Exploring Culture and Craftsmanship in Orvieto

Orvieto, Italy, is a medieval city, surrounded by stone walls. It sits high above the countryside, on a big chunk of volcanic rock known as “tuff.” The city rises above the practically vertical faces of tuff cliffs, giving you breathtaking views of the Umbrian region. Sigh… it was so beautiful. As usual, we loved our experience exploring this Italian city.

Shopping in Orvieto

We began exploring Orvieto by strolling down the streets of Via del Duomo and Corso Cavour. We hopped into a shop where a local craftsman specializes in olive wood.

The pieces were beautiful! Some were made for decoration, while others were made for use around the house. We bought two fish trivets and a small cutting board. We also stopped in a wine shop and bought half a case of delicious Umbrian wine.

Dining in Orvieto

We had lunch in a spectacular restaurant. As we walked in, we said to each other, “No more wine!”


As soon as we sat down, we couldn’t pass up more good Umbrian wine, so we ordered a bottle.

We had the typical mixed appetizer, where many plates continuously came out, consisting of different meats, cheeses, fig spreads, white bean salad, and different kinds of bruschetta. A general pasta dish with a boar tomato sauce came out for our meal. Yum!

After lunch, we made our way to the Duomo. We heard that the Duomo was something we needed to see, but we were so surprised at the architectural masterpiece! We had just been strolling down these medieval streets and all of a sudden we were face-to-face with the astounding facade of this building.

For such a small town, the Duomo was massive. It was a mass of mosaics, stained glass, and sculptures. The side of the Duomo is made of white and black horizontal stripes, which very much reminded us of the style of the Duomo in Florence. We found out later that Arnolfo di Cambio designed it. He was the architect of the cathedral in Florence, so there you go!

A Checklist for a Future Visit…

Exploring Orvieto could have taken days and days. There are so many other things that we wanted to do, but ran out of time. In no particular order, these include the underground city of Orvieto, the archeological museum, St. Patrick’s well (Pozzo di S. Patrizio), and whatever else we discover along the way.

During our time here, we bought several bottles of wine to take back with us, along with some cooking supplies, and wood trivets.

Orvieto is one of the most unforgettable and striking towns I’ve seen. Not only does it sit atop a mountain and boast memorable views of the Umbrian countryside, but its interior has amazing charm and an impressive Duomo! I would love to return here and really experience everything it has to offer!