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About Orvieto

Basic Information:


Orvieto is a small picturesque city located on the top of a hill where you can have a beautiful view both from up and down. Once being there for sure you will desire to go back again there.

The city is situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe. It has almost vertical rising face of the tuff cliffs. Later for the defense of the city they were built walls by the same stone called Tufa.

Orvieto has an ancient history and there documents speaking that there was a life at the Bronze Ages and at the Iron Ages. Then came Etruscan people and Romans.


What to see in Orvieto?

The Cathedral of Orvieto

For sure this is the most notable and impressive building to see in Orvieto because it has on particular face and architecture. Don't Miss to see also The Chapel of San Bizio.

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Churches in Orvieto

  • Church of San Giovenale
  • Church of Sant'Andrea
  • Church of San Domenico & Mausoleum of Cardinal de Braye
  • Church of San Ludovico
  • Church of San Francesco
  • Abbey San Severo & Martirio

The Papal Residence and The National Archaeological Museum

Orvieto in Umbria was the refuge of five popes during the 13th century: Pope Urban IV (1261-1264), Pope Gregory X (1271-1276), Pope Martin IV (1284-1285), Pope Nicholas IV (1288-1292), Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303). During this time, the popes took up residence in the Papal Palace of Orvieto (also known as Palazzo Soliano), which was adjacent to the Orvieto Cathedral and expanded onto the bishop's residence. None of these popes died in Orvieto, and thus no papal elections took place in there, neither there are any papal tombs.


Grotte di Ardiano or Orvieto Sotterranea - the Underground City

Orvieto Sotterranea for a long time kept the secret of its labyrinth of caves and tunnels.

In the fifties of the last century most of the wineries underground were abandoned having lost, with the advent of refrigerators and new systems of wine-making, their function as ideal environments for their low temperature and absence of light, for storing foods and especially the wine.


Pozzo di San Patrizio

Pozzo di San Patrizio is a historic structure built by Antonio da Sangallo in Orvieto between 1527 and 1537 in order of Pope Clement VII, returning from the sack of Rome and eager to protect themselves in case of siege of the city where it was withdrawn. The work of the well - designed to provide water in case of disaster or siege - were concluded during the papacy of Paul III Farnese (1534-1549).

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Pozzo della Cava

In 1527 Pope Clement VII ordered to dig the Well of San Patrizio and the Well of Cava. He did adapt this structure of Etruscan origin to draw water from the source. The expenses were incurred by the municipality and the work was completed in 1530. The well remained open until 1646 until the municipal authorities ordered the close it. Now it is housed in one of nine caves which are included in the guided tour underground.

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See more in Orvieto

  • Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo
  • The Albornoz fortress
  • Necropolis of the Crucifix of Tufo and Cannicella - The Tombs
  • Tempio del Belvedere
  • Palazzo Faina and "Claudio Faina" Museum


Curiosity - the Symbols of Orvieto

orvieto-stemma-travelmapitaly.comAccording to a decree of 1928 the emblem of the city of Orvieto consists of a shield divided into four surmounted by a crown. The four divisions are represented four symbols: the Cross, the Eagle, the Lion and the Goose.

The Red Cross on a white field symbolizes the loyalty to the faction of the City of Guelph and was recognized at the City of Orvieto from Pope Adrian IV in 1157.

The Black Eagle with a golden crown on a red field refers to the domination of the Romans. The gold label gold pendant with five of the eagle was placed around his neck when Carlo d'Angio in Orvieto granted the title of "city", after being crowned in the cathedral of Orvieto King of the Kingdom of Sicily by Pope Clement IV. The label recalls the red of the house of d'Angio.

The Lion on a red field holding a silver sword with his right paw and the keys of St. Peter with his left. It recalls the Florentine lion in memory of the historic alliance between the two cities. The keys, with the motto "Fortis et Fidelis" ("Strong and Faithful") is a concession of Pope Adrian IV in recognition of long loyalty to the papacy in Orvieto.

The Goose with one leg raised on a stone, refers to the legendary Capitol geese with their clamor, saved Rome from the attack of enemies.

Take a look at The Legend of The Geese of Campidoglio.


How to go to Orvieto?

    • By Air

Orvieto is a small city and does not have his oven airport. The nearest airport of it is the one of Perugia. Perugia Airport usually is served by the low-cost company like Belle Air and Ryanair.

For more information visit:

Perugia Airport - International Airport San Francesco d'Assisi

From the airport of Perugia you can hire a car or to get a taxi to Orvieto.


If you can not find any lines to fly to Perugia then the better solution is to fly to Roma:

Roma Airport 1 - International Airport Leonardo Da Vinci - Fiumicino

Roma Airport 2 - International Airport Ciampino

The both have very good connection with the city of Roma. You can go to the city and to get a train to Perugia or to hire a car or taxi.


    • By Train

Just down the hill of the city of Orvieto is situated the Train Station that connect the city with Firenze on the North and Roma on the South.

For more information visit the Italian Railway web site.


    • By Car

Orvieto is very easy reachable from Firenze on the North and Roma on South because just down the city is passing the main highway of Italy A1.

Instead from Perugia should get first E45 and then in the exit Todi-Orvieto to get SS448. Then when you are in Ponte you should get SS205 for Orvieto on the North.


    • Go Around

The Historical Part of Orvieto is small and very beautiful and if advised to visit it walking and enjoying the architecture and the beauty of the city. Don't forget just to take a look at the decorations of the souvenirs you can find everywhere in the city.


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Map of Orvieto


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