Orvieto is a historic town picturesquely situated at the top of an extinct volcanic cone. The towers and domes of churches tower over the walled city that is visible from a distance, and the entire area is famous for the production of excellent wines.
Many historians equate the city with the Etruscan center of Vulchi. In its vicinity, the Etruscan necropolis of Crocifisso del Tufo was discovered, and souvenirs of this can be seen in the Claudio Fain Etruscan Museum. Orvieto is also home to the National Archaeological Museum with rich collections from the Etruscan and Roman periods.
Orvieto's heyday was in the 12th and 13th centuries, when the papal court was a frequent guest here. It was then that the construction of the Orvieto Cathedral began, which today is the city's greatest attraction. Work on its completion took over 300 years, and the result is a Romanesque-Gothic temple, called by Pope Leo III "the golden lily of Italian cathedrals". Its decoration is the beautiful Chapel of San Brizio, decorated with Renaissance polychromes.
Orvieto's Old Town is an inexhaustible treasury of monuments. Among them are the Collegiate Church of St. Andrew and Bartholomew, Palazzo del Popolo, Romanesque Church of St. Juwenalia, the Torre del moro tower and beautiful tenement houses. The Orvieto Underground, built on the orders of the popes in the event of a siege of the city, and considered an engineering marvel, the Well of St. Patrick's Cathedral with a depth of 60 m.
Orvieto and its surroundings have been famous for centuries for the production of excellent white wines, which can be tasted in numerous wineries. The slopes of volcanic hills are covered with vast vineyards, and the local alcoholic drinks are enjoyed by enthusiasts all over the world.