From Orvieto to Florence – Dolly Travels

Orvietto - Dolly Travels

Buona sera, tutti,

I realize that I haven’t told you about Orvieto yet. When we left Rome, we went to the hill town of Orvieto, in Umbria. This ancient town sits like a mushroom above the Umbrian valley. It is a lovely old city, with its stone walls and ancient building. The city itself dates back to 900 B.C. This turned out to be not the best trip I have ever made to Orvieto: no one reason, but several things happened that no one had control over. First, the funicular that is supposed to take passengers from the train station up to the old town, was broken. We had to go on a bus. Then the shuttle bus from the little station was not running (so we were told), so we walked about a mile, pulling our luggage behind us. By the time we got to our hotel, we were tired and starving.

However, pizza was not far away. After a good late lunch, I had to take a nap, while Danny and Heather went exploring. Dinner that night consisted of gelato.

The following day our activity was thwarted, also, for we had planned to take a bus to the city of Bagnoreggio and walk to another ancient city, Civita. This could not happen, for the rains and thunderstorms came. I did not want to walk across that footbridge from Bagnoreggio to Civita in a thunderstorm. The walk is scary enough to me in good weather. Heather had her heart set on doing a hike through and around the mountain that Orvieto sits upon. Off they went; several hours later, after walking 3 miles and climbing or descending 43 sets of stairs, they emerged back into town, soaking wet.

I stayed in town, walked up and down a few of the streets, found a place for cappuccino and spent the morning writing. After that, I visited this beautiful cathedral. The Gothic facade is spectacular.

We ended our evening with dinner at Trattoria da Carlo, with a typical regional menu. Carlo not only was our chef, but our waiter as well, along with his Mama and one other waiter. The pasta was homemade with choices of different sauces; simple meat dishes but very tasty. After dinner, we took another quiet stroll, then off to bed for us, to be ready for our train ride into Florence on Thursday morning.

Once again, all three of us were hungry when we arrived in Florence, so first item on our agenda was lunch. We went across the street to one of my favorite places, the L’OK Cucina e Ristorante…eight years ago, when I first started hanging out there, it was the OK Bar. Now Christina owns the place, has enlarged it and turned it into a first class dining establishment.

I was going through cooking withdrawal, so after lunch, we went to the Conad market and bought food to cook for dinner. I think we all enjoyed our simple home-cooked meal, then relaxed while watching the World Cup game on television in our own living room.

Later, we took an evening stroll. The weather was a bit breezy, but sweater weather.

Today, we started by visiting the Galleria Accademia, where the kids got a first look at David. He stands on a pedestal that is about 6 feet tall, and the man himself is 17 feet tall. Massive and impressive, of course.

I love it that so many of the merchants remember me. It makes me feel like a really am a Fiorentina.

After our lunch, at home, of fresh bread, salami, cheese and fruit, we are all ready for our siesta. We will venture out again this evening, for the “passiagetta”, or our version of that walk, while we find more good places in Florence. The kids are enjoying Florence so much that we may not take more than one side trip. There is just too much to see and savor in this Renaissance city, my true second home.

Until next time,

Ciao for now,

By Dolly – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Orvieto Gay Travel Resources

Florence Gay Travel Resources

Orvieto – Dolly Travels

View from Orvieto - Dolly Travels

Good morning, everyone,

You can tell that I am excited about returning to Italy. I thought I might go back and read some of my blog posts where I wrote about places that I will revisit this coming June.

Orvieto - Dolly TravelsI have had Orvieto on my mind for some time. I love that hill town that is situated in Umbria, somewhere between Florence and Rome. I first visited that town in 2010, by myself. I enjoyed traveling from the train station up the hill to the old town, which sits like a giant mushroom on cliffs that overlook the newer city of Orvieto (down at ground level) and the Umbrian countryside. Now there is a funicular, a small train, that takes visitors up to the old city more quickly.

Duomo Orvieto - Dolly TravelsThe cathedral in Orvieto is one of the most strikingly beautiful churches in Italy. While it is not as ancient as some of the others, the artistic design is gorgeous. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral and was built in the 14th century A.D., in the Italian Gothic design.

One chapel at the rear of the cathedral is called the Brizio Chapel. An artist by the name of Luca Signorelli decorated the walls and the ceilings with paintings that were probably inspired by Dante’s Inferno, for they are actually downright scary. Beautiful but scary.

On a gentler note, as I walked through the town, along the city walls, I found the peaceful scene at the top of this post. This is some of the countryside, looking south, with the newer city of Orvieto in the center.

Old Church in Orvieto - Dolly TravelsNow here is an older church. This is the Chiesa di San Francesco, which sits right at the edge of a cliff at the western end of the old town. This church was dedicated in 1266 A.D. Inside it still looks very old and stark. It is kept in good repair, but I did not find it as inviting as the Duomo, the grand Cathedral.

While I was staying in Orvieto, I took a bus to another hill town, Bagnoreggio. The bus driver knew the roads, thank goodness. I had been told that the trip from Orvieto to Bagnoreggio would take an hour. This bus driver made it in 40 minutes, stopping once for a stop sign when he got to the town of Bagnoreggio. I wrote on my blog post at that time that I felt like I was on Disney’s Mr.Toad’s Wild Ride. But I arrived safe and sound, and welcomed the half hour walk that I would have across town, for my goal was to cross over a bridge to the ancient town of Civita.

When I got to the eastern edge of Bagnoreggio, I found that bridge. I don’t know what I expected, but when I looked at it, I thought, “I can’t do this.” However, I had come that far to get to that little town, and I knew I had to cross the bridge over that canyon to get there.

Civita Gateway - Dolly TravelsYes, the foot bridge does go almost straight up. My concern was walking over that canyon on that bridge, for I am afraid of heights. I walked in the center of that bridge, not daring to get too close to the edges until I was safely at the top.

Civita House - Dolly TravelsThe gateway to the city, a rock archway, was built by the Etruscans over 2,500 years ago, but was renovated, for lack of a better word, in the 7th century by the Romans.

Inside the city were the ancient stone buildings. Population is minimal, as the young people are gone, and the older citizens have by necessity, moved to Bagnoreggio, or other towns nearby.

Orvieto View - Dolly Travels

After I had toured the town, I made my way back across the bridge to the town of Bagnoreggio, where I had some lunch. In Civita, or rather, underneath the town, are still ancient caves. I did not explore them on my first trip there, but took a peek at some of them on subsequent visits.

Back in Orvieto, I relaxed for a bit before I went out to explore more of that city. This is the view from my window in my room.

Orvieto View - Dolly TravelsAnother view of Orvieto. Maybe you can get an idea of how high in elevation this town is, from this picture.

There is still more of Orvieto to explore again, and places to sit and relax, good restaurants, some who specialize in serving the wild game of the area: wild boar (cinghiale), wild birds and other meats that I did not particularly want to try, but the cinghiale salami is delicious.

Now I will leave you with this memory of mine of one of my favorite hill towns. I am looking forward to visiting Orvieto again, as well as Bagnoreggio and Civita. The bus ride promises to be just as exciting this year as it was in 2010, I am sure.

Ciao for now,

By AUTHOR – Full Story at SOURCE

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources