Orvieto, Umbria, Italy | Reid Burchell Photography

On the penultimate day of our trip, we made a longer excursion to see two locations a bit farther away from our lodgings. The first stop was Orvieto, a city in the Umbria region southeast of Tuscany. Traveling there alone was quite the ordeal, as the main road SR2 had an bridge closure that did show on any of our navigation systems. The detour we needed to take had us doubling back and going about 45 mins out of our way winding up and down a nearby mountain. Once arriving, we took the funicular at the base of the train station up to the top of the cliffs, as the city itself sits atop a high plateau. A quick time-lapse of the ride up is below.

We first visited the Fortezza dell'Albornoz near the exit to the funicular, an impressive structure dating back to the 14th century. The fortress was originally constructed by a Spanish cardinal on orders from the Catholic Church, and from atop its stone walls, a wide and unobstructed view of the valley below can be seen.

We walked up one of the main roads (Corso Cavour) towards the center of town, which was bustling with traffic from local shops and an outdoor market. Our intended lunch location ended up being closed for renovations, so we ate at a nice café with a beautiful secluded terrace out back. After that, we spent a hour or so doing a little gift and souvenir shopping, during which I spotted a few picturesque side streets and candid portraits of the city's denizens.


Before heading out, we stopped to see the Orvieto Cathedral and have yet another gelato in the surrounding square. While we didn't end up going inside, the stonework, murals, and impressive metal doors at the front of the building stood out compared to the many other churches we visited on our trip (see photo at top of post). We concluded our time in Orvieto relatively quickly, as we still intended to travel to the nearby town of Civita di Bagnoregio during our day trip (stay tuned for next weeks post on this impressive town).

For other posts in my Italy series, see below: