Orvieto: what to see, places to visit itinerary in a day
What to see in Orvieto, itinerary and places to visit in this town in the province of Terni in Umbria, where the famous Duomo.
Located near the border with the province of Viterbo in Lazio, Orvieto stands on a cliff of volcanic tuff at 325 meters above sea level, surrounded by rolling hills. The cliff was inhabited first by the Etruscans in the IX-VIII century. BC, the town was called Velzna (Latin Volsinii), and since the beginning of the sixth century BC, was a thriving center of Etruria.
In the third century BC, the Romans destroyed this city and deported most of the inhabitants on the heights overlooking the Lake of Bolsena, giving birth to the new Volsinii, which corresponds to the current Bolsena, while Velzna became Volsinii Veteres or Urbs Vetus (old town ). The centuries that followed were characterized by decay and neglect, until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the conquest of the city by the Goths and the Byzantines.
Occupied by the Lombards in 596, Orvieto flourished again during the eleventh century. In the twelfth century the town was established, under the control of the Papal States. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries coincided with growth very important to Orvieto, in addition to an increase in population and territory, there was an excellent architectural and artistic development, which was accomplished by building palaces and fine monuments, such as the beautiful Cathedral and other churches in the city. The rivalry between the two most important families of Orvieto, the Monaldeschi (Guelphs) and Filippeschi (Ghibellines), weakened the municipal government and favored the seizure of power by the State of the Church by Cardinal Albornoz (1364), which determined the old laws, and soon after he built the fortress.
He followed the period of subjection of the city at various Lordships, remember the Lords Biordo Michelotti, John Tomacello Arm Fortinbras and Arrigo Monaldeschi of the Viper, then in 1450 returned to Orvieto finally become part of the Papal States, and remained there, except Napoleonic period, until the unification of Italy.
In 1527 Pope Clement VII during the sack of Rome caused by Lanzichenecchi (1527), moved for security reasons to Orvieto and did make da Sangallo the Younger, the celebrated St. Patrick’s well, so that in case of siege, the city was not private water.
Places to visit in Orvieto
Over the centuries, in order to search for water and food Maten, were dug into the ground of the cliff many artificial cavities that have formed a maze of tunnels, shafts, tanks, pits and cellars, which today can be visited via a guided tour. Notable buildings are the churches of St. Andrew, St. Juvenal, the People’s Palace and the Papal.
To see the St. Patrick’s well built and designed by Sangallo the Younger in the sixteenth century and deeper than 62 meters. The most famous monument is the magnificent Cathedral of Orvieto, whose construction was ordered by Pope Nicholas IV and Francesco Monaldeschi, bishop of Orvieto from 1279 to 1295. Its construction involved the demolition of the old cathedral of Santa Maria of the Bishop, and the parish church of San Costanzo.
The project in the Romanesque style was entrusted to Arnolfo di Cambio, but was decisive intervention inspired Gothic art of the architect and sculptor Lorenzo Maitani, called to direct the work in 1310. Very characteristic facade that looks harmonious and balanced thanks especially in respect of Gothic forms established by the initial project.