Suggested thematic itineraries in and around the city of Orvieto for those who enjoy sports, archaeology, nature, and adventure.
Canyoning at Fosso Campione (Forra di Prodo)
An interesting itinerary for adventure and water sports lovers, to do under optimal climatic and physical conditions as the descent can last several hours and is recommended for people who already have knowledge and practice of rafting and canyoning. The location of interest is that of the village of Prodo, about forty minutes from Orvieto.
It is located in a ravine by the clear waters of Fosso Campione, fast flowing for a long stretch that then ends directly in the waters of the Corbara lake below. Along the way you descend through a steep canyon furrowed by water and generating a striking alternation of sounds and colors, the crystal-clear pools where you can dive for a refreshing swim. There are several sports clubs that organize this descent that usually can be done from the winter months until spring and the end of June, as in the summer months the gorge can be low on water (photo courtesy Pazziperlanatura.it).
1) Necropoli del Crocifisso del Tufo to the Etruscan Tombs of Porano (Borgo Hescanas)
The Archaeological Park of Orvieto, recently established boast a twenty year plan to promote the work area, combining different archaeological remains accessible through a historic hilly landscape.
Three Etruscan necropolis located in two different municipalities, a fossil cave and a Cappuccini monastery were joined by a charming path that follows the old medieval aqueduct of the city.
It starts from the Crocifisso del Tufo Necropolis built between the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. with more than two hundred tomb rooms. Recent renovations return it to the original layout from the Etruscan period.
Through a relaxing archaeological trekking you reach the other side of the cliff of Orvieto and visit the Cave of Grotta dei Tronchi Fossili, amazing testimony with the remains of lakeside trees, embedded within the magma that formed the rock of Orvieto over three hundred thousand years ago.
The tour continues with the visit of the Sanctuary and Necropolis of Cannicella, where the beautifularchaeological site the Etruscans used for worship and burial.
The trek leaves the Orvieto cliffs and moves along the path of the medieval aqueduct along an ancient water bridge; the medieval path is traced accurately and rises in the direction of an old hermitage dedicated to monks Paolo da Porano S. Crispino da Viterbo. After a stop in the wooded shady grounds of the convent the trail goes along an old stretch of paved road in the direction of the small medieval town of Porano, where you can visit the Necropolis Golini and Hescanas. Etruscan aristocracies from the fourth century B.C., lived a short distance from the town of Orvieto (Velzna), and enjoying a particular economic prestige they built for themselves and their families, monumental frescoed tombs with scenes of banquets and funeral processions.
2) Archaeological itinerary – Porto Romano di Pagliano and Fornace Romana di Scoppieto
A few kilometers from Orvieto towards Todi, where the ancient rivers Paglia and Tevere confluence, lie the ruins of the archaeological site of Pagliano. After the last five years of archaeological research conducted by the Superintendence there are signs of a Roman villa that served as processing of agricultural products of the area, which took the way of the Tiber into Rome to make up for food shortages in Plebe Urbana. The villa was also equipped with mooring piers on the river whose presence for years has led scholars to identify the structure a docking port. The amount of the remains and the site remarkable, inserted into PAAO (Archaeological Environmental Park Orvieto), it is the largest testimony of the Roman presence in the territory of Orvieto after the destruction of the Etruscan city-state. Another archaeological site can be visited by reservation is the archaeological area of Scoppieto. Continuing past the port of Pagliano in the direction of Corbara lake. The area whose discovery dates back to 1995 has brought to light a Roman pottery factory of great importance. The site can be placed historically in the period of the first era of imperial Rome. It was a small “craft village”, that worked on lathe and you can see original workstations and equipment (clay quarry, settling tanks, furnaces) for the production of ceramics.
- Visit the Scoppieto website for updated hours
- April – August 10:00am – 1:00pm and 4:30pm – 7:30pm
- Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
3) Castles Around Orvieto
The district of Orvieto has numerous castles and fortifications from the Middle Ages, they were subject to the municipality of Orvieto and served as “first” fortifications in defense of the cliff itself. These castles were inhabited by noble families close with the political center of the city of Orvieto.
Some of them are now private and therefore not internally visited, however are still well visible from outside. These castles from various periods are often placed in natural settings or small picturesque Umbrian towns which are well worth visiting.
An interesting and curious route that winds a distance of a few kilometers from Orvieto and has to be done by car.
The Castles marked in red are those that were under the jurisdiction of the town of Orvieto in medieval times.
- Castello di Tordimonte
- Castello di Sugano
- Castello di San Quirico
- Castello di Prodo
- Castello di Corbara
Other castels and fortifications in the territory:
- Castello di Parrano
- Castello della Sala
- Castel Rubello
- Castello di Montalfina
- Castello di Guardea
- Castello di Alviano
- Castello di Carnaiola
- Castello di Castelviscardo
- Castello di Torre Alfina
Travel suggestions and itineraries in the town of Orvieto suitable for families and children.
