This city is one of the most memorable daytrips many vacationers to Rome experience. The city sits on a towering mound of volcanic stone and offers commanding views of the countryside. It is a city with Etruscan, Roman and medieval history, a beautiful natural spot with splendid works of architecture.
The proximity to the main A1 highway and train stations mean that travelers renting a car, taking a bus or moving about in trains have close access to the city. Since the hill upon which the city stands is so steep, one must walk, take a bus or ride the funicular up to the city gates. For those with their own vehicle there is abundant free parking near the funicular and train station. Once inside the town itself walking will get you around quite easily.
The cathedral or Duomo is the centerpiece of the town. It is a massive structure that houses many famous works of art, frescoes, paintings, relics, historic artifacts and the like. The architecture is fascinating from around the 13th century with craftsmanship of stone that is just immense. There is an extended museum called Claudio Faina which is next door as well which can be worth a tour.
The region is known for its eclectic use of abundant forest goodies. Truffles, wild game, cream sauses and herbs all make their mark on Umbrian cuisine. The town is packed with great little eateries wherein one cannot find a bad meal. Some places are a little more touristy than others, but on the whole the experience is pretty authentic. Trattoria del Moro is known for its typical cuisine and remember the local vintage of Orvieto Classico is a must taste, affordable white wine, and you’d be doing yourself a favor to buy some to take home as well.
The unique location of the town has caused it to be a popular spot since the reign of the Etruscans. This has given people the opportunity to arise to unique challenges of living on a promontory. Most celebrated of all, the search for water. Some of the town’s best attractions in archeology and engineering are its famous wells. The well of St. Patrick is almost a 55 meter hole bored down into the earth. It has a double helix stairwell with little windows overlooking the circular shaft. The walk and view are simply impressive. Orvieto Underground is a tour operated in several languages that brings visitors into the cave systems and tunnels that run beneath the city and into places like the ancient necropolis and ruins.
The Umbrian countryside is the wild cousin of Tuscany and Orvieto sits right in the middle of it. Many national forests are nearby, some are home to private resorts and others offer unique establishments known as agriturismo, which are farm house rentals, which may include little or a lot of contact with the family that owns the place, depending on what the guest is looking for. In any case this is an affordable and unique way to carve out a little corner of wild Italian beauty.