Located on the main train line between Rome and Florence, Orvieto is an easy stop if you’re looking for a taste of a hill town but are short on time. While sitting in the eastern side of Umbria, Orvieto is an excellent starting point for a driving trip through Tuscany, and of course, Umbria! With a couple of rental car agencies located close by to the train station, it’s my preferred starting point for a driving holiday in the area.
With a jaw-dropping Cathedral, fantastic restaurants, friendly residents, and beautiful views in all directions, Orvieto is well worth a stop.
This post outlines our very quick trip to Orvieto and gives you an idea of what you can see if you want to see Orvieto with only a few hours to explore. To soak in the hilltop town vibe, I highly recommend an overnight stay, when you’ll have the town (mostly) to yourself after dark and will have the chance to try one of the town’s excellent restaurants.
A quick trip to Orvieto
We arrived in Orvieto around 7:30pm by the intercity (IC) train from Rome. Crossing over the road to the Funiculare building, we bought tickets (€1.30 per person) and hopped onto the Funiculare for the short journey to the top of the hill. Thinking it wasn’t too far of a walk to the B&B, not knowing it was uphill and with no mini bus in site, we walked the 15 minutes to Piazza del Popolo to find our accommodation for the night, B&B La Soffitta.
Trying to find it was a bit confusing but we eventually found the right door and was greeted by our very friendly host. She was absolutely lovely and her French was better than her English (and my Italian) so we communicated in a mix of all three languages.Our room was on the top floor with two small windows overlooking the piazza. With an 8:30pm reservation for dinner at Trattoria del Moro, we got there just in time. The dinner, which I had been anticipating for a couple of months based on reviews, was quite disappointing. Our waitress, an older lady, couldn’t have cared less that we were there, even though we tried our best to speak in Italian, and the food was incredibly salty. So salty we were pouring parmesan cheese on it to take away from the salt (and yes, parmesan already has a salty taste). Based on the restaurant’s reviews, it seems like we were unlucky and had the ‘grumpy waitress’. Unfortunately it wasn’t the experience I had hoped for. After dinner we went for a short stroll through the town to work off our pasta.
In the morning I got up early for an hour long walk through town. Besides a handful of old men, I hardly saw anyone else and only a few tourists near the end of the walk. My journey took me along the ramparts to take in the breathtaking views of the countryside and then through town to the Duomo.
Walking back into Piazza del Popolo, Deane had her head stuck out the window to greet me ‘home’.
The B&B serves its breakfast in a dedictated room, which won’t make the highlight reel for best breakfast of the trip. There were several options including custard filled croissants (yum), yogurts, cereal and the worst coffee I’ve ever smelled (I didn’t drink it because it smelled so bad). After breakfast, we left our bags so we could explore the town before we were due to pick up the car at noon. We went for a walk and pretty much re-did the walk I’d done earlier.
We were then off to walk back to the funiculare, but downhill this time (much better with all our bags!). Next stop, Montepulciano and the Val d’Orcia!
Our 10 day trip to Italy included: two days in Rome, an overnight in Orvieto, two days driving around the Val d’Orcia based in Montepulciano, two days in Chianti based outside of Greve in Chianti, 3 days and 2 nights in Cinque Terre, a stopover in Pisa and two days and nights in Venice. This blog post details our day in Orvieto.