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Orvieto Home Page

Orvieto is a city in southwestern Umbria, Italy situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tufa. The site of the city is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of tufa cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone.

The ancient city (urbs vetus in Latin, whence "Orvieto") populated in Etruscan times, has usually been associated with Etruscan Velzna, but some modern scholars differ. Orvieto was certainly a major center of Etruscan civilization; the Archaeological Museum (Museo Claudio Faina e Museo Civico) houses some of the Etruscan artifacts that have been recovered there. An interesting remain that might show the complexity of ethnic relations in ancient Italy and how such relations could be peaceful, is the inscription on a tomb in the Orvieto Cannicella necropolis: mi aviles katacinas, "I am Aviles Katacinas", with an Etruscan-Latin first name (Aulus) and a family name that is believed to be of Celtic ("Catacos") origin.



img Orvieto wines
Barrels of "Orvieto Classico", papal city, were regularly sent to the refectories of the prelates and of the noble men of Rome.
img The underground city
The cliff on which the city of Orvieto stands is riddled with an unbelievable number of artificial cavities - an intricate labyrinth of tunnels, galleries, cisterns, wells, quarries and cellars. It is in the bowels of the city that the memory of the succession of inhabitants who once lived on top of the "Rock" still lingers on.
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