Orvieto — located in southwestern Umbria, the city is stands out over the country-side from its dramatic location on a flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. The location of the city is considered one of the most dramatic in Europe. The almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs have defensive walls of the same stone and all of this created a place of great safety in terms of attacks. .
Orvieto has had a long relationship with the papacy. Flippo, nephew of the 10th Century Pope, Benedict VII, settled in the city.
In medieval times the city proposered. Pope Urban decided to stay in Orvieto for a good period of time, from 1262 to 64. During the sackof Rome in 1527, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Pope Clement VII moved to Orvieto as a point of refuge.
Where the Pope went, money and others followed. In fact, Orvieto remained a paper possession until 1860.
The impressive duomo, in stripped, horizontal bands of white travertine and greenish-black basalt is stunning. Inside is the impressive fresco by Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli - the Last Judgement created in 1499. Buy your tickets to see this chappel in the duomo at the tourist office across the street fromthe duomo. It is well worth it.
So much to see in Orvieto, and this was the base for our 200 Trip - with our Villa being just 2km from the lower town.
Orvieto Scala is the lower town, not much here, except there is a finicular that will take you up from the train station to the top. You can drive up to the to and there are parking lots and a parkade for parking. There are no cars in the inner streets of the town.