Orvieto, a beautiful Umbrian hill town

A short overnight trip to Orvieto, a beautiful Umbrian hill town located halfway between Rome and Florence.

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.

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.

Travel to Orvieto from Rome

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 sight, we walked the 15 minutes to Piazza del Popolo to find our accommodation for the night, B&B La Soffitta.

Map of Orvieto
Map of Orvieto

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.

Early morning walk around town

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 (Orvieto Cathedral).

Street in Orvieto
I wasn’t expecting to see men in suits on my early morning walk!

Walking back into Piazza del Popolo, Deane had her head stuck out the window to greet me ‘home’.

B&B in Orvieto
Someone found the tea!

The B&B serves its breakfast in a dedicated 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.

Orvieto Door
One of the many picturesque doors along my walk
Orvieto Cathedral
The huge and breathtaking Orvieto Cathedral
Orvieto Cathedral
Close up (with much better light!) of the Cathedral
Coffee in Orvieto
Having a coffee break before picking up the car
Street in Orvieto
A lovely strada in Orvieto
Orvieto rock
Orvieto is built onto a massive chunk of rock
Orvieto views
Another one of the lovely views in Orvieto

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!

I went to Italy for 10 days with my mom and step data. Our trip included: two days in Rome, an overnight in Orvieto, two days driving around the Val d’Orcia based in Montepulcianotwo days in Chianti based outside of Greve in Chianti3 days and 2 nights in Cinque Terrea stopover in Pisa and two days and nights in Venice. This blog post details our short stay in Orvieto. 

We visited Orvieto as part of a 10 day trip to Italy in mid-September 2015.

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