Day Tripping in Orvieto

C7A7D96F-B261-416E-9E38-2D253332FAC1Once again the day started off sunny but quite chilly. We decided to take a day-trip to Orvieto – it’s quite a spectacular town up on a high stone outcropping about 40 km south. We passed by it last year when Colin took me to Rome to catch my flight home but we didn’t have time to stop and explore at all. (The photo above is not Orvieto)
The drive there was really nice – a pretty good road with very little traffic. We stopped a couple of times along the way – once so I could take some photos, and once so Colin could take a phone call.
Once we reached Orvieto we drove most of the way up and found a good car-park, which is right across from the funicular that brings people up, and also the old castle/fort that overlooks the valley.

We were pretty hungry so we started walking into the old town right away. We walked up the main road, passing lots of shops and cafes. There’s very little traffic so mostly we walked in the middle of the cobble-stone road – which was convenient since there’s no room for sidewalks.

Then we could see the Duomo off to the left in the distance.

We made our way to the piazza where the Duomo is – it was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the front of it is quite impressive with carvings and guilt paintings, and the rest of it is in a striped pattern made from black and white marble.
We didn’t bother going in – no need to tempt fate and cause a fire or eruption of some sort. We chose a restaurant right nearby and sat down to get some lunch. There were many things on the menu that sounded delicious, but I had to try the ‘drunken sausage and beans’ just so I could see what it was.
It turned out to be a good choice, but for starters we got a plate of mixed bruschettas that were all very tasty, and Colin got the lasagna for his main course. My drunken sausages must have been marinated or cooked in red wine – they were purple/black and just delicious, and came with large flat beans in a lovely tomato sauce. When I went in to use the facilities I talked a bit with the owner – his grandfather used to own the place and he was very happy when I told him how we really enjoyed the meal. I think they make as much from selling wine as they do from the meals they serve – the whole inside is lined from floor to ceiling on all walls with bottles of wine. I would guess that most of them are local and hard to get anywhere else – the wine we had with lunch was very nice.
After our leisurely lunch we walked to a very small park just off the piazza – there were at least six cats there that must get fed a lot. There were great views across the valley to the east.
We then headed down back towards the car-park. Just before the castle/fort there’s a war memorial.
We took a walk around the castle – it’s now a public park and has even more spectacular views.
Orvieto is on the main way from Firenza in the north to Rome in the south so was built on a great vantage point to overlook the whole valley.
Once again when we got home neither of us was hungry enough for dinner. It had been a lovely day and we agreed that a return trip to Orvieto sometime in the future would be great.

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