Happy Easter! We don't really celebrate Easter, but its hard not to get a little bit into the spirit of the day here in Italy.
We slept in again today, waking up to cloudy skies and rain. Bummer, not the most fun on a vacation, but we made the best of it.
Views from our room.
Brandon got a little playtime in between rain showers.
We packed up, said goodbye to our host and headed down the road. Our intention was to stop in the medieval hilltown of Gubbio, but because it was raining, we decided to head directly towards Orieto and stop if we saw something interesting.
Our next plan was to stop in Spello, but when we arrived at the exit, it was still raining. On to Montefalco. We have enjoyed a few good wines from this town. Once again, when we arrived it was raining. On to Orvieto.
We arrived in Orvieto around 12:30pm and checked into the hotel. We are staying at Hotel Duomo, right in the middle of the old town. Our room would not be ready until 1:30pm. It was still raining, but this time we ventured out to see the town a bit.
Rainy day in Italy
Orvieto is Umbria's grand hill town. It sits a thousand feet above the valley on tufa, an easy to dig volcanic rock. It was a regional power in the Middle Ages and once a home to the Etruscans (pre Christ).
We wandered past the Duomo and down Via Duomo, checking out the shops and looking for a place to eat lunch.
Several Coat of Arms for Orvieto
Wild boar is a favorite meat in this region of Italy
Interesting benches in Orvieto
After lunch, we decided to make our way towards the Pozzo della Cava. In 1984 the owners of a trattoria were renovating their shop when they discovered an underground network of Etruscan-era caves, wells and tunnels. They began to excavate and visitors can now walk through several sections of this subterranean world.
It was still raining when we exited the caves, so we headed back to our hotel to see if the room was ready and figure out what we wanted to do. It was ready. We have a very nice room here at Hotel Duomo. We took a break and relaxed for awhile. Brandon shared his chocolate chicken. Yes, a chocolate chicken for Easter.
View from our room. The big building is the Duomo.
Brandon in his corner of the room.
Late this afternoon we headed out to see St Patrick's Well - Pozzo di San Patrizio. This well is a marvel of engineering. It is 175 feet deep and 45 feet wide, was designed in the 16th century with a double helix stairway. The two spiral stairways allow for one way traffic up and down the 496 steps. People and donkeys would carry the water up from the bottom of this well.
Looking down into the well.
The well was built after Rome was sacked in 1527. The Pope fled to Orvieto, but feared troops might follow and lay siege to the town. He commissioned a well to be built so that the city would have a water source. It took 10 years to build this engineering marvel.
Down, down, down, round and round to the bottom
Top of St. Patrick's Well
It's a gloomy, misty day.
The rain was still coming down lightly when we exited the well. We were tired, so we headed up back to our room and with the idea that we would head out back out for dinner. We ended up being too tired and went to bed without dinner.