Posts Tagged With: Umbria

Siena Pictorial

Siena is a good size city in the region of Tuscany, provide of Siena.  Ithaca a population of 52,700 people. Siena has a very large piazza in the center of town that has a horse race twice a year called the Palio.

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Siena is near to many Tuscan and Umbrian mountain towns, Sah Gimignano and Florence. The main Chianti wine area is nearby as well.

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The piazza

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Small narrow streets

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Stairs up from Baptistery to Duomo

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Inside Duomo

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Duomo in its full glory

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Always time for gelato

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Beautiful streets

Siena is worth a stop for a day or two. Get out and walk the city and see its sites. Soccer fans will find a large soccer stadium here. Siena is near the autostrada and is easily reachable by car from Florence or Rome.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Driving in Italy, Duomo, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Il Palio, Italy, Siena, Tuscany, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Early Etruscan Life

Before the Romans there were the Etruscans. They were an advanced people. They built some great cities like Pompeii. This civilization lived in ancient Italy in the current areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. It started just after the Iron age and last up to the Roman period.

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Livescience” has an article on early Etruscan life. It was titled “Skeleton of early Prince Reveals Etruscan Life”. The Etruscans they are talking about lived between 616 & 579 BC. That’s a long time ago. If you have been to Pompeii or are planning a trip to Naples or Rome Italy, go and see Pompeii. It’s that famous city that was destroyed by the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It was not destroyed by lava but very hot volcanic ash that covered the entire city killing everyone inside. After they found this remarkable city they dug out the ash and discovered a modern city. Some of the things that were amazing to us were:

  1. Stone ovens like our brick pizza ovens probably for bread
  2. Speed bumps to slow down the horse and carriages inside the city
  3. A water gravity system that when turned on cleaned the streets automatically
  4. Homes that were very large and beautiful. Several we would love to live in today
  5. Graffiti on the walls as a form of communication
  6. Hotels
  7. Theaters
  8. Hotels catering to prostitution

Don’t miss this wonderful glimpse into the past.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Etruscan, Europe, Italy, Lazio, Pompeii, Tuscany, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orvieto, A perfect city

English: Facade of Orvieto Cathedral.

English: Facade of Orvieto Cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of our favorite side trips from Rome is Orvieto. It is an easy train ride out of Rome.

Italy is famous for its hill-top towns. They were built high up to protect from invaders and pirates. Some cities have two parts, one at the sea as a port and the other high up on a hill-top. As invaders were coming, the town people went to the hill-top part to protect themselves. Orvieto is a hill-top town between Florence and Rome in the province of Umbria. It is easy to get to by car or train. The train and car parking is at the base of the mountain. There is a funicular that travels up the hill to the town above.

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The views are spectacular from any wall around the town. The town is made of small cobblestone streets with great shopping and dinning. If you can only do a day travel to Orvieto, take an early train and stay until after dinner. The Duomo (Cathedral) is amazing and incredibly large. It sits on a small piazza against one of the town walls. There is a small hotel and restaurant on the piazza as well. One has to marvel at how they built such a structure high up on a hill.

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The town only allows local residents cars to drive up the windy road to the top. You can see residence walking up and down this road during the day. We took the train from Rome to Orvieto and returned to Rome in same day. The trip through the mountains was enjoyable. This is a city worth seeing and exploring. You do NOT need a guide! Just enjoy the city. Look at the wonderful leather goods and ceramics. Eat lunch and dinner at a restaurant, Trattoria or cafe. In the morning stop at a bar for coffee and a pastry. Don’t forget the wonderful local white wine from Orvieto.

Orvieto has a main road that leads from the fort and funicular to the wall at the back of town. In the middle at the clocktower, turn left on a street that leads to the Duomo piazza. All along the main road are restaurants, bars and shopping. On the side road to Duomo is additional shops and restaurants. Off these main roads are smaller roads with even more shops and restaurants. Orvieto has great ceramics for sale.

Enjoy your trip!

Categories: Duomo, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Orvieto, Rome, Small Towns, Traveling without a tour, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Orvieto, Italy

Orvieto is a small mountain top town in Umbria. It is north of Rome and can be easily gotten to by car or train. The train station and free parking lot are at the base of the butte. The butte is of limestone and volcanic ash. It goes straight up on all sides and town sits on the top. It is flat and easy to walk. From the train station or parking lot take the funicular up the butte to the town. There is a bus that will shuttle you to the piazza with the duomo (cathedral). You can easily walk around this town.

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Funicular

There is a large fort at the top of the funicular. Inside you have great views down to the train station and countryside. Walking straight out of the funicular is Corso Cavour, follow this to the bell tower in the center of the city and make a left at Via del Duomo. The duomo is in a Piazza at the end of this road.

