All SEE in Orvieto

Orvieto is mainly known for its splendid Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, an Italian national monument, one of the most beautiful churches in Italy and the world, and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

In Orvieto, you can also visit the medieval Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, the labyrinth of grottos known as Orvieto Underground, you can climb to Torre del Moro for a wonderful bird’s eye view over the town, or you can descend in one of the two ancient wells, Pozzo di San Patrizio and Pozzo della Cava

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the Cathedral of Orvieto, located in Piazza del Duomo, in the historical center of the town. An Italian national monument, the Cathedral of Orvieto is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy and the world, and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the cathedral was started in 1290 at the behest of Pope Nicholas IV. The church was designed in Romanesque style by an unknown architect, probably by Arnolfo di Cambio. At the beginning, the project was entrusted to Fra Bevignate from Perugia, and later, before the end of the 13th century, to Giovanni di Ugguccione, who introduced the first Gothic forms. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Sienese sculptor and architect Lorenzo Maitani assumed the role of master builder, changing the design of the church into something similar to the Cathedral of Siena. In 1330, Lorenzo Maitani died, but the works were far from over. Various architects succeeded him, assuming the role of master builder, often for short periods. The Chapel of the Corporal (Cappella del Corporale) was built between 1350 and 1356, and the Chapel of Saint Britius (Cappella di San Brizio) was Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Andrea

    The Church of Sant’Andrea, dedicated to the Apostles Andrew and Bartholomew, is a Romanesque church in Orvieto, located in Piazza della Repubblica.   SHORT HISTORY The original church was built in the 12th century, but renovated many times over the centuries. During the Middle Ages, the appointments of Pope Martin IV and of Cardinals Niccolò IV and Bonifacio VIII took place in the church. The Church of Sant’Andrea, together with the adjacent dodecagonal tower, was restored by the architect Gustavo Giovannoni in 1926. During the restoration, modern works were inserted into the facade, such as the high reliefs in the lunette of the portal, the stained glass rose window and the majolica and terracotta of the new portico. However, this restoration completely removed the modifications made during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.   ARCHITECTURE The Church of Sant’Andrea has a Latin cross plan with three naves, a transept and a semicircular apse. The naves are covered with wooden trusses, while the ceiling between the central body and the transept is covered by cross vaults supported by beam pillars. In the center of the quadrangular apse, there is the pipe organ, built by the Migliorini brothers in the first half Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Soliano

    Palazzo Soliano is a medieval palace in Orvieto, located in Piazza del Duomo, near the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The palace, also known as Palazzo di Boniface VIII, because was built by the will of Pope Boniface VIII, houses the Emilio Greco Museum (Museo Emilio Greco) and the Opera del Duomo Museum – MODO (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo).   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Soliano was built starting with 1297, at the behest of Pope Boniface VIII. The construction was interrupted in 1303, after the pope’s death. Starting with 1330, after a period of abandonment, the palace was used for the storage of materials for the construction site of the cathedral. In 1361, a fire caused serious damage to the palace. In 1493, on the occasion of the arrival in Orvieto of Pope Alexander VI, the structure was consolidated. During those times, the palio of Orvieto was held in Piazza del Duomo. In 1504, due to a large number of people who watched the palio from the terrace of Palazzo Soliano, the roof of the palace collapsed. Thirty years later, due to the risks of collapse, the entire structure was subjected to numerous modifications. Over the centuries, the palace underwent numerous Read more [...]

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    Fortezza Albornoz

    Fortezza Albornoz, also known as Rocca di Albornoz, is a fortress in Orvieto, located in Piazza Cahen, on the eastern edge of the historical center of the town.   SHORT HISTORY Fortezza Albornoz was built starting with 1364 in a strategic point of Orvieto, on the eastern edge of a cliff, as part of the work of reorganization of papal power in the central Italy by Cardinal Egidio Albornoz. The project was entrusted to the military architect Ugolino di Montemarte, whose noble family had possessions in the area. In 1389, the fortress was partially destroyed, during a time when the city was passing through some internal struggles. In 1413, Francesco I Orsini strengthened the defensive system of the fortress, but, in the following year, the new fortification failed to repel the assaults of Ladislaus the Magnanimous, King of Naples. In poor conditions, Fortezza Albornoz was then rebuilt by Antonio da Carpi on the old perimeter, with the addition of a circular tower to protect the gate, and was completed in 1450 under the supervision of Bernardo Rossellino. In 1527, when Pope Clement VII took refuge in Orvieto after the Sack of Rome, he commissioned Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to Read more [...]

