Orvieto visits - Travels in Tuscany


The origins of Orvieto go back to the Etruscan civilization: the first Etruscan settlements, going back to the 9th Century B.C., infact, were found inside the tufaceous caves in the bedrock upon which today rises the city.
Annexed in the 3rd Century B.C. to the territories of Rome, it remained under the Roman domination until the decline of the Western Roman Empire, after which it became a free municipality, and during the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, it was a valiant opponent of Barbarossa, remaining faithful to the Pope. Riding on the support of the Papal State, it was allowed to prosper throughout the entire Medieval Period, reaching the top of its development in the 13th Century with the constitution of the General Council of the 400 and the election of the Captain of the People.
It was during this period that Orvieto saw the birth of many palaces and churches among which the famous Cathedral. Dating back to 1263, undoubtedly it’s the most important architectural landmark of the city, with its splendid Gothic facade and with the richness of the ornaments and the internal chapels. In the old part of the town we also find the St. Patrizio’s well, built in 1527 based on a plan of Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, the Palace of the Seven (14th Century) 1300, the Palace of the Captain of the People (12th Century) inside which it usually took place the meetings of the People's Council, Saint Andrew’s Church (12th Century), Saint Domenic’s Church (12th Century), Saint Giovenale’s Church (11th Century), Soliano Palace (1262) within which are situated two museums: the Museum of the Opera del Duomo and the Museum of Modern Art. Moreover we remember the Mancinelli Theatre (1866), the suggestive Underground City and the Necropolis of the Crucifix of Tufo dating back to the Etruscan period.


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