Orvieto makes for an easy day trip for anyone staying in Rome looking to check out a different region or just have a break from the big city chaos. An hour on a train headed north will land you right to the doorstep of this beautiful hilltop city. From the train station you can take a funicular up to the town, no cliff scaling or hiking needed. Typical to its region of Umbria, Orvieto’s high perch on volcanic rock gives travelers fantastic views of the countryside surrounding it.
Instead of all too common tourist trinkets (I mean you can always find tourist trinkets but it’s not like overdone here, you know?), in Orvieto you are more likely to stumble upon small artisan shops where the person working the register is the same person who handcrafted the product. Painted ceramics and crafted olive wood are things to consider taking home for souvenirs.
After a walk through the town, probably no more than 25 minutes, and taking the time to see your selected notable attractions like the massive Duomo, Underground Orvieto or the Torre del Moro, you will likely have worked up an appetite. As you’ll be able to see by the seemingly never ending olive groves and vineyards nearby, there are local treats to be tried. Any wine bar will surely be able to offer the white wine Orvieto Classico, and a number of shops in the area offer tastings of local olive oil or special truffle products.
Said special truffle products are worth your time and your money. Clearly, as seen below, I find the mushroom, olive and black truffle salsa particularly delicious on my American Wheat Thins, but if you wanted to get authentic you could add it to a pasta dish or spread it on some bruschetta. I can honestly say that I will likely return to Orvieto, if not for the charm, the Etruscan history, the small town serenity, the views and the friendly citizens, then without a doubt for the truffles.
All photos via Sarah Freeman