilization was at its peak
If you don’t know who they were, the Etruscans lived between the 9th century BC and the 1st century BC in an area that includes central Italy and other neighboring regions. Their culture greatly influenced Roman civilization.
THE FORTRESS OF ALBORNOZ
The Fortress was built by order of the Spanish cardinal Albornoz in the mid-1300s to protect the town from the enemies.
It was destroyed and remodeled several times, and finally rebuilt in 1450.
Today only the main tower and part of the fortress are still standing, surrounded by a beautiful park and public garden, from which you can enjoy an amazing view over the valley.