In 1527, Pope Clement VII, returned to Orvieto after the Sack of Rome and, eager to protect himself in case of a siege, comissioned the structure of the well to Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.
The well, originally named Pozzo della Rocca (The Fortress Well), as it was close to the fortress Rocca Albornoziana, was designed to provide water in the event of a disaster or siege.
The well was built between 1527 and 1537. The works were concluded during the papacy of Paul III Farnese (1534-1549).
Pozzo di San Patrizio took the name of St. Patrick, probably because it was used as a Purgatory of Saint Patrick, similar to the cave in Ireland where the unbelievers who descended to its bottom would gain access to heaven.
The well was built by digging in the tuff of the plateau on which Orvieto stands, being an amazing masterpiece of hydraulic engineering.
Pozzo di San Patrizio is a cylindrical structure, 54 meters deep, with a diameter of 13 meters. The access to the well is made by two helicoidal staircases with 248 steps, completely autonomous and served by two different doors. The well has 70 windows.
HOW TO GET THERE
Pozzo di San Patrizio is about 200 meters away from Piazza Cahen and the Orvieto funicular station.