The Charming Town of Orvieto, Italy


One of the things I love about traveling are those small, nearly tourist-free towns I stumble upon when hunting for a lunch stop. I have found some amazing places that have rivaled my favorite large cities simply because I was starving and had to stuff my face…

orvieto countryside

Situated about an hour and a half outside of Rome, Orvieto is definitely one of my favorite only-had-lunch-but-wish-I-had-more-time-in-it type of towns, and it has made itself a home on the top of my list of places I need to see more of.

To reach the town of Orvieto, you must take a short funicular ride up a volcanic plateau; tickets can be purchased from the base of the hill for just a few Euros. Within a few minutes you are surrounded by cobblestone streets, architecture reminiscent of the middle ages, shops and numerous restaurants.


Orvieto is Italy’s answer to France’s Saint-Émilion; with its underground tunnels and networks, the countryside views atop the plateau and the lack of cars and tourists, you will feel more like a local here than in Italy’s larger cities such as Rome or Florence.


Check out the “zebra” cathedral (Ok, it’s not zebra… but the stripes remind me of one) or the Duomo of Orvieto Cathedral. The architecture reminds me of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence), and this is where the Papal Palace, which previous Popes have set-up shop in before, is also located. Yes, Orvieto was once a mini-Vatican City in its day.

zebra cathedral

Unfortunately, I did not have much time to spend here and only really just had lunch, an amazing espresso over vanilla bean gelato and saw a few sights. It was simply a place I had an hour or so in; after seeing the quaint charm this little town exudes, I will be back for more!


The BEST espresso, EVER! Poured right over vanilla bean gelato…


Do YOU have any favorite little towns you wished you could have spent more time in??

About The Roaming Bean (109 Articles)
You're probably wondering what the heck is a "Roaming Bean"... Given that I am clearly not a Bean, and my name is Jen, what gives with this Bean thing, right? A friend of mine called me JenBean as a child, and it kinda stuck. Actually, it really stuck... even my license plate says Jenbean. And seeing as I have this grand lust to wander the world, The Roaming Bean seemed suitable. I've changed my career path more times than I have my underwear (minus all the times I've gone commando).... from animating, to forensic pathology, to international business, to fashion marketing and even to my wonderful and favorite of the bunch, degree in culinary arts, nothing kept my attention. Nothing was fun enough to do every day for the rest of my life. I mean, even though I cooked for celebrities in the heart of Hollywood, CA, why the hell would I want to sweat my ass off in a ridiculously HOT kitchen for most of the day and go home smelling like beef and onions? And the chef hat?? Do you know what that did to my hair?? Enter traveling.... The rainy day I descended down the tower of Notre Dame in Paris, gripping on to the railing for dear life so not to slip and tumble to an early death from the torrential down pour that was causing a small flood in the stairwell, my life changed. When I safely made it to the ground, legs shaky from an apparent lack of fitness it requires to walk up and down 387 steep stairs, I realized my hands were stained a delightful copper color from the rusted hand rail I had so dearly clung to. Desperate to get the icky stuff off my supple hands, and no running water in sight, I did what any other hopeless idiot would have done: I washed my hands in the nearest Parisian gutter. It was that moment that changed my life... I threw away my hair dryer, my rolling luggage and my dignity. I let my hair go natural, I bought a back pack and I CAMPED through Europe for a month and a half. Yes my friends, I crossed over into a savage traveling beast. Ok, a lot of people travel that way. But I didn't. And I'm so incredibly thankful for that rainy day in Paris that made me realize the world is a pretty sweet place. That realization led me on a quest; a quest to get out there, see things, soak up some local culture and eat my way around the world (with minimal food-related illnesses, such as but not limited to raging diarrhea).

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