Posted by: Kerry & Jim | 20 October 2013

Orvieto and Pitigliano

We have already been to Orvieto but we loved it so much we decided to go back and stay the night to have another look around. We arrived at midday and spent the afternoon revisiting places we loved and exploring new things. Click here to see our last visit to Orvieto.

One of the tours we did on this trip was a walking tour down to the underground man made caves and tunnels. The city is built on tufa – a soft volcanic rock – that is quite strong but easy to dig into. Over time the underground was used as a place for worship, pressing oil, storage of food – particularly in the middle ages when the city was often under siege, and as a place to raise and breed pigeons as they were a valuable source of food.

We dined in an underground restaurant ‘Le Grotte del Funaro’ on the edge of the city. It served fantastic food and was quite a unique experience dining down there.

But the highlight of this trip was watching the sun rise and the fog slowly lift from the valleys below to reveal this gorgeous scenery on a lovely autumn day.

Looking back as we left Orvieto the cathedral is overwhelmingly large compared to the other buildings in the city.

From here we went on to Pitigliano which is another beautiful hilltop village. The remains of the 17th century aquaduct are a prominent feature.

A lovely piazza runs the width of the city, only about 100 metres wide, and the narrow streets are lovely.

For many centuries Pitigliano was known as ‘The Little Jerusalem”. From 1598, when the local Synagogue was built, the Jewish community established themselves in the area and built an underground ritual bath house, kosher cellar for food storage, a butchers slaughter house, bakery and dye-works – all of which are preserved as a museum.

Debra and her sister Sandra joined us on the trip. We arrived mid morning and decided to stay for lunch. What a great idea – we dined at Trattoria Il Tufo Allegro and the food was fabulous.

Once again the best view of the whole village was as we were leaving.

We probably won’t get back to Umbria again on this trip. If you are coming to Italy I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful region.


  1. looks great.. we are 2 couples where should we stay..planning to go in may

    • I would suggest staying in Orvieto. Just make sure that when you are booking your accommodation that it is in the old city up on the high level and not down the bottom of the hill. If you are travelling by car there is parking on the high level and if you are arriving by train there is a cable car that will take you up to the top.

      I have not doubt you will love Orvieto.

      • do you have any suggestions, we were planning on orvieto

  2. Love your story and photos of these two very beautiful Umbrian villages…. We so much enjoyed our time in Umbria as well! Looks like you’re continuing to enjoy your time in Italy!!

    • Yes, although our time here is now going so fast.

  3. Can I come back, the food looks wonderful as usual. You didn’t take me there. Ha ha

  4. Looks like the girls did a bit of shopping whilst in Orvieto. Well done! Love your pics.

    • Great to hear from you Jan….are you still in Assisi?

  5. Umbria is a real treasure and the second visit was fully justified. The food looks delicious!

    • As usual, the food was fabulous. We have been very lucky – haven’t had a bad experience at all.

  6. It was a great trip. I love Orvieto and Pitigliano.

    • Yes, we are very glad we made the time to return.

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