All About Orvieto, Italy

2 Oct
Mosaic Retreat Orvieto, Italy 2013

Orvieto, Italy

There’s something about a hilltop village that makes the heart sing. Maybe it’s the isolation, the close-to-the-clouds-ness, dreams of castle life, or simply the striking beauty of ancient stone structures standing tall against a pristine sky. Whatever chords are being plucked in our hearts, we all want to climb that hill and walk through those cobbled streets. Or maybe it’s just me . . . .

Mosaic Art Retreats Orvieto Italy, 2013

Etruscan Caves, Orvieto

Considered one of the most picturesque villages in Italy, Orvieto is located in luscious Umbria, replete with verdant valleys and minus the touristy overload of Tuscany. Just a bit over an hour from Rome, Orvieto has the history with less of the bustle. Populated since Etruscan times (beginning in Italy around 800 BC), the town sits on a perch of volcanic tufa built over a labyrinth of Etruscan caves, tunnels, and tombs, yielding one of the most dramatic sites in Europe.

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto, Italy 20123

Orvieto Lane

With brilliant views over the 2000-year old walls across the surrounding countryside, Orvieto is accessible by funicular (built in 1888 and powered for almost 100 years by tanks of water beneath each car; fully refurbished in 1990). Sited 700 feet above the surrounding areas and boasting a measly 6500 inhabitants, Orvieto is less than a mile long and a half-mile wide, with a pedestrian-only city center. Think morning strolls with cappuccino and the sound of Duomo bells ringing the hour.

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto, Italy 2013

Orvieto Vineyards

Orvieto is renowned for the production of dry white wines under the DOC Orvieto and Orvieto Classico, as well as a number of reds sold under the DOC Rosso Orvietano. We’ll be visiting one of the Orvieto Classico vineyards, complete with the original house dating back to 1300. And of course, there WILL be wine tasting!

Mosaic Art Retreat Orvieto Italy 2013 Accommodations

Our Convent B&B with Valley Views

Accommodations for the Mosaic Art Retreat in Orvieto are at the lovely San Lodovico Convent B&B with updated rooms and private baths alongside 14th and 15th century frescoes and lovely gardens. Built along the original city walls, bedroom views span the valley below.

Mosaic Art Retreats, Orvieto Italy 2013

Duomo Column

And speaking of the fabled Duomo, it’s a show-stopper. Commissioned by Pope Urban IV, construction of the 14th century structure lasted almost three centuries, and includes elements of both Romanesque and Gothic design. The facade contains decorative elements of mosaic, stained glass, and sculpture, and creates a breathtaking sight when the sun strikes the golden face. Our time in Orvieto will include a private mosaic tour of the cathedral, considered one of the finest achievements of the Late Middle Ages.

For an overview of the Mosaic Art Retreat in Orvieto, click here.

For a full itinerary, click here.

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