Thursday, November 25, 2010

Orvieto - a tiny Umbrian town with a big heart

view of Orvieto from the Torre del Morro
From Malvarina we headed to Orvieto for an overnight stay.  Orvieto is a lovely, compact town perched on a plateau of volcanic ash and stone.  Upon arrival at the train station, we took a funicular up to the town and headed for B & B La Soffitta.  Housed in a structure built in the 1400s, the B & B had amazing wooden beams throughout, including a huge one right above our bed.  It took me a while to relax and not worry about it crushing us in our sleep. 

B & B La Soffitta - beware the giant beams
We enjoyed glasses of Orvieto Classico wine, explored caves carved underneath the town (some of which were excavated by the Etruscans almost 1000 years before the time of Christ), found more good artisanal Italian beer, clambered down a well built in 1537 with a double spiral staircase that would allow several water-toting donkeys to travel down and up again without crossing paths, ate truffle and bacon pizza, climbed 250 steps up the Torre del Morro for sweeping views, and stood in awe in front of the stunning cathedral with its gold mosaic facade.

the glorious Duomo

For such a small town, Orvieto has a lot to offer, including warm hospitality.  Our B & B owner sent us off with hugs and kisses after staying there only one night.  As we clattered along the cobblestones with our bags in tow, we vowed to return to Italy again soon.  The country is bursting with amazing scenery, culinary delights and vivacious people - unlike any other place I know. 

~ Ciao,  Peggy
soaking it all in 

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