May 4: Orvieto

After being gently lulled to sleep by the chiming of the beautiful cathedral bells every half hour last night, the new day was ready for exploring!

Italy is the land of good food and one needs to start the day with a sound breakfast before venturing out on foot over the cobblestone streets and alleys. A strong cup of coffee accompanied by a small piece of chocolate cake sets the mood for the day! Well, maybe there was some cheese, sausage and a little yogurt to go along with it, but let's not focus on the unnecessary!

Orvieto, being but an hour's train ride from Rome, is a popular place to visit on the tourist circuit, so one hears many languages. Also it is a favorite "student field trip" location, so the plazas are full of young children being "guided" by their teachers through the history of the town. Personally, I found the back streets fascinating and in particular the mailboxes. (see below). The antiquity of the town is delightful and enticing. It is easy to see why this place is so popular.

By afternoon Jackie Marchand had arrived and we set out on foot to explore the town. After a visit to the Information Center we discovered that the entire city is built over a maze of caves and tunnels. These were built by the Etruscans beginning sometime before 1000 BC. The city itself is built on the top of an old volcano (old equaling 300,000 years ago) and through the process of erosion and human work the top was leveled and the city began. In order to construct the bricks and blocks the people dug up the earth below creating caverns. The soil was ripe for making concrete! The more building, the bigger the caves. We toured but one very small section and were amazed by the ingenuity of the people so long ago.

The rest of the day and evening were spent enjoying the town and its inhabitants -- as can been seen below!

Mailbox Example


And Another!

And Two More

And Another

Okay, Maybe Not a Mailbox!!

Town Clock Tower


Local Residence


Way to Lunch

Lunch -- Truffle and Garlic Pasta with Local Wine!

Garbage Pickup During Lunch Break -- Noise Where Back of Truck is in Relation to Diners!!

Jackie: "Hell--lo!!!"

Jackie: "What Big Teeth You Have!!"

Peek a Boo!

"I'm Taking This Guy Home!"

Beneath the City

Man Made Pigeon Nesting Holes Deep Beneath the City

Stairway Out!