Among the most cultural and archaeological cities in Italy, Orvieto is an enchanting tourist destination. Orvieto is a city located in the Province of Terni in southwestern Umbria, Italy, on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. A butte is considered to be an isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top and are smaller than mesas, plateaus, and table landforms. The city rises above the almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs which are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone called Tufa.
One of Orvieto’s main sights is the underground tunneling system. The city of Orvieto has long kept a labyrinth of caves and tunnels that lie underneath the surface, now it has more than 1200 tunnels, galleries, wells, stairs, quarries, cellars and other attractions. Dug deep into the tuff, a volcanic rock, these hidden tunnels are now only open to view through guided tours. Their wonderful view has also attracted many historical and archeological finds. The Saint Anselm College has a program to cater to the site and every summer, students travel to Italy to work at the college’s archaeology site in the Coriglia excavation site in just outside of the town.
Orvieto was also a major center of Etruscan civilization and the archaeological museum, Museo Claudio Faina e Museo Civico has some of the Etruscan artifacts that have been recovered in the immediate neighborhood. Actually, Orvieto is home to Etruscan ruins and the remnants of a wall that enclosed the city more than 2000 years ago.
There is also the historical fortress of Rocca, known as Fortezza dell’Albornoz, in the Piazza Cahen. Construction of the fortress, then known as the Rocca di San Martino, was established in 1359. The castle was founded by Spanish Cardinal Albornoz, under the orders of Pope Innocent VI and from the designs of Ugolino di Montemarte.
The white wines and the red wines of the Orvieto district are well known and highly prized. Orvieto is a member of Cittaslow, the slow food movement and has many restaurants or, ristoranti. There, one can enjoy tasty meals like one of the citiy’s finest dish, truffle pasta, and delicious wines that will leave your mouth watering. One of the most popular dish of the Trattoria La Palomba restaurant in Orvieto would have to be “umbrichelli al tartufo,” a scrumptious local traditional pasta made with eggs.
There are few notable people who are from Orvieto, like Anna Gili and Erminia Frezzolini. Anna Gili was born in Orvieto, Umbria in 1960. She is an Italian designer and artist. She has been working extensively in performance and installation art since 1980. She also has her own design studio in which was established in 1989 that works for various companies in the furniture and home furnishings market. Erminia Frezzolini was born in Orvieto in 1818. She was an Italian operatic soprano and first learned singing with the help of her father, the well-known bass Giuseppe Frezzolini. In 1837, Erminia began her opera debut as Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda and quickly arose in major opera houses throughout Italy in the operas.
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