Orvieto is a small commune in Terni province of Umbria which you can visit with reasonable ease even while you are otherwise say on a guided tour of Rome since the overall distance to be covered in order to get to Orvieto would not be all that much. In this article we will focus on some really interesting facts about Orvieto which have together made it an absolutely fascinating destination which every visitor visiting Italy, Rome especially, must visit. So let’s start with some facts about Orvieto.
Geography of Orvieto:
While there are clearly many attractions about Orvieto, foremost is the geography or topography of the city, since it is located on a site that rises above volcanic tuff cliffs. Moreover, Orvieto has been fortified by large walls which are themselves made of the volcanic stone called Tufa.
The Orvieto Cathedral is large and expansive, and therefore definitely worth a visit in itself. A unique aspect about this church is that it has a striped appearance, comprised of greenish-black basalt and white travertine.
Papal residence in Orvieto:
Orvieto is proud to have a papal residence of its own – the Orvieto Papacy. While there was a time when Popes had numerous residences around Italy, eventually it became such that most of these residences were concentrated within Rome; today Orvieto is one of the few places outside of Rome where there is a Papal residence along with Avignon and Viterbo.
Orvieto has had its own underground city:
One of the most interesting facts about Orvieto is that is has an underground city which has existed for years, perhaps centuries. While archaeological excavations are still on, they all point to the fact that there has been a very well entrenched city which existed below the existing commune of Orvieto where there have been stairs, cellars, galleries, tunnels among others. It is believed that these tunnels were meant for noble families to escape the city in case of a siege.
The last one of the most interesting facts about Orvieto is the houses the Albornoz fortress. Another one of the interesting facts about Orvieto is the Albornoz fortress which lies within it; it was apparently built under the orders of the Pope himself – Pope Innocent VI, by Cardinal Albornoz from Spain. Massive in its structure, the Albornoz fortress stands testimony to the architectural prowess of the eras which have gone past us over the years.
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