Around Orvieto

On this page you will find information and advice on what to see and visit in the area around Orvieto. A large area that, within a few kilometers, allows you to discover natural beauty, typical villages and unusual places and small museums. A territory that embraces three significant regions of central Italy: Umbria, Lazio (the Tuscia area) and the Tuscany lowlands.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES

Discover Archaeological Treasures around Orvieto. Roman and Etruscan ruins.

tomba hescanas porano-orvieto

PORANO – Only 5 km from Orvieto, just outside this little town you can visit the Hescanas Tomb: one of the very few Etruscan tombs with surviving original frescoes. It can only be visited upon reservation with a local guide (Information and guided visits: Associazione Acqua – www.poranoturismo.it). Beside the tomb, the village of Porano also hosts the noble residences (medieval age) of Castel Rubello and Villa Paolina.

BASCHI – This little town is located only 15 km from Orvieto (direction Todi-Perugia) and hosts in its most ancient area, the Antiquarium, an exhibit of Roman findings discovered in the “Archaeological area of Scoppieto“ near the Corbara Lake where a large Roman furnace was  discovered years ago. Further evidence of the Roman presence in this area is the archaeological area know as ​​the Roman port of Pagliano on the confluence of the river Paglia with the Tiber river. (This site is under mantaeinance and currently not accessible).

Etruscan necropolis of Caldane and archaeological site of Coriglia – Near the village of Castelviscardo and Monterubiaglio about 15 km from Orvieto, two important archaeological sites, the first, an etruscan necropolis dates back to the VI century BC. consists of about 40 single-chamber tombs of small dimensions. Coriglia is a recently excavated archaeological site located near the ancient Tiberio therms on the way to what was once the Roman road known as “Traiana Nova”. The site has returned remains of noble residences and villas from the Roman era.

BOLSENA (archaeological site of Volsinii Novi)  – Bolsena, a nice town in the Lazio region, located 20 km from Orvieto. Bolsena and Orvieto have had a strong connection since Etruscan times, when the population of Velzna (Orvieto) was deported by the Romans in 264 BC to the shores of Lake Bolsena. The archaeological area of Volsinii Novi (New Velzna) is located at the beginning of the town of Bolsena, and shows remains of an ancient Roman town. The Museo Territoriale of Bolsena is located inside the Castle Rocca Monaldeschi and displays several objects from different periods, including Etruscan and Roman.
Info: Simulabo – Tel: (+39) 0761.796914 – E-mail: museo@comunebolsena.itmuseo@comunebolsena.it

Umbro-Etruscan Necropolis del Vallone – Near the village of Montecchio, 25 km far from Orvieto, little Umbrian village also famous for its excellent olive oil production, visitors can admire an interesting Umbrian-Etruscan Necropolis called “del Vallone di San Lorenzo”. The necropolis is formed by typical four-sided tombs with particular shapes. In this town many etruscan findings are exposed in the “antiquarium” of Palazzo Ancajani. Info and visits: E-mail: montecchio@sistemamuseo.it 

Dramatic Boroughs & Villages

DRAMATIC BOROUGHS AND VILLAGES

Discover dramatic and spectacular villages near Orvieto.

CIVITA DI BAGNOREGIO – From Orvieto head towards Bagnoregio/Lubriano, two towns in the Lazio region, only a few kilometers from the border of Umbria. Once you arrive in Bagnoregio follow the signs to the village of Civita di Bagnoregio. Civita can only be reached on foot via a long panoramic bridge. Civita di Bagnoregio may be considered a true open-air museum. It is a pleasure to walk through its picturesque streets and ancient buildings. Don’t miss the Church of San Donato in the main square and the Museo Geologico e delle Frane (Geology Museum). Civita is a perfect place for a quiet, charming walk also enjoying the beautiful panorama of the valley of gullies that opens all around the village. The village has been replicated and used as a movie set, including “Pinocchio”.

rocca ripesena

ROCCA RIPESENA – also known as the “village of roses” or ” the little Orvieto“, this tiny village a few km from the cliff of Orvieto is a graceful cluster of houses that rest on a tuff spur very similar, in small size, to that of Orvieto and that, like that of the city of the Duomo, was generated by the sedimentation of volcanic material. From the village you can go up to the top of a small park where you can enjoy a beautiful panorama. In addition to Rocca Ripesena there is also a garden with numerous and different species of roses from all over the world.

CELLENO –  the ancient borough – A “ghost village” sits on a tufa rock and can be reached passing by the modern town. The story of this village has ancient origins since the Etruscans. For many aspects it is very similar to the most popular Civita di Bagnoregio (only with fewer visitors), and shows a dramatic beauty of its ruins and its buildings today fully abandoned. Not far from Celleno you can also visit the town of Sant’Angelo di Roccalvecce, famous for its painted houses.

UNUSUAL PLACES

Around Orvieto you will find incredible and unsual places and attractions.

The Convento della Scarzuola – Near the villages of Montegabbione and Montegiove there is the suggestive Convent of the Franciscan Scarzuola with adjoining artistic structure and allegorical sculptures of the “Ideal City” created by a famous italian architect and artist: Tommaso Buzzi. The Scarzuola can be visited only by guided tours.

Information: info@lascarzuola.com.

Monumental Forest of Sasseto – Located near the majestic castle of Torre Alfina (a nice village in the north of Lazio, 30 kms from Orvieto), this wood offers its visitors a unique and enchanted atmosphere with its extensive trails between boulders and rocks of all sizes and its majestic secular trees. In the quiet of the woods there is also the original Gothic-style Mausoleum of Edouard Cahen.

