A few from Todi is one of the most fashinating cities of Umbria: the beautiful Orvieto.
Prosperous and important Etruscan town (called Velzna), Orvieto was founded on a cliff of volcanic tuff stone.
It is just tuff with its reddish color to characterize the entire city: monuments, mediaval houses and alleyways. The old town is still full entrenched on the cliff and has as its heart, the Piazza Duomo. The classic tour, which last approximately 2 hours/2 hour and 30 minutes, start with one of the most famous monuments of Italy: Pozzo di San Patrizio.
The work dates back to 1527 and is a masterpiece of renaissance architecture: it was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the younger for the will of Clement VII. The well is accessible by paying a ticket and being prepared to go down 248 stairs and go up the same! But it is worth making this effort because the effect inside will be unique.
Nearby the well are the ruins of the fourteenth-century Fortezza Albornoziana, now converted into a public park: here you can admire the wonderful panorama from the terrace of the walls.
*********** Lunch suggestions upon your request ***********
Arrival in Bolsena and walk in the picturesque old town and visit the Church of St. Cristina of the fourth century. The Grotto of the holy preserving the stone with its footprint and the chapel of the Eucharistic miracle, stone washed by the blood of SS. The miracle that took place in 1263. Boat trip on lake Bolsena from where you can admire the original volcanic caldera and the two islands Martana and Bisentina (duration 40 min. Approx.)
CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO
Balneum regis, literally “King’s Bath” is a place name of gothic- lombard origin thet defines a King’s property and appears for the first time in 599 in a letter from Pope Gregory the Great to the Bishop of Chiusi Ecclesio.
There may be connection with a thermal spa, regarding which there in scarce evidence.
According to legend, salubrious water of the berth healed the wounds of Lombard king. The tuffaceus hill upon which Civita stands is undermined by the continuous erosion caused by two stream flowing in the valley below and by the action of rain and wind: thus it is crumbling away, slowly but inexorably.
The village, in which only a few families remain, is collapsing – it is slipping away: tomorrow it will be nothing but a mirage, like the best dreams, like Venice (also condemned by water), like everything thet reveals the fragility and powerlessness of man.
Native son Bonaventure Tecchi provided the best definition of Civita: “ the Dying Town” The inevitable destiny of place, the surreal landscape of the muddy gullies that besiege the Village, the contrast of their murky color with the golden hues of the tuff, make Civita unique place, sunny and gloomy at the same time, alive and spectral, depending on the mood of whoever looks upon it from the precipice of the Belvedere, the “aerial” termination – nearly of the historic center of Bagnoregio, which begins at the splendid Porta Albana.
Across from the Belvedere, linked to the world by a single, narrow bridge 300 meter long, stands Civita, set gently upon its summit, with its tuft of medieval houses.
Entering the village (so speak: just a handful of people live there), the first important monument one encounter is Porta Santa Maria, surmounted be pair of lions clutching two human heads, a symbol of the tyrants defeated by bagnoresi, the people of Bagnoregio. Father down via St. Maria opens up into the mains square, where one finds the Romanesque church of San Donato, remodeled in the 16th century. It holds a marvelous 15th-century wooden Crucifix by the school of Donatello, and a fresco by school of Perugino.
The renaissance palaces of the Colesanti, Bocca and Alemanni families, stand out in the tiny streets among low usual houses with small balconies and outside stairs called profferli, typical of medieval architecture in Viterbo.
Places worthy of a visit in bagnoregio are the renaissance Porta Albana, the design of which is attributed to the architect Ipolito scalza; the tempietto of San Bonaventura, whit a greek cross plan and dome; and the cathedral of san Nicola. The present day temple was first renovated in 1606, and has undergone a number of changes. Precious works inside include a Bible from the 12th century, which may have belonged to St Bonaventure, and the silver reliquary in the shape of an arm giving a blessing, which holds relict of the Saint.
Another important building is the Romanesque-gothic Church of the Annunziata, flanked by a slender bell tower from 1753 and holding a rich collection of paintigs. It has beautiful courtyard , built in 1524 to plans by the architect Michele Sammicheti, and a well from 1604 by Ippolito Scalza.
At the eastern edge of Belvedere, where the Francisan convent once stood, there is a cave dug into the ground, called the “grotta di San Bonaventura.” According to tradition, the adolescent philosopher was cured here after his mother had invoked Francis of assisi, who had just recently died (on October 3, 1226).
Excellent pork products, because they are processed entirely using time-honored traditional methods, both fresh and cured meats (prosciutto, sausage, capocollo and lombetti, roller bacon with herbs and spices, porchetta spices roast pork).
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SPECIAL OFFERS 490 euros DURATION 12 hours
Small Group Rome Orvieto, Bolsena Lake and Civita di Bagnoregio FULL DAY TOURS
- Pick up and drop off at your centrally located hotel
- Small group of maximum 8 people
- A/C Mercedes vehicle or similar and English speaking driver-guide
- Scenic photo stops along the panoramic places,
- Scenic drive in country road and plenty of photo stops
- Tour of countries with our expert local guide (not included)