Orvieto, Italy, it's where Squirrl is for the next couple of months.
Thanks to Emily, Squirrl can be in Europe and you can receive your Squirrls from Melbourne!
Orvieto is a beautiful medieval town about 1.5 hours north of Rome's Fiumicino airport and is known for its stunning architecture and rich history. We've been exploring the city and here are the ten things we recommend while you're here.
1. Visit the Orvieto Cathedral: This magnificent Gothic cathedral is one of the main attractions in Orvieto. Its intricate façade, stunning frescoes, and the Chapel of San Brizio, which houses Luca Signorelli's breathtaking Last Judgment frescoes is as beautiful as any Italian medieval cathedral.
2. Explore the Orvieto Underground: Hidden tunnels, caves, and wells were used for various purposes throughout history and this underground system includes Etruscan artefacts and ancient pottery.
3. The Piazza della Repubblica: Walk up Corso Cavour and wander through the heart of Orvieto. Sit at one of the outdoor cafes, soak in the lively atmosphere and organise your day tours to the underground tunnel and St Patrick's Well. You can also visit the Palazzo del Popolo, which houses the Orvieto Town Hall and some very good trattorias!
4. Near the top of the funicolare from Orvieto Scalo is Pozzo di San Patrizio: Known as St. Patrick's Well, this 54m deep well was built through rock to provide a reliable water supply during times of siege. The well was imagined by Pope Clement VII who was living in exile in Orvieto and built from 1527-1537.
5. Explore Orvieto's museums: Orvieto is home to several interesting museums including the National Archaeological Museum, which displays Etruscan artefacts and ancient Roman sculptures and the Orvieto Museum showcases religious art and artefacts. The Museo Emilio Greco exhibits contemporary sculpture.
6. Take a wine tour: Orvieto is famous for its excellent wines, particularly Orvieto Classico. Take a tour of the local vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and spend some time tasting the local offerings. Many wineries also offer picturesque views of the countryside. Fun fact: each year the wineries within a 1.5 hour radius of Orvieta hold an Open Wineries (Cantine Aperta) weekend. In 2023, there were 50 wineries!
7. Try to align your visit with the annual Corpus Domini celebration. We can't say any more than an honest recommendation to be in Orvieto during the celebration. It really is the most extraordinary experience.
8. Discover the Etruscan Necropolis: Just outside town, you'll find the Etruscan Necropolis, a burial site dating back to the Etruscan civilisation. Explore the ancient tombs, some of which are adorned with intricate frescoes. The Necropolis of Crocifisso del Tufo and the Tomba del Capitano are particularly noteworthy.
9. Enjoy the local cuisine: Treat yourself to Orvieto's delicious food. Sample regional specialties such as wild boar dishes, porchetta (roast pork), truffles, and Pici all'aglione (a type of pasta with garlic sauce). For those of us who are vegetarian, try the Cacio e Pepe - pasta with cheese and pepper. Sounds simple but the best Italian meals always are. Don't forget to pair your meal with a glass of Orvieto wine.
10. Finally, one of the first places we wrote about when Squirrl started in 2019 was Saturnia Hot Springs in Italy. Guess what! Orvieto is just up the road, only 70 minutes from Saturnia.
Remember to check local weather conditions, guidelines and opening hours before visiting any attractions, as they may vary.