Orvieto is a pleasure garden for those with an eye for architectural beauty. From the Gothic facade of the Cathedral to the intoxicating views from the ancient walls surrounding the hilltop town, a linger here is good for the soul.
Orvieto Cathedral – 14th century Roman Catholic Basilica
Sunlight illuminates the three-gabled golden facade of the Orvieto Cathedral, adding dimension to the large bas-reliefs and statues with the symbols (Lion, Angel, Ox, Eagle) of the four Evangelists stationed across the front. Built around 1325 by Tuscan architect Lorenzo Maitani, it is considered one to the great masterpieces of the middle ages.
Florentine architect Arnolfo di Cambio designed this cathedral, which was begun in 1290. It took nearly three centuries to finish the construction. Orvieto’s pride and joy is beautifully well-preserved.
There is an old medieval wall that surrounds Orvieto. Located on a flat butte which is made up of volcanic tuffa stone, the town has been in existence since the Etruscans. In fact, Orvieto has a maze of underground rooms and tunnels that the ancient Etruscans carved out of the tufa rock. Tours are available through Select Italy and well worth the time.
Cobbled streets winding up and down between tall brick buildings and occasional palatial villas add an appeal all its own. Bargains were to be found at a busy clothing and produce market held on the piazza.
Brick walls were refreshingly cool to touch in the heat of the afternoon. Potted plants like this Camila are commonly spotted around the town. It was very quiet away from the piazza.
The views surrounding Orvieto are some of the most picturesque I have ever seen. I followed the old medieval wall all around the town and taken photos from every side.
This pathway led outside the walls and down through some of the countryside. Lush variegated greenery rose up around me as I walked through the welcomed shade. A soft breeze swayed the trees gently bringing with it a warm earthy fragrance.
Orvieto can’t be beat for a lovely walk through medieval architecture, artisan shops and family-run restaurants. To see the sites of Orvieto in a day, Select Italy offers a full day tour of the Cathedral, the underground Orvieto, a historical stroll through the town and a visit to a local winery.