Posts Tagged ‘orvieto italy’

Orvieto is a vibrant and lively city, but it also offers a slower, tranquil pace. In the daytime, the city swells with visitors (yah, we like that), but at night, locals come out with their families for a stroll along the ‘Corso’. Maybe they have a gelato – or as we did last evening – stop to enjoy an impromptu string concerto. There’s always something to do and see in Orvieto…and sometimes it’s completely unexpected! Like! Share! Visit! 

‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎Orvieto‬‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Italy‬


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Examples of the ancient art of woodworking can be found on nearly every street and alleyway (and home) in Orvieto. Bottega Michelangeli has been creating its signature wood furniture and whimsical figurines since 1789. Continuing in full operation today, you can find its most famous creations, the ‘trojan black horses’, on one of the town’s prettiest streets – Via Michelangeli. Climb up onto the horses’ sturdy backs for a photo; these solid wood sculptures bring out the ‘kid’ in everyone! Like! Share! Visit!

Paris-Orvieto 2011 360Paris-Orvieto 2011 362Paris-Orvieto 2011 364

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As we come to the mid-point of our project to spread the word about the marvels of Orvieto (in 31 installments), today I thought I’d post some of my favorite shots of life in Orvieto. If you love Orvieto or want to support the effort to “passaparola” about Orvieto’s beauty and history, then ‘like’ the posts, ‘share’ them and then ‘visit, visit, visit’! 


IMG_0884 IMG_0725 FEBO ALLEY IMG_0830


‪#‎31daysofOrvieto‬ ‪#‎orvietoorbust‬ ‪#‎iloveorvieto‬ ‪#‎Italytravel‬ ‪#‎Italy‬‪#‎Orvieto‬

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I came to Orvieto for the first time in 2002, but returned in 2004 to learn Italian by the’ immersion method’. Embarrassingly, 11 years later I’m still struggling (apparently, I suck at mathematics AND languages). Luckily my good friends at I Love IT School, Laura Cardinali and Evelina Santaguida, have taught me some important language skills such as: 1) Make sure you distinctively pronounce the double ‘n’ in ‘penne’, 2) Stay away from the verb ‘scopare’ and the word for ‘figs’ in Italian, and 3) Never, ever give up….Parla Italiano? Boh! Like! Share! Visit!

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Compodoglio garden terrace

You may be wondering why in the world I’d be posting photos of my day in Rome on a project dedicated to Orvieto? Well, it’s to illustrate one of the great things about our town: It’s smack-dab in the middle of Italy, on a main rail line and right off the autostrada. Just a quick 1-hour train ride to Rome’s historical center, Orvieto can be the perfect day trip from Rome or… MAYBE.. Rome is the perfect day trip from Orvieto? Think about it! Like! Share! Visit! 

Getto fountainLeonardo-da-vinciRome campodoglio

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Vale and me 2010Vale and me 2015

Today, I shine the spotlight on fierce Chef Valentina Santanicchio. She grew up on her parents’ organic farm in nearby Ficulle where, I imagine, her dedication to real food began – it’s in her blood. She opened her first restaurant at the age of 28 and created a style of cooking that is a wonderful combo of tradition mixed with an edgy, contemporary flare – kind of like Vale…(Disclaimer: She’s also one of my closest friends). She is strong, determined, independent and loyal….and she makes a mean fried chicken! (Photos: Top: Vale and me 2011. Bottom: Vale and me now, and Below: The ‘welcome back’ cookie she once made for me!) Like! Share! Visit! Eat! 


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Day #9 of “31 Days of Orvieto” features my favorite church in Orvieto, Chiesa di San Giovanale. Built in 1004 (out-dating the Duomo by almost 300 years), it’s located in the Medieval part of town with expansive views of the countryside. What attracts me to this treasure is its austere beauty…and it’s ancient and illustrious past – they say it was constructed atop an Etruscan temple dedicated to Jupiter – which only adds to the mystique. Do the giant iron “belts” hold the columns together? The recent renovation brings the frescoes to life – obscured for years by white lime used to disinfect the church during the ‘Black Plague’. Like! Share! Visit! 

View from the wall outside the Church of S. Giovanale

View from the wall outside the Church of S. Giovanale

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bolsena lake

Lago di Bolsena, that is. Just a 20-minute drive from Orvieto, this oval-shaped crater lake (with a quaint medieval village) was formed from a volcanic eruption 370,000 years ago. Geologist believe that a piece of the volcano was catapulted nearly 30 km and landed at the site that Orvieto was later built (hence the town’s nickname “la Rupe). Etruscans found the volcanic ‘tufo’ perfect for digging wells and caves…and the rest is history! Find out more about Orvieto and its surrounding sites when you visit! Like! Share! Visit!  

bolsena mom, andrew lynn

Bolsena town








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When you walk up the Corso Cavour from the funicular station, you’ll find the neoclassical, 560-seat Teatro Mancinelli. It hosts international theatre companies, avant-garde, jazz, dance and music. But, it’s the Fracassini masterpiece – a painted curtain (completed in 40 days) depicting the 535 AD event when a Byzantine army drove the Goths from Orvieto – that will blow your socks off! Visit the theatre for a self-guided tour and then afterwards, have a coffee or ‘lo spritz’ at the beautiful Caffe Del Teatro Mancinelli.  Share! Like! Visit! 


mancinelli light


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American In Rome

I don’t like the word “Expat” –  it feels exclusionary, divisive and, dare I say it, a bit elitist. 

I never liked being a member of a clique in school either, preferring to spread myself around, hopping from one social and ethic circle to another.

1ex·pa·tri·ate verb \ek-ˈspā-trē-ˌāt\

1: banish, exile

2: to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one’s native country

…Nope, that doesn’t quite define me.

Look, it’s perfectly obvious that I am not from around here (especially when I open my mouth) so I see no real need to announce it, label it, or hide behind it.

Go ahead and call me an “American”, call me a “Straniera” (foreigner), call me “crazy”, but don’t call me “Expat”. 


Photograph “American Girl” by Ruth Orkin, 1951


by Toni DeBella

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