Start from Rome-Fiumicino “Leonardo da Vinci” Airport, where a NCC (limousine service) chauffeur at your complete disposal will accompany you in the Orvieto tour to discover this enchanting Umbrian city.
The transfer by private car will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will travel on the A1 highway, making a stop for a coffee break.
Orvieto is located high, on a tuff cliff surrounded by the countryside of the Province of Terni. This natural scenery is one of the most evocative in the Italian peninsula. From a distance, the city appears like a mirage in an emerald desert. You will leave your rented vehicle and chauffeur waiting for you at the station, because it isn’t possible to reach the historical center by car. You will reach the top of the height by cable railway (325 meters AMSL), where the city stands. While going up, you will pass through the wonderful gardens of the Albornoz Fortress (1359, rebuilt in 1449).
You’ll begin your Tour in Orvieto crossing the avenue to the left of the cable railway station. You will come across the Pozzo di S. Patrizio (St. Patrick’s Well), one of the most characteristic places in Orvieto. It was built in the 16th century by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger at the behest of Pope Clement VII, who found shelter in the Umbrian city after the Sack of Rome (1527). About 60 m deep, the well has two concentric spiral staircases consisting of 248 steps and illuminated by seventy large windows that go down till the bridge placed above the water. You’ll be able to experience going down the tuff well and make a wish: St. Patrick will make it come true!
Thanks to its strategic position, Orvieto was chosen first by the Etruscans and then by the Romans as a defensive fortress. Etruscology enthusiasts will be able to visit the Faina Civic Museum, one of the world’s most important collections of archaeological findings. Gold jewelry, pottery, vessels, amphorae, and even a marble statue portraying a female figure, know as “Venere di Cannicella” (5th century BC), material entirely discovered in the Orvietan territory.
You will continue the Orvieto tour with a visit at the Duomo, a masterpiece of Gothic art designed by the architect Lorenzo Maitani. During the Middle Ages, by swearing allegiance to the Church and offering hospitality to the Pope, Orvieto became more and more beautiful and rich in monuments, palaces, churches. In 1263 with the Miracle of Bolsena, Pope Urban IV started the construction work of the most important building in the city: the Cathedral. The building work started in 1290 and lasted three centuries. The facade made of polychrome marbles, decorated with statues, mosaics, and low-reliefs, is surmounted by a wonderful central rose window, a work by Andrea Orcagna. The interior, in black and white stripes like the external sides, is rich in artistic masterpieces, among which the frescoes by Luca Signorelli (1499-1504) in the Chapel of the Madonna di San Brizio and the precious reliquary created by Ugolino di Vieri (1338), carried in procession during the festivity of the Corpus Domini.
The tour continues at Palazzo Soliano or Palace of the Popes, a Gothic building to the right of the Duomo. Here you’ll be able to visit the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, which preserves admirable sculptural and pictorial works from the 13th-14th centuries, among which a polyptych by Simone Martini, holy paraments by Signorelli and the marble group “Madonna with Child” by Nino Pisano.
In the streets that start from Piazza del Duomo you’ll find many artisan workshops where to buy characteristic products, in particular the famous Orvietan majolica. You’ll also be able to have lunch in a local restaurant to try tasty and genuine dishes made of pork or truffle.
At the end of the Orvieto tour you can return to Rome in our NCC company private car or spend the night in a hotel.
These are the Tours that we provide with our Tour Operator partners