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11 Interesting Things to Do in Orvieto Italy You’ll Love

Only 75 miles north of Rome, lovely Orvieto is a hilltop town in Umbria filled with history, culture and stunning views. Its history spans the centuries from the Estruscans to the Romans to the medieval period. The town is full of historic cities, a jaw-dropping cathedral, shopping and great food.

Here are 11 interesting things to do in and around Orvieto Italy.

If you are short on time Orvieto is a fantastic day trip from Rome.

11 Interesting Things to do in Orvieto Italy

1. Visit Orvieto Duomo

I have visited many a church/duomo in my time so it takes quite a bit to impress me. But wow, Orvieto’s Duomo blew me away! Construction of the Duomo began in 1290 in a Romanesque-Gothic style. The detail and freshness of the facade are extraordinary. Try to visit the Duomo around sunset, as the light causes the church to take on a pinky/coral tone.

orvieto cathedral
orvieto cathedral

The interior is not as spectacular as the exterior but it is still worth a visit to see the striped columns and the beautiful stained glass windows at the front of the church.

orvieto cathedral
orvieto cathedral

2. See Palazzo Del Popolo

This beautiful medieval palace, which translates to the Palace of the Captain of the People, was built in the 13th century. The palace was the seat of the city’s government and housed the courts, the prison, and the grain market. It is not open to the general public but you can admire its exterior.

orvieto view

3. Explore Orvieto Underground

Believe it or not, 1200 caves sit underneath Orvieto. Over the years, these caves have been used for everything from storing wine and food to providing shelter from bombs in World War Two.

underground orvieto
underground Orvieto

Today, most of the caves are privately owned (every shop and house in Orvieto has its own underground cave), so it is only possible to visit two caves on a one-hour tour.

underground orvieto
underground orvieto

Orvieto Underground is open every day of the year apart from Christmas. Tours run four times a day.

4. Visit a local winery and enjoy some Orvieto Classico

Orvieto is in prime wine-making country and best known for its crisp white wine. The area gained the DOC of Orvieto Classico in 1971. To be classified as Orvieto Classico, the wine must contain at least 60% procanico or grechetto grapes. The balance can be a mix of non-aromatic white grapes.

neri view

There are several wineries outside of the town but not too far away. I visited Cantine Neri, which is under 7 kilometers from the heart of town. The wine-tasting industry around Orvieto is not as developed as areas in Tuscany like Montepulciano. Things appear to be much more casual in terms of bookings, tasting times, food etc.

neri tasting room
neri tasting room

Cantine Neri is a beautiful property on the top of a hill in Bardano. The Neri family has been making wine here since the 1950s. There is a lovely large tasting room, and we were able to enjoy a tasty lunch even if the menu was a bit limited (charcuterie to begin, followed by pasta). But the wines were excellent, and I purchased some to take home.

neri wine bottles

I also read good things about Madonna Del Latte but we didn’t have time to visit the winery. If you do go there, please drop me a line and tell me what it is like.

5. Go shopping

Orvieto is filled with cute and quirky shops, most of which appear to be independent. If you like Pinocchio, you will be in for a treat as he features heavily across several stores, and you can even sit next to him on a bench.

pinocchio orvieto

Many ceramics stores span everything from more modern and artistic designs to classic bright Italian colors. There are several interesting clothing stores, and I found a store where the owner makes all of the great value handbags, Arte Del Cuoio. I bought one, and it has become my go-to handbag.

orvieto bag shop

6. Stroll the streets of Orvieto

Orvieto is made for gentle strolling. From colorful shutters to quirky seats to well-placed bicycles, this is Instagram heaven. Head to the edge of town and the ramparts for some great views.

streets of orvieto
streets of orvieto

7. Enjoy at least one gelato

Orvieto has a lot of gelato shops for its size. I always take this as a sign that the gelato must be excellent, or all these gelato stores wouldn’t survive. I am pleased to say that I was correct. Whilst in town, I enjoyed gelato at Il Gelato Di Pasqualetti

orvieto gelato

8. Climb to the top of Torro Del Moro

orvieto view things to do in orvieto

Some of the best views of Orvieto (and the Duomo) and the surrounding Umbrian countryside can be obtained from the top of Torro Del Moro. This 46-meter-high tower was built in the 1200s in the city’s center. The tower is open every day all year round, and tickets to the top are three euros.

orvieto view

9. Pozzo Del Cava (Cave Well)

Located in a complex of nine caves, this well was commissioned by Pope Clement VII. The well contains artifacts from the Etruscan, Medieval, and Renaissance periods, including the remains of two furnaces used to produce ceramics.

