Orvieto
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Orvieto History & Heritage

From Rome: Orvieto & Civita Bagnoregio Coach Tour

1. From Rome: Orvieto & Civita Bagnoregio Coach Tour

First, get picked up from your hotel in central Rome or head to the meeting point in the city center. Board the coach and depart at 8 AM, setting off towards the ancient city of Bagnoregio in the Province of Viterbo in central Italy.  When you arrive, take a stroll around Civita di Bagnoregio which was founded by Etruscans more than 2,500 years ago. The town is noted for its striking position on top of a plateau between the two valleys called Fossato del Rio Torbido and Fossato del Rio Chiaro. Find out about how the settlement is also known as the 'dying town' and was historically accessed by a single road that led from the Tiber valley to Lake Bolsena.  Then, stop for a delicious lunch at a local Italian restaurant. In the afternoon, continue the tour to Orvieto, another small town of Etruscan origins where you can admire the magnificent 14th-century cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Visit the remarkable Pozzo di San Patrizio, a historic well that was built by architect-engineer Antonio da Sangallo the Younger of Florence in the 16th Century.  Finally, return to Rome where you will be dropped off at the meeting point in the city center.

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Assisi & Orvieto Day Trip from Rome

2. Assisi & Orvieto Day Trip from Rome

Escape Italy's busy capital for one day on this trip to Assisi and the Umbrian hill town Orvieto. On this tour, you will unveil the religious architecture of Umbria (such as the famous Cathedral of Orvieto) and discover the wines and local products of Tuscany. Leaving Rome in a northerly direction and driving along the Tiber Valley, reach Orvieto as your first stop, a small town of Etruscan origins where you will stop to admire the magnificent 14th century cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic architecture. The tour continues through the green Tuscan Hills covered in olive groves and vineyards. This is the land of some of Italy’s best known D.O.C. (quality controlled) wines, which include Orvieto, Chianti and Brunello di Montalcin. You will then have a further stop, where you will taste some local wines and other typical Umbrian and Tuscan products. Afterwards, enjoy lunch, consisting of traditional local dishes. In the early afternoon you will continue your journey and drive along the shores of Lake Trasimeno. Finally, reach Assisi, which is located at the foot of Mount Subasio. Assisi is famous for being St. Francis' birthplace. You will see the Church of St. Claire*, St Francis’ birthplace and his childhood home, the Townhall Square. Around the Townhall Square, you will see the People’s Palace and the Roman Temple dedicated to Minerva. One highlight of the tour will be the visit of St Francis’ Basilica, located close to the ancient city walls, with its magnificent frescoes painted between the 12th and 14th centuries. Leaving Assisi, stop at the town of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where St. Francis died in 1226. You will reach Rome around 19:30/20:00, where you will be dropped-off in the vicinity of your hotel.

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From Rome: Assisi and Orvieto Small Group Tour

3. From Rome: Assisi and Orvieto Small Group Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Rome for the day on a full-day tour of Umbria, one of the most picturesque regions of Italy. Rich in vineyards, olive trees, and hill-top villages, the most famous site in the region is the UNESCO World Heritage town of Assisi. Upon arrival at this mystical place, learn about Saint Francis as you wander within the ancient walls. Built on the green slopes of Mount Subasio, the colorful houses of ink stone. narrow streets, flower decked balconies, and noble palaces provide beautiful views. A highlight of your time in Assisi will be a visit to the Basilica of St. Francis to see Renaissance masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue. After lunch, continue to Orvieto to admire the magnificence of its cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with a glistening façade of stained glass, mosaics, and sculptures. Soak up Orvieto’s charms, and marvel at the countless churches scattered around its historic center. Transfer back to Rome for a hotel drop off in the early evening.

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Assisi and Orvieto Full-Day Excursion from Rome

4. Assisi and Orvieto Full-Day Excursion from Rome

Spend a delightful day outside of Rome on this 12-hour escorted tour that takes you to Umbria, one of the most picturesque regions of Italy. Rich in vineyards, olive groves, and iconic hilltop villages, this is where you’ll find Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The home of Saint Francis, still surrounded by its ancient walls, was built on the green slopes of Mount Subasio, and is recognizable by its colorful houses of ink stone. Narrow streets, flower-decked balconies, and noble palaces all provide opportunities for some memorable photos. Visit St. Francis Basilica and admire its early Renaissance masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue, and then see the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.  You’ll have time for a lunch break at a typical local restaurant (not included in the tour price) before continuing on to Orvieto, where you’ll have a chance to take in the magnificence of its Gothic cathedral, with its glistening façade of stained glass and mosaics. Enjoy a walk to soak up Orvieto’s charm and admire the countless churches that are scattered throughout its center.

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Umbria Full-Day Tour of Orvieto and Todi

5. Umbria Full-Day Tour of Orvieto and Todi

Explore 2 of Umbria's commune towns, Orvieto and Todi, on a full-day tour. First, journey to Orvieto, located on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. Head to the Duomo, a black and white striped building in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Go inside to see the bronze doors, rose window, and frescoes of Luca Signorelli. After, walk around the historic center, visiting the Piazza del Popolo, Saint Patrick's Well, Corso Cavour, a variety of churches, and more. You also won't want to miss the underground city full of tunnels, galleries, wells, stairs, quarries, cellars, unexpected passageways, cisterns, and rooms. Continue on to Todi, also home to an impressive Gothic cathedral with a rose window and a Gothic altar. Explore the city center, visiting the Palazzo del Popolo, one of the most ancient communal palaces in Italy, and home to the city's art gallery. Other remarkable palaces in Todi include Palazzo del Capitano, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Vescovile. Once you have seen both cities, begin your trip back to your hotel.

