If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider visiting the medieval hilltop jewel of Orvieto in the landlocked region of Umbria in central Italy. This beautiful area might be an ideal vacation spot. You can get classic Italian food, and wash it down with fine local wine. This area is hardly undiscovered, but is not overrun by tourists. Be sure to read the companion articles in this series that present the lovely cities of Perugia and Assisi, and other tourist centers in southern and northern Umbria.
Orvieto, a city of some twenty thousand, sits on a plateau of volcanic rock. This spectacular, presumably easy to defend Etruscan location was destroyed by the Romans in 283 B. C.; Etruscans haven’t been heard of since. But you can see their treasures at the Museo Claudio Faina e Museo Civico (Archaeological Museum).
Construction of the Romanesque-Gothic Duomo (Cathedral) began towards the end of the Thirteenth Century. Its carved-stone façade took some was three hundred years to complete. Don’t miss the thousand-year-old San Giovenale Church with its many beautiful frescoes. Orvieto hosts three papal residences. The most recent one, built near the turn of the Fourteenth Century, Palazzo Soliano, is now home to the Museum of Medieval Art.
Orvieto has quite an underground city that is definitely worth guided tour. And stop by the Strada dei Vini Etrusco-Romana (Etrusco-Roman Wine Trail), celebrating the wines that have been produced here for some 2500 years.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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