At the end of my last Italy trip we spent 1 night in the Umbrian town of Orvieto, Italy. Orvieto resides on top of a large volcanic tufa. The city was started during Etruscan times and the location chosen due to its safety from invaders. Upon arriving to the city by train, you have the choice to ascend to the city center by bus or by funicular. For our arrival, we chose to take the funicular.
From the city one can experience spectacular views of surrounding areas.
Most spectacular in the city is the city’s Duomo. This gothic church has one of the most magnificent facades that I have ever seen. So many details were put into the decor of this cathedral.
The facade was restored in 1995 so now all can clearly see scenes depicted on the outside.
Also amazing are the wall sculptures that depict scenes of the old and new testament.
Some of it can be quite disturbing, especially the hell scenes.
You will also notice many statues lining around the rose window.
These bronze doors were added in the 1960’s.
Metal statues with the symbols (Angel, Ox, Lion, Eagle) of the Evangelists appear on the exterior.
The glittering mosaics pick up light during parts of the day to make a spectacular vision of the church.
Also noticeable are other symbols such as the Star of David located in the front of the church.
Inside the church are some frescos of the life of the Virgin Mary among many other notable works.
The outside of the cathedral is very ornate but you will notice the interior to be much more simple in design.
While underground we learned one of the caves was used to make olive oil .
For a time the caves were used as a cellar.
Pigeons were kept for food. It is still a dish to be found in the region.
Great vistas from the underground.
More pigeon caves
Tranquil path outside the underground
Also in Orvieto we visited an archaeological museum with artifacts dug up locally.
Orvieto proved to be a good choice for a short visit before returning home. I advise one to stop by if you happen to be touring central Italy. You will not see many cathedrals quite like the one here. Additionally the underground tour is a unique experience as well.