Passagiata and people watching
When in Orvieto or any small town in Italy you will notice that there is a lot of people watching even among the citizens.
Below are some shots of people out and about enjoying the Spring weather.
The first photo will show you the main town square along the main shopping street. The local internet/bakery is on the right while the market will be straight ahead and down the hill a bit.
Fabulous food at the Locanda
Our room was right over the kitchen and every morning the aromas of the kitchen drifted into the room. It was very hard waiting until dinner to eat. As you can see from the picture, the kitchen is clean and first rate. Everything is made from scratch, they even make their own pasta daily.
We stayed for a week in 2004, and after the first dinner, we reserved our spot for the whole week. We stayed the next year, 2006, for another week and have reservations for another week next summer 2010.
Most of the recipes are from the grandmother or other people in the family. They have started selling a cookbook for some of their recipes. I try to duplicate the recipes at home but somehow its not as good.
They make their own jams from chestnuts and fruits on the farm. You can purchase jams and other products that they produce on the farm.
Just back from our 2006 stay at the Inn. This time we met up with 4 other couples. The Rosati Inn is still great!!! We are already planning our next stay in 2010. We just can't stay away from this place. Who could have a favorite its all so good. One thing I do like in particular is the roasted duck. They have a wood fired stove outside and periodically they roast chickens and ducks. All fresh poultry from the farm.
They also have their own dairy farm and they get fresh milk and cream daily.... Oh!!! it was so good... We went with them when they went to the dairy farm and it was fun.
Torre del Moro
You can have a wonderful view of the town from the top of this tower.
Opening time are the following:
10:00 to 19:00 in March-April and September-October
10:00 to 20:00 in May-August
10.30 - 13.00 / 14.30 - 17.00 in November-February
Entry fee € 2,60
Explore the fascinating Etruscan nekropolis
According to history experts the region around Orvieto was the most important centre for the Etruscans. They called it Volsinii and Orvieto’s flat surroundings are thought to have been their Fanum Voltumniae. So it is most logical that the Etruscans also had their burial ground here. The one at the base of Orvieto’s hills is called Necropoli Crocifisso del Tufo (the name origins in a cross which was carved into the tuffa stone, but of course this name wasn’t given to it by the Etruscans). It is very easy to reach and gives a fascinating insight into the Etruscans’ burial habits and community structure. The necropolis was already discovered in 19th century, many of the findings are now exhibited in Paris’ Louvre and London’s British Museum. Later, Italian archaeologists have continued excavations and the newer findings are now housed in the museums around Orvieto’s duomo.
The tombs are from the period between 8th and 3rd century B.C., all arranged in a regular pattern, similar like a city with paths leading through the burial ground. Most of the tombs have only one funerary chamber at lower elevation than the ground with two stone benches on which the sarcophagi were resting (photo 2). The tombs have a saddle roof which was covered with soil and marked with special stones, called cippe: roundish ones for men and cylindrically shaped ones for women (photo 3). The entrances were sealed and the architrave above the entrance bears the names of the deceased in Etruscan letters (read from right to left; main photo). The way the tombs are arranged and the fact that there are no ones which are significantly bigger or more pompous lead to the assumption that the Etruscans in Orvieto lived in a relatively homogeneous society. However, one of them obviously did something bad, because he was banned. I’ve read about this only after my trip, but will come back to see it with my own eyes. Tomb no. 29 is said to have an inscription AISIAS and signs of another one, which was removed; a damnatio memoriae.
It is very peaceful here and it is exciting to stroll around the ground and peak into the tombs. The past comes to a very vivid life again. However I realised that I enjoyed the fact that only a few others were visiting the necropolis. I don’t know how it would have been with more visitors, chatting and laughing. But maybe this place lets people be a bit more quiet? (yes, I know, this sounds a bit arrogant but sometimes quietness is better to explore a place).
There is a small but very much explanatory museum near the entrance. Please make sure you visit this before you continue to walk to the burial grounds. It is full with graphics (like the one in photo 5) about Etruscan life and their burial habits and how the tombs were built. The explanations are in Italian and English. I also loved the surroundings: meadows, trees, shrubs, wildflowers and a big Judas tree in full pink bloom (see my travelougue).
In case you come by car, there is a huge parking ground next to the street and given its size, I assume that it can be quite crowded in peak times.
Entrance fee was 3 € (April 2008) or 5 €, which then includes entrance to the Archaelogical Museum next to the duomo.
This crag-topped town sits on a plateau and is reached by funicular. Its most famous site is a huge cathedral, which took three centuries to complete. Another site is St. Patrick's Well, which is about 205 feet deep. Its staircases are wide enough for a horse to maneuver and are illuminated by seventy windows. The shops in the town contain the usual array of ceramics.