Orvieto – Starting with a visit ofthe communal gardens of Orvieto in Piazza Cahen, inside the Albornoz Fortress, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the valley below. From there you are one minute away from the nearby St. Patrick’s Well, whose descent is always exciting and evocative. Your itinerary continues with the visit of the city by taking main street Corso Cavour street – mostly pedestrian and with limited traffic – and you can quietly walk by the Torre del Moro, Piazza del Duomo and visit the city cathedral; in this square are the main museums and the ticket office for Orvieto Underground and the Orvieto Walk. On another side of the city, at the promenade of Viale Carducci, better known as the Viale della Confaloniera, there is a large play area for children.
Civita di Bagnoregio (25 km from Orvieto)
This enchanting village in Lazio is a few minutes away from Orvieto (by car and by public transport) and thanks to its unique features, looks like a large open air museum. With very few inhabitants and its picturesque streets remained and dilapidated houses are passable only on foot. Still on foot it is the only way to access it along the picturesque suspension bridge over a valley. 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 hamlet has been repeatedly also the natural set for films, including Pinocchio.
Also recommended for families and children the naturalistic museum of Valle dei Calanchi which is accessed from the nearby town of Lubriano.
Oasi di Alviano (29 km from Orvieto)
A few kilometers from Orvieto, the oasis is a protected natural park and managed by the WWF and is home to numerous species of birds and is accessible by guided tours, a paradise for lovers of nature and the bird-watching.
The Oasis is open to the public for tours from 1 September to 31 May, on Sundays and holidays, from 10:00 am until sunset. Closed on 25 and 26 December and 1 and 6 January. For information and details you can visit this site WWF in this section: www.wwf.it/alviano.nt
Alviano Castle: The basement now houses the Museum of civilization which displays the most important tools and utensils used by families alvianesi between the late 1800s and the postwar period.
In the basement is the multimedia Museum of Bartolomeo d’Alviano was inaugurated on July 1, 2000, it is an educational museum complete with images and projections, a study center and a computer room that is available to anyone; due to its characteristics it is particularly suitable for children and school children of all levels. For information: Museum System (Infoline: 199 151 123).
Parco & Museo vulcanologico di San Venanzo (39 km from Orvieto)
Going up to Mount Peglia where is the Park of the Sette Frati with numerous paths and green areas for picnics, continue towards the village of San Venanzo.
In San Venanzo is a small and curious museum exhibiting fossils, dinosaur skeletons and minerals found in the area around the area where well-265,000 years ago there were 3 small volcanoes called “bonsai volcanoes” because of their size. Curiosity of the place is the presence of “venanzite”, a mineral that is named after the country itself, and that is only in this territory.
This green area that is a real open air museum, a path that winds through a pleasant walk of about 2.5 km, along which you can trace the history of the three volcanoes and between others see the remains of an ancient quarry of millstones testifying the ancient local mining activities. For information on schedules and availability: Comune di San Venanzo.
Parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo (40 km from Orvieto)
From Orvieto take the A1 motorway with Bomarzo exit is easy to reach this famous town of Lazio for its fantastic Monsters Park or Bosco Sacro.
The park (created in 1552) is in a large green area with trees and trails by foot. Along these paths and under the cool shade of its ancient trees are witnessing a succession of stone statues depicting mythological characters, animals and monsters. The park was created at the behest of the noble Orsini and statues shaped by renowned architect Pirro Ligorio (historic and important figure of the past who worked for several prominent families and to whom we owe valuable works such as well as Villa d ‘Este in Tivoli). The statues like the path have an allegorical meaning.
Admission fee: €10.00 per person and children 4 years and up €8.00. There are also children’s playground and picnic area.
Itineraries and mystical paths to the discovery of sacred places, churches and important historical and religious monuments.
Religious Itinerary – In the footsteps of the miracle, from Orvieto to Bolsena
A path that historically unites the two towns of common origin, Orvieto and Bolsena, which represent two landmarks of Bolsena Eucharistic miracle occurred, it is believed, between 1263 and 1264 in the town of Lazio when the consecrated host began to bleed during the celebration of the Mass by the priest Peter from Prague, who, it is said it was at that time doubtful about the real sacredness of the consecrated host and wine.
The blood exuded from the host stained both the marble and the altar stones that linen below, and today, Orvieto and Bolsena “divide” these two sacred relics, in fact in Bolsena, in the beautiful Church of Santa Cristina is a reliquary containing the table of marble stained by the blood and the sacred stones, while in Orvieto, in the Cathedral, specifically in the Chapel of the Corporal, houses the bloodstained linen (which is conducted every year and exhibited during the procession on the occasion of the feast Corpus Christi).
The route closely follows these places, in Bolsena, Santa Cristina is a large church that is located in the center of the country. It is impressive and inside in addition to that shrine, there are also the relics of Santa Cristina, the protector of the country, whose martyrdom every year “indicated” with the celebration of the Mysteries of Santa Cristina. Inside the church, also, on request you can also visit the underground where there are charming and ancient catacombs.
