1½ hour from Palazzo Terranova
Founded by the Etruscans, it was part of the league of the 12 cities which opposed themselves to Rome until 280BC when it was destroyed. In the 5th century, the old city was re-built (the name Orvieto means ‘old city’) and remained the centre of many wars – within the city walls as well as without. One of the bloodiest wars of Umbria took place in Orvieto in 1313.
The largest landmark of the town is the Duomo which has distinctive stripes and a façade resembling a giant triptych. From this part of the town, the other places of interest are easily found. Of almost equal note is the Cappela di San Brizio which has frescos by Signorelli. When Signorelli drew up his contract to fresco the Cappela di San Brizio, he made sure to add the clause; ‘that he be given as much as he wanted of that wine of Orvieto’ as the town is also famous for it’s good wine. Another mystery to explore are the numerous tunnels and passageways – 1200 have been counted – that disappear underneath the town.
Directions to Orvieto
Go down at the bottom of the hill and turn left. Pass through Ronti, Badia Petroia, Bivio Lugnano and once in Trestina, at the first STOP sign turn right. Follow the directions to the highway E45 (super strada). Continue to follow the directions to Rome. Nearby Todi, take the exit for Orvieto. This road takes you along a lake until you arrive in Oriveto. Follow the signs for the ‘centro’.