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Orvieto: 2-Hour Cathedral and Underground Tour

6. Orvieto: 2-Hour Cathedral and Underground Tour

Start your tour in front of the amazing facade. Listen to your guide as they share plenty of information about the mosaics, the sculptures and the history of the church before taking you inside the huge building. Visit every part of the church, with a special focus on the beautiful San Brizio chapel, decorated by the Renaissance artist Luca Signorelli. Take a walk in the heart of Orvieto to the underground area of Pozzo della Cava to discover the hidden part of the city. Here your guide will teach you how the rooms were used throughout history, and you will look down into the impressive 36-meter deep Etruscan well. After your underground tour, walk to the edge of the city. From the top of the cliffs, admire stunning views on the rolling hills covered with vineyards and olive trees, and see the medieval town. A short walk throug picturesque little alleys will take you back to Piazza Duomo, where your tour ends.

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Todi: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour

7. Todi: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour

Jacopone from Todi, poet and Franciscan friar but furthermore author of Stabat Mater Dolorosa, ione of the greatest Latin hymns of all time, was born here. You will visit the Saint Fortunato Church which preserves his tomb. Just a few steps out of the city center, you will see the Renaissance architecture of Santa Maria della Consolazione, built to preserve a 15th century image which performed a miracle and attracts a flood of pilgrims to the town. Twenty years ago Todi, this little town perched on a hill in the Tiber Valley in Italy, was celebrated as the world's most livable town, a modern paradise. That was the conclusion reached after a lengthy study by a team from the University of Kentucky.

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Orvieto: Private Walking Tour with the Cathedral of Orvieto

8. Orvieto: Private Walking Tour with the Cathedral of Orvieto

Step back in time as you explore the streets of Orvieto with a local guide on this walking tour. Uncover the ancient origins of this town. Let your guide reveal how history has shaped the art and architecture of this town. Meet your guide in amid the palace, tower, and cathedral in Piazza del Duomo. Stroll to the 14th-century Gothic Cathedral of Orvieto. Enter the cathedral to admire the vibrant and colorful frescoes and mosaics inside. Head to the historic well of Pozzo di San Patrizio to view its two helical ramps that are in a double helix shape. Hear the facinating story behind this well from your local guide. Climb to the top of the medieval Torre del Moro tower. Admire stunning views of the town, the cathedral, and the surrounding countryside.

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From Rome: Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day Trip

9. From Rome: Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio Day Trip

You will enjoy a scenic two-hour drive to Orvieto, a town perched high atop a hill. Orvieto is impressively situated above a volcanic plug, which is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. In Orvieto, you will have time to explore and enjoy lunch before heading to Civita di Bagnoregio, a small ancient village that clings to the precipice of the steep hill it sits on and offers incredible picturesque views. This is a tour by car with an English-speaking driver (it does not include a tour guide or walking tour). Italian laws permit only licensed tour guides to accompany guests on foot to sightsee.

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Orvieto & Civita di Bagnoregio Private Tour from Rome

10. Orvieto & Civita di Bagnoregio Private Tour from Rome

Escape the hustle and bustle of Rome for a day and tour the lovely small towns of the Etruscan area north of the Eternal City. Traveling by private Mercedes minivan, your first port of call is Orvieto, built on top of a plateau of tufa stone, half-way between Rome and Florence. Boasting bags of charm, and one of Italy's most beautiful gothic cathedrals, admire the façade of this historic monument, completely decorated with mosaics. Orvieto is also known for its white wine and outstanding foods and olive oil, and a stop at a country-style restaurant will introduce you to some of these taste sensations. Continue to Civita di Bagnoregio, sitting on a plateau of tufo stone just like Orvieto. The town can only be reached by a footbridge, and the plateau is slowly deteriorating, so that the town might not be there for much longer. You can also visit a winery to sample superb Umbrian wines, exemplified by the hillside towns of Orvieto and Assisi.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Orvieto

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What people are saying about Orvieto

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 132 reviews

Mauro was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and accommodating. Because it was just our party, he was able to make personalized adjustments to the schedule to make the day ours (push back the start time, detour for coffee and breakfast before hitting the road, adjusting the Orvieto itinerary to include the well). He was kind and patient in every regard, and provided above and beyond assistance at multiple points throughout the day. Despite the somewhat unseasonably chill and rainy weather, these 2 cities were each beautiful and unique, and well worth the visit. Having Mauro as a facilitator and guide was a great enhancement, allowing us to focus on the experience rather than the logistics. Great day!

This was a last minute find and I’m so glad to have gone to Orvieto and Assisi. First was a beautiful stop in Orvieto, cable car to the top of the town and then some free time to see the cathedral and look at the local markets. Then onto lunch- where I very much appreciated that lunch broke up all the driving. Then arrived at Assisi with a lovely local guide who look us through the town and we able to capture some beautiful pictures and learn this history of Assisi especially of St Clare and St Francis. For me a trip well worth making if you have a free day when in Rome. Keep in mind that’s there’s a lot of driving as Assisi is quite far away, so if that’s not your thing this isn’t the trip for you.

Our day in Umbria with Maurizio was the highlight of our trip to Italy! We visited Todi, Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoreggio and he took scenic routes throughout the day, stopping at some spectacular spots and commenting very knowledgeably about the area in general -- he is from here. He gave us as much time was we needed/wanted in each place - it was a perfect arrangement. He is a terrific driver (his car is beautiful and comfortable), has a great sense of humor and is sensitive to what his clients are interested in -- he listens. We truly enjoyed his company! HIGHLY recommend!

Had a wonderful time with Mauro our guide. Very knowledgeable and pleasant.

Very interesting tour with 3 stops so very worth it.