The surroundings of Orvieto offer the opportunity to extend your view of the city, discovering, in few distances archaeological tresaures, unusual places, parks and nature attractions…
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 frescoes. Castel Rubello, one of the best preserved castles in this area, today it is private property. Both can be visited upon reservation. Information and guided visits: Associazione Acqua – www.poranoturismo.it
Baschi – This little town is located only 15 km from Orvieto and hosts in its most ancient section the Antiquarium, an exhibit of Roman findings discovered in the archaeological area of Scoppieto, near the Lake Corbara, where a large Roman furnace was also discovered.
The archaeological area of Volsinii Novi in Bolsena – Little 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. Information: Simulabo – Tel: (+39) 0761.796914 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Necropoli umbro-etrusca del Vallone – In a little Umbrian village,Montecchio, 25 km from Orvieto, visitors can admire an interesting Umbrian-Etruscan Necropolis called “del Vallone di San Lorenzo”. The necropolis is formed by typical four-sided tombs. Information and visits: E-mail: email@example.com
Villages & Boroughs
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 film set, including Pinocchio. ( See also the Bus excursion from Orvieto to Civita di Bagnoregio)
The ancient borough of Celleno – This 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.
The Convent of 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 architect and artist: Tommaso Buzzi. The Scarzuola can be visited only by guided tours. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monumental Forest of Sasseto – Located near the castle of Torre Alfina (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.
Sacred woods/monsters park 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
Villa Cahen – This nineteenth-century art nouveau style villa was built in 1880 by a wealthy financier Edouard Cahen of Antwerp, 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. Info: www.visitsanvenanzo.it
Parks & Nature
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. (See the Excursion by bus from Orvieto to Boslena) . Information for boat cruise on lake: www.navigazionealtolazio.it
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.
Monte Peglia park and 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.
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 – 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: email@example.com