Welcome to Orvieto, Umbria!
Orvieto is a gorgeous hilltop town, with an incredible history and amazing foods and local wines.
Without a doubt, Orvieto is an ideal holiday location for all those in love with nature, hiking or for those looking to enjoy a relaxing country-side destination.
Looking for a quick day trip from Rome? Then Orvieto should be on your list (only 1 hour train/car ride!), however, my recommendation is always to slow travel and a 2 night/3 day stay is ideal.
Cool Fact: All regions in Italy either have a coastline or are bordering with other countries – except Umbria, that has neither!
Orvieto is often referred to as the ‘Green Heart of Italy’ and it is certainly no surprise!
This historic city center is surely one of the most dramatic, rising above almost-vertical cliffs surrounded by defensive walls, all completed in Tufa stone.
Orvieto also has an important history, as it was a major centre of Etruscan Civilization and was part of the Papal States (8th century until 1870), due to its central strategic position.
You will find a number of monasteries around the country side, built as look out points for any possible attacks.
From a cultural perspective, Orvieto covers them all – art, famous music events, history, archeological sites – the lot!
Highlights | 2 days in Orvieto
The Duomo is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy, with the great San Brizio chapel. Without a doubt a ‘can’t miss’ attraction when in Orvieto. Another attraction that all tour guides, locals and blogs (cough, cough) will definitely cover, is Pozzo di S.Patrizio.
Built in 1537, by Antonio da San Gallo, the Pozzo di S. Patrizio is a well (pozzo) with two spiral staircases that never meet!
Should you decide to venture your way to the well, make sure you are ready for the 400 steps you will take to reach the bottom and back.
As you walk through the beautifully maintained streets of Orvieto, you will not be able to miss the Torre del Moro, or the town’s imposing Clock Tower you can climb!
Enjoy a panoramic terrace, which allow you to have a 360 degree view of this amazing region and definitely worth the 2.60EUR ticket.
If suggestive ruins is more your kind of adventure, then make sure to head to the Orvieto Underground and at 6.00EURs!
Just like that, you have done two iconic experiences in Orvieto for under 10.00EUR!
On the final day, when you are ready to depart (or even when you first arrive), go have a look or even a picnic at Fortezza Albornoz, Orvieto’s public gardens.
Another great spot for views of the Umbrian country-side.
Highlights | 2 days in Orvieto (continued)
Having been an important Papal State, Orvieto has a number of important churches you can visit – and guess what? They are all free to enter!
Now I am not a religious person, even though I was raised Roman Catholic, however, one thing I recommend to anyone coming to Italy is – walk in the Churches!
Churches in Italy are not just building of worship but they are museums in their own right. Some of the most amazing artists in our history were commissioned to make these ‘buildings’ into something spectacular.
- Sant’Andrea – in piazza St. Andrea, this is a beautiful church where we went for Sunday mass.
- San Francesco – used to be the Duomo of Orvieto. The second church in the world named after San Francis.
- San Domenico
- San Giovenale – The oldest church in Orvieto, San Giovenale was built in 1004.
- Santa Maria dei Servi
- San Lorenzo de’Arari
Food and Wine!
Here is where your evenings will make you merry and your stomachs satisfied.
My go to winery is Argillae, a local winery 10min from Orvieto, offering a gorgeous drive.
Orvieto DOC, the pride and joy of the Orvetians (?) is made up of Trebbiano Toscano (Procanico), Verdello, Grechetto (another local grape), Drupeggio and/or Malvasia Toscana. A dry white wine that is worth your time (and money).
“Orvieto”/”Orvieto Classico”are the two (2) types you will find depending on the specific area (DOC/DOCG) where the wine has been grown.
A great wine for your apertivo or an awesome pairing with your Pollo Cacciatore!
Not a big fan of whites? Well do not fear, Argillae has you covered.
Try a Sinuoso (pictured above) for something light and ideal to enjoy throughout the meal. Or if you are looking for something a little more hearty, like the local dishes, then try find the Vascellarus by Argillae.
Argillae Winery, makes some great local varieties and are definitely worth a visit if you have a car and want to explore the surrounding area.
See my Wineries page for more recommendations.
You could say Orvieto is a meat lovers heaven!
Enjoy wild boar as a pasta sauce, a salami, and even as a stew, or work your way around the very popular pigeon and dove meals such as the “palomba alla leccarda”.
Pasta is a staple in the locals diet, in particular Umbrichelli and the famous truffle.
Truffle is certainly an acquired taste and you will either love it or hate it.
Should you be one of the lucky ones that truly enjoy’s truffles, make sure to try “umbricelli al tartufo”!
Need some recommendations on where to eat? Check out my Restaurants page – I got you covered!
Useful Info | Directions and Parking
Orvieto is only 1.5 hour drive from Rome or 1 hour by train with an exciting funicular (available every 15 min) to get to town.
Unlike many parts of Italy, getting to Orvieto with public transportation is a breeze and also by car.
I departed from Rome by Train and used the handy Trenitalia.com (copy and paste into your browser) website.
The cost for a one way ticket is 7.80EUR (as of 2017).
From the train station (see my video!) you take the Funicular that is located exactly opposite the exit of the train station.
Price for a 90 minutes ticket was 1.30EUR.
There are tolls to pass which will cost approximately 4.50EUR each way (based on the amount of time you are on the highway).
Parking in Orvieto is 1.50EUR per hour in the major parking lots.
Street parking for 1.00EUR per hour (hard to find in peak season).
I strongly recommend the major parking areas to avoid driving in the ZTL zones (click to read) if you decide to drive. Yes – I got fined!
Parking information here (click to view).
Love Umbria as much as I do?
Check out my other Post on Umbria, as I explore Perugia, Montefalco and Torgiano! 11 Reasons to Love Umrbia
Authors Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been completely revamped for accuracy and comprehensiveness.