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                                          Bell tower                                      Duomo

The duomo is so large it is hard to believe it is in this small city. On Via del Duomo there are ceramic and leather shops with fantastic local products. Restaurants abound in this area. In Piazza Duomo there is a small trattoria. You can eat outside with great views of the duomo.

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Trattoria

Walk the narrow streets and enjoy this great city. If you go back to Corso Cavour and go left to the end, you are at the back side of the city with views of the countryside.

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Countryside Views

 This is a city worth a stop. If you have time spend a night here and get to know the local people. As you ride the funicular down you are a little sad that you are leaving Orvieto. There is a fantastic local white wine here called Orvieto and Orvieto Classico. What a romantic place!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Duomo, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Orvieto, Romance, Rome, Small Towns, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Italian Wine

Yesterday we spoke about White Truffles. What goes great with truffles? Wine of course. Italy has many wine regions. In fact the whole country is divided into wine regions. Everyone drinks and enjoys wine in Italy. Wine Folly lists these regions and the wines that come from each.

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Everyone has heard of Chianti but Italy produces other great wines. The Brunello is one of the great wines from Italy. It can be expensive but is among the best wines in the world.

Here are some of the wines and regions (see map above) with wines you might have tried:

  1. Valpolicella from Veneto
  2. Super Tuscan, Chianti, Barolo, Brunello and Sangiovese from Tuscany
  3. Orvieto from Umbria
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon from Abruzzo
  5. Chardonnay from Puglia

Chianti is by far the most popular Italian wine. If you choose a Chianti, look for one with a Black Cock on the neck of the bottle. This is the sign of the best Chianti in Italy. Producers  have to follow strict standards to be able to display the black cock.

Have a fun wine tasting party. Select 2 or 3 wines from a region. Cover each bottle and label it A, B, C etc. Have your guests taste each and vote on their favorite. This is a great way to taste related wines blindly and see what you enjoy.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Europe, Italy, Regions of Italy, Truffles, Tuscany, White Truffles, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Umbria’s Hill Top Towns

Italy has hill-top towns everywhere. Most are medieval in origin. The Umbria region is no exception. Travel, wrote a BLOG on hill-top towns to visit when you are in Umbria. Montefalco is one of my favorite cities. It is old but looks artistic in design. You can plan trips from a central location and see many of these great hill-top cities. Rent a car and drive through the country side and visit as many as you can. You will feel you have been taken back in time to an earlier time in human existence. Enjoy it, eat the local food, drink the local wine and speak with the local people. This is how to experience the real Italy.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Umbria, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last BLOG in series on Perugia Chocolate

English: View on Perugia, Italy and the Church...

English: View on Perugia, Italy and the Church of San Spirito (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kace has a BLOG and wonderful pictures of Perugia, Italy and its wonderful chocolate. This is a place not to be missed. It is in Umbria and is an easy drive and very scenic from Orvieto, Florence, Siena or Rome. If you hate chocolate this is not a city for you but for everyone else go and enjoy.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Chocolate, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, Italy, Perugia, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orvieto Italy

English: Facade of Orvieto Cathedral.

English: Facade of Orvieto Cathedral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy is famous for its hill-top towns. They were built high up to protect from invaders and pirates. Some cities have two parts, one at the sea as a port and the other high up on a hill-top. As invaders were coming, the town people went to the hill-top part to protect themselves. Orvieto is a hill-top town between Florence and Rome in the province of Umbria. It is easy to get to by car or train. The train and car parking is at the base of the mountain. There is a funicular that travels up the hill to the town above. The views are spectacular from any wall around the town. The town is made of small cobblestone streets with great shopping and dinning. If you can only do a day travel to Orvieto on an early train and stay until after dinner. The Duomo (Cathedral) is amazing and incredibly large. It sits on a small piazza against one of the town walls. There is a small hotel and restaurant on the piazza as well. One has to marvel at how they built such a structure high up on a hill.

The town only allows local residents cars to drive up the windy road to the top. You can see residence walking up and down this road during the day. We took the train from Rome to Orvieto and returned to Rome in same day. The trip through the mountains was enjoyable. This is a city worth seeing and exploring. You do NOT need a guide! Just enjoy the city. Look at the wonderful leather goods and ceramics. Eat lunch and dinner at a restaurant, Trattoria or cafe. In the morning stop at a bar for coffee and a pastry. Don’t forget the wonderful local white wine from Orvieto.

Enjoy your trip!

Categories: Florence, General Travel, Italy, Orvieto, Rome, Umbria | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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