This is a long journey into one of the most secluded, mysterious areas of Tuscany and Umbria. Located at the far bottom of the region, near the region of Lazio, It is reached directly by highway and very scenic country roads. After a 100 mile drive on the main highway of Italy, A1 , the highway of the sun, we exit at Orvieto. This is our first stop. This pleasant city of 22.000 dates back to more than 2.700 years, being one of the early etruscan settlements.Like all of the towns we will visit today, it is built on very fragile tufo of volcanic rock. This city in particular is in a constant state of alarm as many of its buildings are at risk of disappearing as the rock on which they are built is crumbling down.
We will visit the most beautiful building in town, the Cathedral, which alone is worth the trip. This is one of the finest example of Gothic-local architecture. It was began in 1290 and was not completed until the 1600.It was built to enshrine the relics of the miracle of the nearby lake of Bolsena The main architect was the sienese, Lorenzo Maitani with help from other great ones (Andrea Pisano, Orcagna ) It’s facade is the most richly decorated, stylish of all of those in This part of the world. So you understand why the worries for the eventual crumbling down of this masterpiece are so intense. We will visit the inside of the cathedral, where we will admire the Signorelli’s chapel, a XVth century forefront to Michelangelo’s Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Many studies reveal that the frescos in this chapel were of great help to the florentine super-human artist when getting inspiration for his masterpiece.
If you are a white wine lover maybe a stop at the local wine shop would be appreciated for a bottle of the local Orvieto, dry white wine.
Back on the road, it will be time to venture onto the fascinating country roads that will take us back in time to our second stop, Pitigliano. The first impression you get is that of a town which is bravely hanging on to the cliff , and whose houses of the many different shapes seem to spring directly from the rock. Pitigliano is also known as the “Little Gerusalemme” as in the past a large jewish community lived here following their exile from the city of Rome in the early 12hundreds. We will admire the acqueduct, perfectly preserved and a very important part of the local architecture, the cathedral but most importantly we will visit the synagogue, the sacred building with a very fascinating museum of the local community. This building is a small, perfectly in tune with the old atmosphere you breathe in this town of 4.000 and this is a good enough reason for many couples to come to get married here.