In love with Orvieto

Vineyard and Orvieto in the background

Our accommodation in Orvieto
Our accommodation in Orvieto
Our room at B&B Villa degli Ulivi, Orvieto
Our room at B&B Villa degli Ulivi, Orvieto

Our last day in Orvieto and after stressing about money all afternoon because we couldn’t withdraw cash from either of our accounts, we discovered that there was an actual limit of 250 euros on the bancomat machines in Orvieto. Problem solved, we’ll pay our accommodation with Visa and withdraw more money when we get to our next destination. The fees St George Bank charge us are killers – about $75 AUD in conversion and foreign withdrawal fees to withdraw about $2000 over the past 5 weeks. It is the little things that often drive us nuts, however it isn’t enough to spoil our stay in this wonderful hill town north of Rome.

Anyway, we walked into Orvieto at about 7pm this evening, our B&B accommodation isn’t far but it is all uphill, we walked to the nearest carpark and then made use of the escalators to take us to Piazza Republica. It is Saturday night and the town is packed with locals and tourists, the bars and streets are full, Italians think nothing of standing in the middle of the road while carrying out a conversation. We walk towards the Duomo and along Corso Cavour checking out the menus of several restaurants and trattorias, it is the Zeppelin Restaurant menu that gets our attention, variety of choice at a good price and not far from the escalators that brought us into the old town. Lunch had been an excellent selection of goodies ranging from peanuts and olives to panini, all free with the wine that we drank, it was cheap, tasty and we met a couple of wonderful ladies from Brazil and an English author currently living in Orvieto. Although good and filling, lunch had left us seeking a good solid meal of typical Umbrian fare and we found it at the Zeppelin on Via Garibaldi, not far from Piazza della Republica. The girls that served us at Zeppelin were from the US, friendly and helpful they sent us special help when we asked about wine. Our meal was superb, our waiter (Vito?) recommended several dishes, Marty ordered the wild boar with spaghetti and I the Ravioli stuffed with Asparagus and cheese and covered with a black truffle sauce and almonds, the wine recommended complimented our meals beautifully and it was probably the best service we had experienced since arriving in Europe. Our secondi (mains) were pork stuffed with prunes and rosemary and wild boar with olives, tomatoes and red wine sauce, another excellent choice guided by Vito (please forgive me if I’ve gotten the name wrong) and topped off by Grappa and Limoncello. Not once were we made to feel like tourists, it was a fabulous evening and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who appreciates good food and service. If you think it sounds expensive, think again, for a good bottle of red wine, a bottle of water, 2 first courses of pasta and 2 mains it was only 56 euros, the liqueurs at the end of the meal were ‘on the house’.

Orvieto has been an extremely wonderful and positive place for us to visit, our accomodation is among the best we’ve had in Europe, the rooms and breakfast are very good and the owners are delightful, very friendly and helpful. I booked online through expedia.com.auΒ and the wonderful Bed & Breakfast Villa degli Ulivi is highly recommended through TripAdvisor as well. If you don’t want to walk up the hill (about 10 mins) you can drive and park near the escalators, it is a great location and the rooms are very comfortable – we wish we had booked for longer. Breakfast is an assortment of cakes plus toast, pastries, cereal, ham, cheese and boiled eggs, their coffee is so much better than the majority of places we’ve stayed that we usually have two or three cups.

In addition to the good food and service, Orvieto is a pretty and easy town to navigate, the facade of the Cathedral is one I could sit and stare at for ages, it is truly magnificent and it is a magical sight when the sun is setting and the light changes from bright to warm and golden. Underneath Orvieto is over one thousand caves and/or tunnels that have been used for keeping pigeons, as WWII bomb shelters and many moons ago, for the production or milling of olive oil. The short tour we did was worth the 6 euros they charged, the tour guide had a great sense of humour and was extremely knowledgeable, plus the caves provide a cool escape from the heat of the day. I didn’t make it into the Cathedral or any of the museums open to the public however, the town itself is worth spending time in without having to visit such attractions, we enjoyed people watching over a glass of Orvieto Classico and plate of nibbles/tapas/bruschetta and met the loveliest people while doing so.

If I sound as though I’m rambling I apologise, this is written on a belly full of wild boar, truffles, red wine, limoncello and a tiny sip of grappa so my senses are pretty much overloaded.

Ciao and good night!

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14 thoughts on “In love with Orvieto

  1. restlessjo April 22, 2012 / 7:54 am

    Small town Italy. It sounds perfect. Did you venture down the Amalfi coast or into the Italian Lakes at all? The links are in my 6WS comments of the posts I wrote this week.

    • twoblackdoggies April 22, 2012 / 8:18 pm

      Orvieto was a magical place, like Venice it got even better once the sun started to set and most of the day trippers had left. We spent time in Sorrento which was fun, cruised over to Capri on a small boat and that was a great day. At Easter we stayed in Varenna on Lake Como, a romantic and peaceful place that really impressed us.

  2. twoblackdoggies June 1, 2013 / 4:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Two Black Dogs and commented:

    Today I’m feeling a little melancholy, the cooler weather and a few other things are really making me wish that I was back in Italy, in particular the hilltop town of Orvieto. Like Venice, Orvieto stole my heart and if I cannot click my heels together and find myself sitting at a bar in the piazza outside the duomo then I shall travel back in time and revisit Orvieto through my blog.

    Cheers
    Sam πŸ™‚

  3. restlessjo June 1, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    Oh, me too, Sam. Me too! (in love with Orvieto) That fresco shot is fabulous. πŸ™‚

    • twoblackdoggies June 1, 2013 / 7:22 pm

      Thank you Jo, some wonderful memories of wandering through the streets of Orvieto and coming across the loveliest things πŸ™‚

  4. Debra Kolkka June 1, 2013 / 10:57 pm

    I love Orvieto. I have been a few times now, and it gets better each time.

    • twoblackdoggies June 2, 2013 / 7:35 pm

      How wonderful, I am so happy that we spent a few days there and I would love to return (many times) but there is also many other Italian destinations to explore.

  5. Mimi Broihier, writer & blogger June 2, 2013 / 2:55 am

    You’re making me hungry! for the pasta and for Orvieto. I have not been there, but am hoping to get to Italy some day soon. Thanks for the good info. Wonderful blog.

    • twoblackdoggies June 2, 2013 / 7:32 pm

      Sorry, hard not to talk about Italy and food in the same post πŸ™‚ We had delicious meals in Orvieto and some very nice wine, such a beautiful town and it gets better as the sun sets and the day trippers leave. Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed my blog.

  6. This Sydney Life June 2, 2013 / 11:21 am

    It’s POURING here, 2BD. I know where I’d rather be….

    • twoblackdoggies June 2, 2013 / 7:18 pm

      Again? You’ve had alot of rain down south of late. Orvieto would be lovely πŸ™‚

  7. kareninhonolulu June 3, 2013 / 3:53 am

    What a wonderful post. I absolutely love small towns. My problem was, which was the sidewalk and which was the street? People kept ringing their bike bells at me to keep from running over me when I was in Holland. I see the same type of streets in your photos. I wonder if you moved there would you ever want to leave.

    • twoblackdoggies June 3, 2013 / 8:30 pm

      Thank you and yes, sometimes it was hard to know whether you were walking all the sidewalk or on the road, all those cobblestones and the narrow streets make it a little confusing especially if you’re too busy admiring the scenery πŸ™‚
      I know that people say that living in such places is so very different to being on holiday there but I’d love to give it a try.

  8. Chuda June 5, 2013 / 5:54 pm

    Nice blog πŸ™‚ Nice to find you here in wordpress ^!!

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