Without a map
Orvieto is small enough that you can maneuver without a map but it has enough to offer to keep you occupied for a 3 or 4 day visit or longer if you want to take it slow and relax.
Visit the Duomo
Orvieto’s Duomo is stunning. Built in the 14th century its facade is nothing short of breath taking. The best time to view it is in the late afternoon when the sun hits the facade making it is so bright you can see it from miles away.
Once inside, make sure to visit the two small chapels on either side at the front. The chapel of the Corporal is not so flashy but has a great story. The blood soaked cloth is said to have been the result of the miracle of Saint Christina. On the opposite side is the Chapel of the Madonna di San Brizio, so ornate and so much to look at, in the summer months, time in this chapel is limited to 15 minutes.
Climb the tower
Climbing city towers when traveling is a great way to enjoy some exercice. The Torre del Moro is a wonderful spot to get a bird’s eye view of the town and the Umbrian hills beyond.
Take a tour of the underground
Until the 3rd century BC, Etruscans lived in Orvieto. They made their homes underground in the tufa rock. You can book a tour through Orvieto Underground and a guide will explain how Etruscans lived. Why they built their homes in the tufa and a lot more interesting information about these ancient people. Like the reason why they dug small square holes in the rock, they raised pigeons for food.
Walk the paths below
If you get tired of walking on cobblestone and want to hit a bit of a stride try walking the paths below the town. Orvieto is built high up on tufa stone and it’s possible to walk around the town on, mostly paved paths. If you’re lucky, the church in the rock will be open, otherwise you can take a peek at the ancient alter through the window. Also down below is the Etruscan necropolis which is worth a walk through if only for the photo ops.
Participate in passeggiata
Around 6:30pm every night the town’s people get dressed up to leisurely stroll the main streets and piazzas showing off their new babies and new clothes while catching up on the daily news and gossip. A great tradition that enforces community values on a daily basis. Feel comfortable to walk amongst the locals or sit back and observe.
Aperitivo is much more than before dinner drinks. For around 6€ you can get a drink and snacks. Depending on the bar you choose this can mean anything from chips and/or peanuts to a full buffet of snacks. We found that we got the best bang for our euro at Cafe il Sant’Andrea in Piazza della Repubblica where the Aperol spritzes are delicious and a buffet is laid out around 6:30pm for anyone who orders a drink. Another great place for aperitivo is Blue Bar, a bit off the main walking areas, the snacks are plenty and the owner is quite friendly and welcoming.
Have you been to Orvieto? What were some of your favourite things to do?