Orvieto is a popular daytrip destination.It’s possible to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the medieval lanes, and enjoy long leisurely evenings feasting on the excellent Umbrian cuisine abounding in the town’s many restaurants.The thirteenth-century Duomo is Orvieto’s most dramatic tourist attraction. A striking black-and-white creation, the cathedral features intricate carvings on the facade, and an atmospherically austere interior. In a chapel to the right of the main altar, the Capella di San Brizio or Capella Nuova, contains terrifying apocalyptic frescoes by Luca Signorelli. The tourist office organises fascinating underground tours (Viaggi nella Citta’ Sotterranea). Orvieto is built on tufa, a volcanic rock which is very easy to dig into, and from the earliest times the hill-top dwellers dug downwards to extend their town. Other underground explorations are the Pozzo della Cava, and the Pozzo di San Patrizio, two of the town’s vastly deep wells, which the energetic can descend. Without leaving Piazza del Duomo you have the opportunity of visiting several museums, including the Museo Archeologico in Palazzo Papale.The streets of Orvieto are charmingly medieval, and away from the main tourist routes they are pleasantly peaceful. A tour around the edge of the town offers fantastic views over the surrounding countryside, and plenty of distractions like pretty churches and restaurants where you can enjoy local specialities such as truffles, and of course the wine Orvieto Classico.
Todi is encircled by three concentric rings of walls, which provide evidence of the town’s size in the Umbrian-Roman, Roman and medieval periods respectively.
Just before entering the heart of the historic center, one encounters the impressive Temple of Santa Maria della Consolazione, one of the tallest Renaissance buildings in Umbria, begun in 1508 following a design attributed to Bramante and completed in 1617, with the contribution of the leading architects of the time. In the heart of town is the splendid Piazza del Popolo, one of the most beautiful squares in all of Italy, flanked by a religious complex and monumental public palaces: Palazzo del Podestà, one of Italy’s oldest civic buildings, built in 1214–1228; Palazzo dei Priori, built between 1334 and 1347 in Gothic forms and with a square tower; Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo (late 13th century), with a spacious loggia and central pilaster on the ground floor; and the Cathedral, dating from the 12th century and enlarged in stages during the 13th and 14th centuries, next to which stands the Bishop’s Palace. The Temple of San Fortunato (13th-15th century), set at the top of an imposing stairway, is a work of precious artistic merit, a remarkable example of the Umbrian Gothic style. Inside is the crypt that holds the remains of the friar-poet Jacopone da Todi and, in an isolated chapel, those of the town’s patron saints: Fortunato, Callisto, Cassiano, Degna and Romana.