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    Maurizio Tower

    Maurizio Tower, built in Piazza del Duomo, in Orvieto, between 1347 and 1348, is one of the oldest clock towers in Italy. Maurizio is the bronze automaton on top of the tower, which, at fixed time, swings its body and strikes the bell with its hammer.   SHORT HISTORY The history of the Maurizio Tower is closely related to the history of the Orvieto Cathedral. The tower was comissioned by the Opera del Duomo, and built between 1347 and 1348, to support the worksite. The tower was built originally to be a sundial, because at the time of its construction, there was no mechanical clock available. Its role was to indicate the start and the end of the work schedule. The current clockwork mechanism dates back to the 18th century, when a countwheel was added to strike the quarters on the smaller bells. Other adjustments were made between 1860 and 1870. In 1905, the headgear of the Maurizio was replaced. On October 29, 2011, the clock tower was brought back to use, and the building has become an information point for the Duomo and the Museum System of Orvieto’s Opera del Duomo (MODO).   HOW TO GET THERE Maurizio Tower Read more [...]

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    Palazzo del Popolo

    Palazzo del Popolo, or Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, is an imposing palace in Orvieto, located in the homonymous square, Piazza del Popolo.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza del Popolo was built around 1250 as a setting for the future Palazzo del Popolo. The palace would welcome the Captain of the People (Capitano del Popolo), a political figure of the local administration in medieval Italy, established to balance the power and authority of the noble families. It is believed that the palace was built on the initiative of the Neri della Greca family, on a pre-existing papal palace of 1157. Around 1250, the area was cleared and the existing constructions were demolished, so that a proper seat for the Captain of the People could be built. Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo was completed in the early 14th century, but the building saw many modifications and expansions in the following decades. The strange bell tower was built in 1315, and the bell which is now located on Torre del Moro was placed inside. Among the main halls of the palace, there is the Hall of the Four Hundreds (Sala dei Quattrocento), which in 1596 was sold to the Faculty of Law, Theology Read more [...]

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    Pozzo della Cava

    Pozzo della Cava (Quarry Well) is an ancient well in Orvieto, located in Via della Cava, in the historical center of the town. Pozzo della Cava is one of the two ancient wells in Orvieto, the other being Pozzo di San Patrizio.   SHORT HISTORY The well was excavated, initially, by the Etruscans searching for water springs in Orvieto. Many centuries later, in 1527, Pope Clement VII took refuge in Orvieto after the Sack of Rome, and ordered the rehabilitation of the well, before comissioning the new Pozzo di San Patrizio. The work was funded by the Municipality and was completed in 1530. Pozzo della Cava remained open until 1646, when the town authorities ordered its closing, after five French officers who attempted to molest local women were thrown into the well. After more than 3 centuries, the well was uncovered by Tersilio Sciarra in December 1984. The restoration works lasted until 1996 and, in 2004, the ancient access from Via della Cava was restored.   ARCHITECTURE The well is 36 meters deep, including the height of the spring water at the bottom. Pozzo della Cava consists of two parts that have been unified – a larger one, circular, with Read more [...]

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    Pozzo di San Patrizio

    Pozzo di San Patrizio (Saint Patrick’s Well) is an ancient well in Orvieto, located in Piazza Cahen, in the eastern part of the historical center of the town.   SHORT HISTORY 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 (Fortress Well), as it was close to Fortezza Albornoz, was designed to provide water in the event of a disaster or siege. Pozzo di San Patrizio was built between 1527 and 1537. The works were concluded during the papacy of Paul III Farnese. During the absences of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, the works were supervised by Giovanni Battista of Cortona. The decorative parts of the well are the works of Simone Mosca. Pozzo di San Patrizio took the name of Saint 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.   ARCHITECTURE Pozzo di San Patrizio was built by digging in the tuff of Read more [...]

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    Torre del Moro

    Torre del Moro (Tower of the Moor), originally known as Torre del Papa, is a 47 meter high tower in Orvieto, located in Corso Cavour, adjacent to Palazzo dei Sette. From the top of the tower, a bird eye’s view of the entire city below is unfolding in all its splendor.   SHORT HISTORY Torre del Papa was built at the beginning of the 13th century, a period in which the urban center of Orvieto was the subject of a large renovation, and the most important buildings of the city, such as Palazzo del Popolo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, were erected. The tower, owned by the pope until the second half of the 15th century, had its name changed to Torre del Moro after Raffaele Gualterio, known as Il Moro, who also gave his name to Palazzo Gualterio, located nearby. In 1865, a water tank was placed in the tower, at the height of 18 meters. A few years later, a mechanical clock and two bells were added to the tower. One of the bells was taken from the dodecagonal tower of the Church of Sant’Andrea and the other from Palazzo del Popolo. In the 16th century, Read more [...]