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Orvieto
April 1, 2020

Orvieto and its Wonders

Location

  • Orvieto

Visiting time

  • 2 days

How to get there

  • Visitable on foot

Orvieto’s many texts and guides traditionally talk about the three wonders of the city: the Duomo, the cliff, and St. Patrick’s Well. Three elements that characterize Orvieto and make it unique. St. Patrick ‘s Well represents a masterpiece of engineering from the Renaissance period, the Duomo is called the “golden lily” of cathedrals for its elegance and the imposing beauty of its elaborate facade, while the cliff is the result of natural events which occurred over thousands of years.

The Duomo of Orvieto represents one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy. Its imposing and slender facade designed by Lorenzo Maitani, is an example of balance of proportions and decorative elements. The Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria della Stella, and the beautiful mosaics that shimmer on the facade represent scenes of life of the Virgin. The interior of the Cathedral holds unique treasures such as the two chapels; San Brizio and the Corporale, and the statues of the Pietà by Ippolito Scalza, and the group of the Annunciation by Francesco Mochi. A visit to the nearby Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (MODO Museum) allows you to admire other precious elements that made up the furnishings of the cathedral.

A well that inspires legends and arouses admiration. An ingenious architectural work commissioned in 1527 by Pope Clement VII to Antonio da San Gallo the Younger, who created a cylindrical structure with a double spiral staircase inside designed so that those who go down into the well and those who come up never meet.

The cliff of Orvieto is another wonder of the city. A large boulder of tufa and sediments of a volcanic nature over which the entire city developed. The cliff with its high vertical walls served as a natural fortification allowing Orvieto to be an almost impregnable city. Today the perimeter of the entire cliff is part of the PAAO (Orvieto environmental archaeological park) and is accessible on foot through several entry points around the city.