Villa Cahen – This nineteenth-century art nouveau style villa was built in 1880 by a wealthy financier Edouard Cahen of Anversa, who was in love with Italy and its landscapes. The property stretched for about thirty kilometers in circumference between a ridge and the Paglia river valley, in the area now known as the Selva di Meana. The villa has four large gardens (including a rare Japanese-style garden) and a terrace from which you can enjoy a wonderful panorama that opens over the entire upper valley of the Paglia river, Selva di Meana, and Monte Rufeno.

Information: Comune di Allerona – Tel (+39) 0763.628317

The San Venanzo volcanological park museum– It consists of a series of nature trails along the perimeter of the ancient “bonsai volcanoes” and an exhibition center in the town center where minerals (including the “venanzite” stone typical and unique to this territory) and fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals are displayed. Approximately 40 kms from Orvieto.

Information: www.visitsanvenanzo.it.

Monsters Park or Sacred Woods of Bomarzo – This easy to reach town in Lazio is famous for its fantastic Monsters Park or Sacred Woods. From Orvieto take the A1 highway south and take the Attigliano/Bomarzo exit. The park (created in 1552) is in a large green area with trees and foot trails. Along these paths and under the cool shade of its giant trees is a succession of stone statues depicting mythological characters, animals and monsters. The park was created at the behest of the noble Orsini and statues sculpted by renowned architect Pirro Ligorio.

Information – Tel (+39) 0761.924029

Vie Cave di Pitigliano – Less than an hour from Orvieto, in lower Tuscany the interesting “tuff cities” (Pitigliano, Sorano and Sovana). They are small Tuscan villages that deserve to be visited for their characteristics and their history. But in particular, the famous Vie Cave are not to be missed: old paths dug into the tufa rock by the Etruscans with the aim of creating “passages and shortcuts” to move from one place to another. Of great historical and naturalistic interest, today there are several Vie Cave, (adequately signposted) easily accessible on foot and ideal place for trekking.

PARKS

If you love nature and natural park do not miss a visit to the green areas around Orvieto.

Tiber River Fluvial Park  – A large green area around the Tiber River between Todi and Orvieto. It winds through the impressive “Gole del Forello” (Forello Gorge) and creates Corbara lake thanks to the artificial dam around the village of Corbara, a place where many sport fishermen enjoy activities. Around this area you can also find interesting natural attractions such as the “Grotta della Piana” and the Fosso Campione creek.

Bolsena Lake – Just 20 kms far from Orvieto, Lake Bolsena is one of the most important lakes in Italy and the largest volcanic lake in Europe. It is characterized by clear bathing waters, tasty fish and two small islands called Martana and Bisentina. Boat cruises on Bolsena lake are available.

Boat excursions information: www.navigazionealtolazio.it

Monte Peglia & Selva di Meana – Both parks are located about 30 minutes away from Orvieto and are fully equipped for pic-nics (Parco dei Sette Frati near Monte Peglia and Parco di Villalba inside the Selva di Meana). Here visitors can enjoy wonderful hikes along specific trails. Great for families and friends who want to barbecue and enjoy an easy day out on the green hills. Since the year 2018 the Monte Peglia park has been declared MAB/UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Oasi di Alviano – A few kilometers from Orvieto, the oasis is a protected natural park managed by the WWF and home to numerous species of birds. It is accessible by guided tours, a paradise for lovers of nature and bird-watching.

Information: www.oasidialviano.org

tane del diavolo

Tane del Diavolo & Thermal natural park of Parrano – Parrano is about forty minutes from Orvieto. The easiest route is to take the A1 highway and exit in Fabro following signs to Parrano. In the village you then go north along the main road for about 1 km (this stretch coincides with the crossing of the two lakes), then take a dirt road on the left up to an abandoned farmhouse called Bagno where there is a small parking lot. From here the trail is equipped with pegs and ropes and allows visitors (experts, recommended local guides) to explore a series of natural karst caves carved on the walls of the gorge, “Tane del Diavolo”: an important natural and archaeological attraction with finds from the Third Century B.C. and the main cavity with a reservoir of mineral waters.

Information: info@comune.parrano.tr.it

ORIGINAL MUSEUMS

Some of the most small original museums in the Orvieto surrounding areas.

The Museum of Geological Cycles and Fossil Whales – Allerona, about 20 km from Orvieto. Exhibition areas and display cases host prehistoric whale fossils and other Pliocene fossils.

Museo dell’Ovo Pinto, in the area above the  ​​Corbara Lake, in the scenic village of Civitella del Lago, a small original museum displaying painted eggs coming from artists of all over the world.

Museo del Fiore, a small naturalistic museum in the woods of the Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve in the enchanting village of Torre Alfina – Acquapendente, about 30 km from Orvieto.

Museo Territoriale e Acquario del Lago di Bolsena. At about 21 km from Orvieto, the museum is located in the picturesque castle of Monaldeschi and exhibits at the highest levels archaeological finds of Etruscan and Roman origin. While on the ground floor is the modern exhibition space of the Lake Bolsena Aquarium.

Museo Taruffi in Bagnoregio. About 20 km from Orvieto, a modern museum with a display of vehicles, original mechanical pieces, showcases, vintage radios.

Museo Geologico e delle Frane – placed in the heart of the village of Civita di Bagnoregio, just 20 km from the city of Orvieto, located in the central square of the village an interesting museum shows a cross-section of history and evolution of the landscape of the “calanchi”, the formation of the village, geological features and fossil exposure. The museum also organizes themed days and guided tours.

Bartolomei Olive Oil Museum. In Montecchio, about 20 ‘from Orvieto, it exhibits historical machinery for the production of olive oil.

Wine Museum of Castiglione in Teverina, a few km from Orvieto, a new modern and large museum (the largest in Europe with about 2000 square meters of exhibition area).