orvieto, italy

The town of Orvieto, Italy was our second stop. We only spent part of the day here, just a quick stop on the way from Florence to Rome. Orvieto is at the top of what is essentially a cliff, so you have to take a gondola/cable car type vehicle to get to the town. Like Florence, it was very walkable and filled with shops, but smaller and more rustic feeling.

The centerpiece of the town is the magical church that is absolutely covered in details, like carvings and mosaics. Across from the church was a street lined with small shops selling handmade pottery and olive wood creations. My cousin and I stopped in to Mastro Paolo and were told the whole story of the business, which had been featured in American news a few years ago. The woman in the store was the daughter of Paolo, who makes the pottery, and she was so proud. We each bought a piece from the store—an olive oil container and a teacup and saucer.

Orvieto is like a fortress, with walls around the perimeter and old watchtowers to protect against invaders. You can explore the walls and towers on the edges of the town, from where you can see the remarkable view of the Italian countryside. Though not the most common destination in Italy for tourists, this was one of my favorite days in the country.

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