orvieto well

10. Saint Patrick’s Well

st patrick's well in orvieto Italy
st patrick’s well

Commissioned by Pope Clement VII as well and constructed in 1527, this well is quite an engineering marvel. It is 16 meters deep and has two independent, opposing spiral staircases of 248 steps each. It is a slightly odd experience to walk down and do watch out if you have vertigo!

st patrick's well
st patrick’s well

11. Stay at an Agriturismo

Spread over 212 acres, Griffins Resort is a beautiful agriturismo located 17 kilometers northeast of Orvieto. This beautiful old manor house sits in green fields and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. And the best place to enjoy the view is by the lovely large swimming pool, lined with comfortable covered lounge chairs.

griffins resort pool
griffins resort pool

The bedrooms are simply designed in oak and white. Each room is unique, with a slightly different layout. Mine had a large double bed and lots of billowing white curtains. The design is modern, particularly in the bathrooms. My bathroom had a long skinny shower with two shower heads.

griffins resort bedroom
griffins resort bedroom

Note: It was very hot when we visited, and the quality of the air conditioning did vary from room to room, so be careful to check this.

griffins resort bathroom
griffins resort bathroom

The restaurant at Griffin’s Resort is excellent. Many ingredients come from the Ponziani estate, of which the resort is part. After several days in Italy, I appreciated the simpler offers at Griffin’s Resort with grilled proteins and chargrilled vegetables. They also have their own winery – do try their tasty wines.

griffins resort dinner
griffins resort dinner

Breakfast is a buffet of a broad range of sweet pastries and the usual savory suspects of cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes and various types of meat.

griffins resort breakfast
griffins resort breakfast

Read reviews on Tripadvisor Check Prices and Availability

griffins resort
griffins resort

Where to Eat in Orvieto

For good value and all things regional, head to Trattoria del Moro Aronne. Don’t miss the Bucatini carbonara with fava beans. If you’re near the Duomo, check out the family-run restaurant Trattoria La Pergola.

orvieto restaurant pasta

For something different, have dinner in underground Orvieto. Le Grotte del Funaro is located in an Etruscan grotto. It is known for its great pizza and wild boar ragu.

Ristorante Da Gregorio was my favorite meal in Orvieto, even though technically it isn’t in Orvieto. The restaurant is located near Griffin’s Resort, approximately 13 kilometers from the hilltop town. This restaurant is in the Michelin Guide and is a bit of a hidden gem due to its location.

last lunch restaurant

This family-run restaurant has a fairly typical menu for the region done exceptionally well. This is the place to try wild boar in Orvieto.

last lunch restaurant pasta

The restaurant itself is cool and modern inside, with large windows that showcase the fantastic views of the Umbrian countryside.

last lunch restaurant

Where to Stay in Orvieto

I stayed at Griffin’s Resort when I visited Orvieto. However, I researched some options in the center of Orvieto, and here is what looked the best.

orvieto wall

Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini is a nice looking 4-star hotel in the middle of the old town. This medieval building is completely modern inside, although still decorated with Medieval, Etruscan and Renaissance elements.

Read reviews on Tripadvisor Check Prices and Availability

orvieto view bell

Or stay a couple of miles from Orvieto at the adults-only Altarocca Wine Resort. This looked fantastic, and they have two outdoor pools.

Read reviews on TripadvisorCheck Prices and Availability

orvieto lavender

How to get to Orvieto and how to get around

The closest airport to Orvieto is Perugia which is 52 kilometers away. Ryan Air and British Airways fly directly from London to Perugia but there aren’t many flights. It isn’t that easy to get from Perugia to Orvieto. There are no direct train and bus options, and the indirect options may take up to 5 hours. By car, it is just over one hour from Perugia to Orvieto, and taxis in the area aren’t cheap.

orvieto cow art
orvieto cow art

Rome airport is twice the distance from Orvieto as Perugia, but the transport links are better. A car will take about 90 minutes from the airport and a train or bus around 2 1/2 hours. The train and bus options are slower as you must go into Rome to get the train or bus to Orvieto.

orvieto market

The best option is to visit Orvieto from Rome. The train only takes 1 1/4 hours, and the bus is about 90 minutes. Orvieto can be visited from Rome as a day trip or even better stay at least one night to absorb the city’s charm.

orvieto ceramics

Frequently Asked Questions about Orvieto Italy

Is it worth visiting Orvieto Italy?

Absolutely! This hilltop town is filled with historical architectural wonders like its amazing Duomo and St Patrick’s Well, great shopping, a charming atmosphere and wonderful food and wine. If you are short on time it would be possible to experience some of the highlights of Orvieto on a day trip from Rome.

Is Orvieto closer to Rome or Florence?

Orvieto is closer to Rome. It is approx two hours from Florence.

How long is the Orvieto Underground Tour?

The tour takes about one hour.

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