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Orvieto Holidays

Perched on a plateau of tufa volcanic rock, with the outline of its world famous Duomo visible for miles around, the city of Orvieto is located in southwest corner of Umbria, Italy. It is a car-free haven. Access to the city in fact is either via the funicular at one end and the system of escalators dug at the other end, and there is a regular minibus service that covers the entire city. The Orvieto territory extends through a characteristic landscape, made of basalt and tuff formations, of nice hills and plans, which transformed later into the first Apennines’ outposts. This landscape is formed by thick woods and by the human agency, with cultivated fields, that are interrupted by the grapevines from which they get the good Orvieto wine.

Orvieto is primarily known for its white wines made from a blend of mostly Grechetto and Trebbiano, which is sold under Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) Orvieto and Orvieto classico. Blended red wine and eight varietal reds are sold under the Rosso Orvietano DOC. Orvieto shares the serene Lake Sorbara with Baschi, a village. Along the lake’s shore there are luxuriant pine woods and Mediterranean scrub woods, which are present among the shore’s little fiords and bights.

The Duomo, or cathedral church of Orvieto; this basic building is quite sober, constructed of bands of greenish-black basalt and white stone, but a most extraordinary façade has been applied to it i.e., bronze dragons, gables with mosaics resplendent in gold, and a marvelous shirt-front of marble bas-reliefs. One of Orvieto’s more unusual sights is the Pozzo S. Patrizio, a deep well shaft into the rock, with two corkscrew staircases built in 1527 by Antonio Sangallo, the Younger for Pope Clement VII who having fled from Rome, felt he might need to prepare for a difficult siege. The tourists can walk down to the bottom and back, no elevators and at the bottom, a trickle of greenish water. A total of 248 steps, built in such a way that those descending with their mules or donkeys would never meet those ascending in the opposite direction.

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Orvieto Holidays

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