Saturday, December 8, 2012


i surprised Francesco with an envelope to be opened at 10am at the train station. he didnt know where we were headed and after running for our train we spent the day in the small hilltop town of Orvieto.
the huge and beautiful church of Orvieto

one wonders why such an immense and costly structure was erected in this tiny town. its because one day some priest or something who doubted that the communion was really the body of christ passed by orvieto and while they were having communion the bread started to bleed. a cloth with the blood was presented to the pope who was also passing by on his merry way and he declared that a monumental occurance deserves to be recognised with a monumental structure that he visits from time to time. also one time when there was a siege of rome, the pope fled here and comissioned a huge well to be built. which is quite a mission because orivieto is on a hill.

making our way up a watch tower

looking at the back of the huge clocks that adorn the outside of each of the four sides of this tower

the town of Orvieto seen from a tired birds eye view

the Church

the bird

when we could breathe again and looked around at the view, the hill on which the city is situated, drops off into a steep valley. the city poked up through the clouds like an island and the longer we stayed up there, the clearer it became

the guy who we asked to take this photo had a camera that looked like an extra limb it was so huge i felt quite meek handing over my camera (which is fantastic to me in every way) set on automatic..

from a much better perspective, the view down rather than looking up

watching the clock tick

had the most delicious gnocci lunch. by this time i was so starving i was gnawing on the table. in orvieto the typical meat is wild boar so we sampled some salami for starters but for my main meal i had this delicious plate of gnocci (type of potato pasta) with cream and truffles grated ontop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes it was as good as it sounds, and the first time i tasted truffles but it wont be the last. Franceso is sprinkling parmesan onto his tortellini (meat stuffed pasta crescents) in brodo (broth) was equally delicious

in orvieto we also discovered that they have water that defies gravity!

the church again

illegal photos inside the church. but look at the detail and intricacy of everything!

ah small town life huh

look how enormous it is. i wondered when taking this photo, what it would cost to build something of this quality now. how much it would cost in the hands on labour!!

Orvieto is built on a hill of very soft volcanic stuff, like ash. so there is a warren of tunnels underneath the city for private use, some like this photo are where they made olive oil because the temperature is so perfectly cool all year round

we took a tour Orvieto underground. which was alright, not too much to see but you get an idea.

finally we can see the valley just before the fog moves in at sunset

where they kept pidgeons to feed the whole city

and night fell and orvieto became a different foggy place

we also found Gepetto working into the night

the ghostly clock tower we climed

making peace with lunch

dantes inferno

the church looking eerie

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