About an hour North of Rome by train, Orvieto is a small hill town situated on the summit of a butte of volcanic tuff. Upon arrival, we disembarked only to realize that we had no idea how to get to the top of the old town and access the city walls. We finally figured out that we had to purchase a ticket on the funicular, which takes you directly up to the old town, and then take a bus to the 14th century cathedral.

IMG_5520

IMG_1067

We had booked a recommended two star hotel and as usual arrived pleased with our accommodations. Traveling in the early shoulder season we were lucky to find minimal crowds in the square and, save for some school children and a few nuns, we had the place to ourselves. The gothic cathedral is so large that we had a hard time taking a good picture because we could not get far enough back to squeeze it all in.

IMG_1015

Had to get creative to get as much as we could with the iPad.

IMG_1017

IMG_1034

IMG_1027

The views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular as well and we dreamed of a life growing wine in the countryside.

IMG_5518

IMG_1008

We took advantage of our time in this medieval town and explored the narrow lanes and local shops. Backpacking through Europe requires careful packing and, needless to say, we couldn’t purchase much or anything large or heavy. Even so, a certain backpack made room for a scarf made in Italy and it was wrapped with delicate care by the shopkeeper as if it was the finest italian silk made for a woman of noble birth. Grazie!

IMG_5498

Did we mention that they have gelato here?

gelato – not the italian scarf!

We had intended to include a side trip to Civita di Bagnoregio, another hill town about an hour away, but our planning failed to factor in the additional bus timetable and we found we just couldn’t squeeze it in. Next time, perhaps!

Visited April 2015

Next Stop: Rome