Orvieto in Umbria, Italy -  Travel Guide and  Orvieto tourist information  
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Orvieto travel notes 2

 

From the previous page << "some notes about Orvieto"...


. . . Orvieto is a favorite tourist spot for Italian visitors, and what attracts them most is Orvieto's spectacular cathedral (duomo). It was built to celebrate the miracle of Bolsena, a miracle that precipitated the Feast of Corpus Christi in the Catholic Church. It took two centuries to complete the cathedral, and it is one of Italy's gems.

Take time to take in the Brizi Chapel, one of the most beautifully painted chapels in all of Europe. Look at Luca Signorelli's fresco of the Last Judgment, a painting from which Michelangelo drew inspiration for his painting in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. When you enter or leave, stop outside and examine the carvings of The Creation and The Last Judgment. You won't see such exquisite decorative sculptures anywhere else.

When I spend several months in Orvieto, one of the things I appreciate most is the wide array of cultural events going on. Apart from the celebrated jazz festival they have every year between Christmas and New Year's, Orvieto is alive with music and theater throughout the year.

The Teatro Mancinelli is one of the loveliest theaters in all of Italy, and seldom does a week go by that a major performance is being put on there. This past year my wife and I enjoyed a series of ten classical concerts, featuring some of the best musicians in Italy, and we paid a few euros for each concert. The night before we left Orvieto we were treated to a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons in the Duomo performed by the Rome Philharmonic. And this concert was free!

If you enjoy Italian cuisine, Orvieto will not disappoint you. I had always heard that Bologna had the best cooking in all of Italy, but I think Umbria is right there in the same class.

Each section of Italy has its own pasta, and in Orvieto ombricchelli is the featured attraction. Order it with grated truffles on top and you'll think you are in heaven rather than in Italy. I shouldn't have to mention the wine, but I will in case you haven't heard about it. Orvieto Classico is simply the best white wine in Italy and a bottle of it at a local store will set you back about five euros. In addition, a really well kept secret is how good Umbrian red wine is. We eat out at least once or twice a week and we eat better and cheaper than we ever do in the states. Try La Palomba or La Pergola for great Orvietan cooking and then stop in the kitchen and compliment the chef.

Since we have been going back to Orvieto for four years now, we have made many friends there. We had been told that the Orvietans perhaps were a little stiff, a little closed to foreigners. Don't believe it! All the small shop owners know us and greet us with warm smiles. Rarely do we walk through town without a "salve" from one of the locals. When I stop in the Bar Duomo, the owner Marino, along with his wife Gabriella and daughter Donatella, welcome me with warmth and humor.

On a leisurely day, there is nothing like stopping for a hot cappuccino or a glass of Marino's own Orvieto Classico. If you stay in Orvieto for a week or two and return to any of the restaurants a second time, you will be greeted like a long lost friend. It's good Orvieto is a walking city so you can indulge yourself with the pastas and desserts.

Finally, be sure that you stay overnight in Orvieto. The town takes on its own character after five o'clock. Between Piazza della Republica and Piazza Duomo, you will become part of the best passeggiata in Italy. It seems that the entire town comes out to enjoy a stroll through the quiet streets. Even better is to walk through the medieval section after you have eaten dinner. The yellow street lights cast a golden hue over the cobblestones and the tufa stone, and without much effort you can imagine yourself back in the twelth century. Off in the distance you might see a train hustling its way up to Florence, or better still, you will hear the solemn bells of San Giovenale ringing their special Orvieto welcome for you.
Enjoy the moment, for you won't find it anywhere else.`


 Orvieto travel notes by  Lorenzo R.

 

The gorgeous Duomo

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Signorelli's frescoes

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St Patrick's well

 

 

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