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Posts tagged Orvieto

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Orvieto, Italy

"Wait, the town is on that hill? Well shit, I’m not walking up that."

Oh wait, we don’t have to because we get to ride on a tram that takes us to the ancient town inside the city walls!

Last weekend, my two friends Isa and Kelsey adventured with me to a tiny, yet important town called Orvieto. It’s located in the southwestern part of a region called Umbria.

Although Rome is a wonderful city, it’s still a city. Everyone needs a change of pace sometimes, and in this case the three of us needed a break from screaming children and to be slapped in the face that yes, we were still in Italy.

Orvieto is ancient, ancient enough to be an important aspect to the Etruscan civilization. It was a main city between Florence and Rome. In fact, it’s a city that lies above and underneath the ground with underground caves. 

In my opinion, this is one of the most peaceful places I’ve been so far in Italy. As you follow the signs to the “city center”, you come across the duomo. The first words that popped out of my mouth when I saw the Duomo were, “Beetle juice, beetle juice, beetle juice!”

Now, there’s of course the famous duomo in Firenze (Florence), but my question has always been: why in God’s name (literally) should I care about these? Oh, and what am I looking at again?

So, a “duomo” is a cathedral. It’s the “house of god”. Think of being in a narrow via set with cobble stone and tall stone buildings, and then suddenly, “eccola!”, there’s the Duomo. It’s like God slapping you across the face saying, “Here I am!”

But, the perplexing thing about these cathedrals is that they are elaborate and painted with extreme detail on the exterior, while they are plain and simple on the interior. I honestly haven’t been able to find the answer to this. Maybe one of my art-history-loving friends can answer it for me. But here’s my “faux” answer that you probably shouldn’t listen to: I think that the Pope wanted to show-off his power by hiring the best painters, sculptors, and architects. Then, the Pope decided that decorating the interior, too wasn’t necessary for the people that were already obligated (ha, just kidding) to go to mass.

After we stumbled upon the Duomo, we window shopped and picked a restaurant. Now, in Rome, a 10euro meal is cheap. Here, a 10euro meal meant delicious, local food, with local Umbrian vino, and your typical nosy-yet-sincere Italians to make a truly classic Italian meal. Romans are so used to being around Americans, but in tiny towns like Orvieto, they are still shocked by the sound of English. The fun part is when you hear an Italian couple talking about you in Italian, and then you respond to them right back in Italian. The look on their faces is priceless.

Espresso cups that I wish I could afford, but instead just took photos of. They were all hand made by a local artist. The patterns are from medieval times, specifically known from Orvieto.

Overall, Orvieto is a wonderful little town. It’s an easy hide-out to escape to from Rome.

Filed under Orvieto Escape from Rome Duomo Hilltop towns in Italy