We first visited Orvieto in September 2017 (Orvieto – Mitchell News). Orvieto is a unique town built on top of a large rock. It was always our intention to return but with so many parts of the world to see, it took us 6 years.
Orvieto is one of the most striking, and enjoyable hill towns in central Italy. Less than 90 minutes from Rome or 2.5 hours from Pisa, Orvieto sits majestically high above the valley floor atop a big chunk of tufo volcanic stone, overlooking cypress-dotted Umbrian plains. There is very little traffic within the town making it a pleasure to walk.
We left for Orvieto early Saturday morning and with Pisa on the route, could not resist our favourite café “Vanilla”. Suitably fuelled, we decided to drive along a lot of backroads in order to see more of the country. Toll roads are useful when we are in a hurry, but the backroads are more enjoyable. What could be a 2.5 hour trip turned into a 5 hour trip. The only challenge we had was running into a storm. It was 20 minutes of hair-raising driving along narrow mountain roads with very little visibility. Fortunately, the roads were quiet.
Orvieto has a large free car park at the bottom of the hill. We then used a funicular which took us to the top admiring the views on the way up. Glenda had found a great Airbnb which was very close to the Duomo (main church).
One of our motivations for the trip was an opportunity to catch up with friends from Rome (Oreste and Sheroo). We first met Oreste when he processed our visa applications in Brisbane. He has since moved back to Rome. We spent the afternoon chatting to Sheroo whilst Oreste had to go back to their accommodation to rest a sore back.
Last time in Orvieto we visited most of the sites. We decided to take a late afternoon walk around the edge of Orvieto admiring the views. It was also interesting seeing how some of the homes had been changed over time. Being on a hilltop, we noticed that the homes in Orvieto were a lot lighter than in Lucca.
Being a foody Oreste had booked a really nice restaurant for dinner. We enjoyed a nice degustation dinner, nice wine and great company.
On the Sunday morning we enjoyed a walk around the edge of town again completing sections we had missed the day before. There are some great views of the countryside from the town of Orvieto.
In the evening we again had dinner with our friends. This time though it was burgers and beer. Again, we enjoyed our evening chatting.
On the Monday morning we left taking another long backroads route home. It was amazing seeing Orvieto sticking out of the mist as we drove along some mountain roads.
We managed to visit lake Bolsena. It was a large and very beautiful lake. Along the way we also stopped off the see “Terme di Saturnia” (hot springs). We did not go for a swim, but they were very beautiful to look at. A final notably detour along the way home was “Monte Argentario” which is a promontory linked to the mainland by a spit. Whilst the weather was rainy and windy, we did enjoy the marina.