In Orvieto, instead, in the Cathedral you can admire the Chapel of the Corporal with its magnificent reliquary containing the sacred linen. The two cathedrals are places of worship on the occasion of the “Extraordinary Jubilee” held for the years 2013-2014.
Today, the famous and legendary path the sacred linen performed from Bolsena to Orvieto (from which comes the famous legend of the Sasso Cut that tells how, in front of the bullock cart carrying the sacred linen from Bolsena to Orvieto, at a location Buonviaggio huge boulder that hampered the path, magically split into two leaving the passage) is celebrated with a procession and a sporting event (relay).
Religious itineraries in Orvieto and its surrounding areas
Orvieto was an important Etruscan city and center of religious life of this great civilization as recent archaeological discoveries (in the Campo della Fiera) from which it is believed that at the foot of the cliff was present the well-known “Fanum Voltumnae”, the federal sanctuary Orvieto the Etruscan league… Other significant eras importance as related to religion city, especially during the period when it was subjected to the papal States. There are, in the city, places of worship, of course, all the magnificent Duomo, a wonderful architectural work and keeper of the sacred linen stained by the blood of Jesus on the occasion of the famous Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena. And it is precisely in the 2013-2014 biennium that Orvieto, returns to the center of religion, as a city of extraordinary Jubilee event to mark the 750th anniversary of the miracle of Bolsena and the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi.
For this and for its history, Orvieto offers numerous opportunities to anyone wishing to visit the holy sites of the city and follow some itineraries of faith in the surrounding territory by visiting beautiful places of worship of Christianity.
Religious Itinerary – Along the Via Francigena, from Orvieto to Viterbo
A historical itinerary, which starts from the ancient route which in the past by numerous pilgrims from Canterbury leads to Rome. The Via Francigena, coming from the southern part of Tuscany, crosses Orvieto and then continues towards the Viterbo province in the direction of the capital.
The first step from Orvieto to Bolsena, the “strada del miracolo” where legend (known as the “Sasso Tagliato”) a large stone boulder opened the passage to papal procession while carrying from Bolsena to Orvieto the sacred stained linen on the occasion of the Eucharistic miracle.
In Bolsena, however, in the Cathedral of Santa Cristina it houses a reliquary containing the stained marble table from the blood other precious relic linked to the miracle.
From Bolsena continue on the perimeter of the large lake coming to Montefiascone, who like Orvieto, was papal city as evidenced by the beautiful fortress of the Popes. In the center of the towns major cathedral of Santa Margherita which stands majestically with its large dome and San Flaviano.
A little more than ten kilometers is Viterbo, known as the City of the Popes for excellence with some points of the city of great interest such as the beautiful Papal Palace, the San Lorenzo church and the home of Santa Cristina. Viterbo was for a long time and a papal seat with ancient thermal baths (Terme dei Papi) that were much frequented by several popes.
The District of Orvieto, a land of monasteries, shrines and places of worship
Umbria is a land mystica and saints, St. Francis of Assisi is the main symbol in addition to other prominent figures such as San Benedetto in Norcia and Santa Rita in Cascia.
The Orvieto area is no exception, and as the whole region is full of sanctuaries, churches, monasteries; easily reachable from Orvieto in fact are the modern Sanctuary of Collevalenza, in Todi area and along the route near the Corbara lake, the Convent of Sant’Angelo in Pantanelli where there is a large tree that planted by St. Francis and the rock from which the saint preached to the fish.
Another mystical place in this ancient Pasquarella Hermitage. This place is full of mystery and legends, a wish that the structure was built on the site where it was found an image of the Madonna and the other has it that some inhabitants of the nearby village of Acqualoreto found this image took her in their church, but the image was then incredibly found on the bed of the ditch.
Another place of great charm and mystery of the convent of Scarzuola in Montegiove. A former Franciscan monastery where he also lived the saint of Assisi and his spirituality led the architect Tommaso Buzzi to build adjacent work the “ideal city” an artistic representation rich in allegorical meanings and symbolism.
Some proposals for food and wine itineraries in Orvieto, for a taste of its excellent and delicious Umbrian table.
DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil Path
A road that runs from Orvieto Scalo through the surrounding countryside. Areas such as Baschi and Montecchio (Frantoio Bartolomei, tasting and Oil Museum) up to Città della Pieve.
These lands are covered with productive olive trees due to the geography of the hills. The extra virgin olive oil produced is of the highest quality, and the main ingredient of many local recipes.
Etruscan-Roman Wine Path
This road passes through Orvieto and includes locations in sothern Umbria like Narni, Giove, Amelia and continues us to the hills of Ficulle and Allerona.
On these sunny and fertile hills there are many vineyards and wineries that produce excellent white and red wines. Many of these renowned wine producers offer the possibility of buying and tasting of their wines. Orvieto then has a long tradition of wine production to the point of giving his name to one of the most classic and popular whites: Orvieto DOC.