Altitude: 325 m o.t.s.l.
Area: 281 kmē
Inhabitants : 20.840
Booking for Orvieto holiday structures: 0763.390047 - 0763.393.110
On line booking: agritourism orvieto
Tourist Info : Piazza Duomo, 24 - 05018 ORVIETO Apartment for rent Orvieto
TEL. 0763/341772 E-MAIL: email@example.com
from monday to thursday 8:00 - 14:00 - 16:00 - 19:00
saturday and sunday 10:00 - 13:00 - 15:00 - 18:00
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Orvieto is a city in southwestern Umbria, situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tufa. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of tufa cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone. The ancient city (urbs vetus in Latin, whence " Orvieto ") populated in Etruscan times, has usually been associated with Etruscan Velzna, but some modern scholars differ.
Orvieto was certainly a major center of Etruscan civilization; the Archaeological Museum (Museo Claudio Faina e Museo Civico) houses some of the Etruscan artifacts that have been recovered there. An interesting remain that might show the complexity of ethnic relations in ancient Italy and how such relations could be peaceful, is the inscription on a tomb in the Orvieto Cannicella necropolis: mi aviles katacinas, " I am Aviles Katacinas ", with an Etruscan-Latin first name (Aulus) and a family name that is believed to be of Celtic (" Catacos ") origin.
Orvieto was annexed by Rome in the 3rd century bC. After the collapse of the Roman Empire its defensible site gained new importance: the episcopal see was transferred from Bolsena, and the city was held by Goths and by Lombards before its self-governing commune was established in the 10th century, in which consuls governed under a feudal oath of fealty to the bishop. From 1201 it governed itself through a podestā who was as often as not the bishop, however, in concert with a military governor, the "captain of the people", but bitter feuds divided the 13th-century city.
A small university (now part of the University of Perugia), had its origins in a studium generale that was granted to the city by Pope Gregory XI in 1337. The territory of Orvieto was under papal control long before it was officially added to the Papal States; it remained a papal possession until 1860.
Orvieto is noted for its Gothic cathedral, striped in white travertine and greenish-black basalt in narrow bands; its design has often been attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio, but the prevailing modern opinion is that its master mason was an obscure monk named Fra' Bevignate from Perugia; construction began in 1290. The facade is particularly striking and includes some remarkable sculpture by Lorenzo Maitani (14th century). Inside the cathedral, the Chapel of San Brizio is frescoed by Fra Angelico and with Luca Signorelli's masterpiece, his Last Judgment (1449-51).
Orvieto has long been in papal territory. Pope Boniface VIII was from Orvieto and donated statues of himself at the main city gates, which earned him some detractions from his many enemies.
During the Sack of Rome in 1527 the Pope took refuge at Orvieto, and fearing that in the event of siege by Charles' troops the city's water might prove insufficient, he had a spectacular well constructed (Pozzo di S. Patrizio) by the architect-engineer Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1527‑37) with double helical ramps for one-way traffic, so that mules laden with water-jars might pass down then up again unobstructed. Its inscription boasts QUOD NATURA MUNIMENTO INVIDERAT INDUSTRIA ADIECIT ("what nature stinted for provision, let application supply")
Orvieto is home to Etruscan ruins and the remnants of a wall that enclosed the city more than 2000 years ago. At the foot of the butte, surrounded by peach and apple trees and a vineyard, the Etruscan necropolis of Crocefisso di Tufo counts a hundred or so chamber tombs laid along a rectangular street grid.
The white wine of the Orvieto district, to the northeast of the city, is highly prized; red wines are also grown.
Orvieto is a member of Cittaslow, the slow town movement.
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