Published: August 13th 2011June 20th 2011
Just over two hours by train (15.40euros return) out of Rome is a beautiful city called Orvieto. Actually, there are many beautiful towns and cities as viewed from the train, but this is the one I chose to visit today, thanks to the blog of Miss Expatria again! Situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone.
To get to the top of the acropolis you need to catch a funicular, which cost only 90 euro cents and included the bus ride to the center. The trip up took only a few minutes and immediately at the top I was rewarded with the most amazing scenery. Wow, this was beautiful and I was instantly satisfied that I had made the trip and I was yet to see the town.
This town was beautiful, I just walked around taking photos (my camera having a good moment). Everywhere I looked was just ahhh, every corner I turned revealed another sweet little laneway or breathtaking
first view from top was wow
vista! I loved it!! So cool, most of the small balconies had potted plants that were flowering beautiful bright coloured flowers. It was just lovely.
This whole area is also famous for another thing with was a draw card for me to visit this particular village. Wild boar!! The most delicious wild boar that they prepared with various fresh local herbs. Lots of cafes and restaurants listed this delicacy on their menus but as I walked past one I eyed a old couple that were biting into what looked like an amazing pork sandwich. At 6 euros (Aud$8.30) I thought it was a little rich and way out of my lunch budget, but as soon as I bit into the panini I decided I would have paid double the price as this was to die for. Yes as far as pork sandwiches go this was a superior example, and worth every cent. And it was huge so I was able to save half of it for a snack later!!! Yumbo!!!
But that's not all, this town had still more to offer. There is a tour you can do of the caves that are honeycombed through the volcanic rock
under the entire village. The caves are actually man made and the rock that was dug out was used to build the houses of the town. This was much easier that trying to bring rock from other places and transporting it up to the top of the summit. Remember all these building were built long before the funicular was even thought of. Also a cheaper option as the material was already there, the builders just had to dig it out, and it also straight away gave the homes cellars that are still used to this date to store the families wine and olive oil. The caves that were dug on the outside of the cliffs were used to rear pigeons. Which unfortunately are no longer on any restaurant menu but were very popular here years ago. The tour visited some of the caves that had hundred of individual pigeon holes carved into the walls. Rearing pigeons was a win, win occupation as the birds were let out to find their own food and they breed like rabbits and the pigeon poo was sold as fertilizer. The owner just had to supply water and then sold the birds, or used them
to feed the family.
Some of the caves were also used to make and sort olive oil. The constant temperature was ideal and there was still evidence of the old methods used to crush the fruit using huge heavy stone wheels and donkeys to work them.
It was a great day!! Well worth the trip out of Rome!!
There are more photos below