On my birthday I took a day trip to Orvieto.
The town is an hour or so train ride from Rome’s Termini Station. The trip costs 14-22 euros round trip depending on which train you take (the slower train has a few additional stops). Once you arrive in Orvieto, the funicular will take you up the hill.
Some tourists took the little bus from the funicular to the Duomo but it’s easy walking distance (you can walk the entire villiage in a an hour or two) and quite scenic.
This is a beautiful hill town in Umbria built on tufa rock. It has been settled for thousand of years and was an important Etruscan city.
The major attraction is the Duomo, started in 1290. It has a very ornate exterior. I don’t think I’ve seen a Duomo with such bright colors before.
Orvieto is also know for it’s local white wine, the Classcio, pottery and lace making. Get there early as the place is packed with tourists.
Once inside the Duomo, look for the San Brizio Chapel. It’s five euros to enter and the ticket also covers the fee for the Museum. It is worth the price as one of the Renaissance’s greatest frescos is located inside the chapel. Luca Signorelli's nudes because famous for the subject matter and the form. They inspired Michelangelo’s own Last Judgment for the Sistine Chapel.
The views from the hill town are spectucular. If you get a chance, take time to explore the town, getting away from the touristy part by the Duomo. It’s beautiful. There is a tour that takes you through the underground caves.
I look forward to exploring more of Umbria and Tuscany once I learn how to drive stick and get my Italian drivers license.
On my Flickr page I have more detailed photos of the exterior and the interior of Duomo and other shots of this bellissima town.
Here is a photo of the Signorelli fresco, The Preaching of the Antichrist. See the woman in the foreground with the red top? She is described as a “whore” who is accepting money for “services rendered”. She also has the face of Signorelli’s ex-girlfriend who had recently broken up with him. Damn, I guess he put her on blast.
A view of the countryside.
How much do I love the new Fiat 500/Cinquecento? The Italy strips on this one cracked me up.
A picture of the Duomo