Italy Part 2: Rome to Orvieto

Posted by on Oct 28, 2011 in Orvieto Workshop | 3 comments

We took a train from Rome to Orvieto. Not nearly as simple as that, but suffice it to say we did finally arrive and walked across the street to take the funicular up the side of the very steep hill to the medieval town of Orvieto, where I would be teaching for seven days (and will again, in May 2013). What is more fun than starting the week with a funicular ride???

We stayed at San Lodovico, a convent run by the most efficient and friendly nuns ever. Sister Giovanna spoke little English, which was great for me. I got to practice my Italian every day.

It was simple, beautiful and very peaceful there.

This is the library. It is full of dowry offerings from families who sent their daughters to the convent to be the “Brides of Christ”. We walked through this room daily.

Marcia, Nancy and I got there a day early. We decided to walk to the bottom of the hill (they call Orvieto “the Rock”) to explore the Etruscan necropolis at the base. The city was originally built by the Etruscans in the 8th century BC, and this was the site where they buried the dead. We did some wax rubbings on the carved letters and tried to figure out what they said. Interestingly, the written Etruscan language remains undeciphered even by experts, but one wall said SAMA, which is what I call my son.


The way back up is hot and steep. These cliffs are spectacularly straight up.

At the top there was a fine park that sat right at the edge of the cliff, with this beautiful scene below.

The cathedral, the famous luminescent cathedral of Orvieto, lit up with this warm fall sunset. We just had to stop at the piazza wine bar and enjoy this.

We wandered through town and checked out the tiny streets filled with crafts, food, art, clothes and gelato shops.

Their signage and merchandising is bold, in-your-face. I like that.

Orvieto is charming. No one out there could resist it, I am convinced of that. It has just enough to keep your senses occupied without overload. There are lots of wonderful handmade crafts, fabulous sculpture, intriguing architecture and really, really good restaurants.

Tomorrow we will start the class, and that will be Part 3. Ciao!


  1. Thanks for sharing! Would love to see pictures of the handmade crafts!

  2. Oh Jill, So beautiful the photos! I am starting to save up my spare change for 2013! Thank you for sharing and giving such inspiration. Working on binding a book and taking a break to enjoy your site. Maggie in Calgary

  3. Wow! I love this village and wish I was there taking your class! I look forward to more posts about your trip! Ciao

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