22 March, 2009

My World-Orvieto, Italy February 2009

For My World today we are off to Orvieto, Italy. Orvieto is approximately 60 miles north of Rome and is easily reached by an Intercity train. Cost to travel round trip is approximately 15 euro and the trip takes about an hour. Please click on photos to enlarge (most will).

Upon arriving, we head out of the Rail Station and walk across the Piazza to the Funicolare. Cost to travel one-way is 1 euro.

A funicular, also known as a funicular railway, incline, inclined railway, inclined plane, or cliff railway, is a type of self-contained cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a very steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other.

After disembarking the funicular, and exiting the Station, I walked over to the area known as Fortezza del' Albornoz. The fort was began in 1353 near the town's cemetary. It was built to provide the church a secure site within the City. The Fort was originally known as the Rocca di San Martino. The view of the valley below and beyond is absolutely spectacular.

The Duomo of Orvieto is a jewel atop the hill and is reached by a small public shuttle bus or by walking up a long path to the top of the hill from where you are left off at the funicular. Traffic is restricted in the historic area to minimize congestion and damage to the historic structures. The Duomo took almost 4 centuries to be completed. The facade is embellished with mosaics that sparkle in the sunlight.

Off to the left of the Duomo is the Torre di Maurizo. The bell tower was built in 1351. It is known for its unusual bell and bell ringer that sit atop the tower.The tower you see in the rear of the photograph is the Torre del Moro or del Saracino (Moor or Saracen) The bell for this tower was cast in 1316 and bears the coats of arms of the 24 guilds who paid for it. It is 148 feet in height and was used as a look-out for Orvietan territory.

Located off to the right of the Duomo is the Museo Claudio Faina e Mueso Civico. It houses a nice collection of Etruscan items.
The Church of Saint Andrew is located in the Piazza della Repubblica. It's orgins date back to the 500sThere is a dodecagonal campanile adjacent to it on the right. The church adjoins the Palazzo Comunale and fronts the Piazza della Repubblica.

There is a flower market under the arched portico to the left of the main Church building.

The Palazzo del Captiano del Popolo was built in 1157 as a palace for Pope Hadrian IV and has been remodeled over the years and served many different functions and presently it is a Conference Center. Popes were frequent residents in their Orvieto palaces as it was a safer place than Rome.
There are frescos on two of the arched windows.

After a few hours of exploring Orvieto, it was time for a break in the Piazza behind the Palazzo.

Be sure to visit other participants in the weekly meme My World . You won't believe all of the wonderful places that participants share through photographs.


Indrani said...

Wow! Italy!
What a great place to be!
Lovely shots, thanks for this wonderful virtual tour!

mountain.mama said...

Thanks for the armchair travel pics!

kjpweb said...

Oh wow - that's Italy for you! You caught it at it's finest!
Thank you for sharing!
Cheers, Klaus

Anonymous said...

Oh what wonders you show us. so enjoying seeing all about your trip. Now, about that coffee and cookies. They look delicioso!

Louise said...

Wonderful, wonderful tour! I'm smitten with the Duomo!

Carver said...

What a wonderful and interesting tour you took us on. The scenery and architecture is fabulous in your part of the world.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love this trip; thanks for taking us.

Italy is so pretty, I have to see it for myself someday.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

You make me feel like I NEED to go to Italy. ;-) Fun tour!

Susan said...

Absolutely stunning photos, and such a wonderful trip to take! I love visiting cathedrals and churches wherever I go, and learning their history.

The coffee and pastry at the end was such a perfect finish: thanks for that, it made me smile!

Denise said...

Fantastic post Erin, your photos are superb. What a very beautiful place and I enjoyed my tour. Thank you!

SandyCarlson said...

What a gorgeous place. Thanks for the tour. The shapes and symmetry of the buildings contribute to a serene view.

Titania said...

There is so much interesting history, the buildings and surroundings are just awsome. Thank you for beeing such a good tourist guide.

Arija said...

A charming post, the early Gothic cathedral has an impressive facade. Love the fort and other historical buildings as well as the snippet about the safety of the pope. Most informative. I am glad you ordered something sustaining after all that sightseeing.

Barb said...

You're a wonderful tour guide. I loved the valley shot!

Babooshka said...

That was a whistle stop virtual tour to end in a beautiful destination.

Gaelyn said...

Erin, Orvieto is awesome! What a great way to get around on the fun-icular. I like limiting traffic to preserrve the amazing historic architecture. And that view from the fort, fantastic.

A great post from a wonderful journey. I look forward to more.

MedaM said...

This is a wonderful tour around Orvieto. This post is really interesting and informative. I enjoyed all the photos of such a beautiful place with so much history and old buildings.

Mojo said...

Jewel on the hill is RIGHT! what a gorgeous place!

The round window in the church reminded me of one I saw in Washington. I had to go back to one of my first Thematic Photographics and look to see if the Smithsonian had made a replica of it!

CountryDew said...

I love those photos, particularly the ones of the fort. Wow.

kayleen said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos of a very lovely area. Don't even know which photo would be my favorite, so I guess they all are. And a perfect ending with a cuppa! Thanks for taking us along on your tour.

uncleawang said...

I love the photo,all of them.Italy is everyone dream place to visit,beautiful country.Thanks for visit my world and have a nice day.

Lakshmi said...

what an amazing world out there..another good reason for me to plan a trip to Italy ..wonderful :)

Lawstude said...

such a spectacular trip. oh wow. i cud only wish to be there someday with spaghetti and that amazing views.

Reader Wil said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing! And a final cuppa will be nice! Thanks for your visit.

magiceye said...

thank you for the lovely tour!!!

mannanan said...

WOW, what can I say....Stunning photos and great commentary. I've never visited Italy but this is the next best thing. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your kind comments when you visited my site.

Janie said...

I love the piazza fountain and the mosaics and the fort. All wonderful. Thanks for the tour.

George said...

Thanks for a beautiful, interesting, and informative trip!

antigoni said...

Great places and excellent photos.

Anonymous said...

Lovely rustic town, but that's why I love Italy. It has all these and more. Never been to Orvieto so thanks for the wonderful tour. I love Italy! And that cappuccino at the end... perfect!

Lew said...

Fantastic tour of Orvieto! It is an interesting city, uncrowded by cars and trucks. The bishops back in the middle ages must have been patient to take 400 years to complete the Duomo. I love the imae in your header with the sky reflected in the window.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Mmmm, Erin, is that a cream puff pastry I see there? I love the way you treat yourself. hehe Yum!

The Duomo is spectacular! I could just gaze at that structure all day.

The funicular reminds me of the cog train that runs in Colorado. But the one in Italy is very unique, especially the path that it travels. So lush and green.

Thanks for sharing your travels, my friend.


fishing guy said...

Erin: Sorry I've missed some of these post, they are so interesting.

The Whispering Poppies said...

Staring history in its stone face! How wonderful!!!

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