(Last Updated On: June 1, 2022)

 

Orvieto is a gorgeous town in Umbria in central Italy. Perched high on top of a steep tufa hill, Orvieto is a delightful place to visit and perfect for an easy day trip from Rome by train. Although I would have liked to have stayed there a little longer, I was house-sitting for two lovely cats in Rome, so a day trip it was. 

The town is small enough to enjoy all the main highlights in a day- such as the Duomo, admiring the stunning countryside views, strolling the atmospheric streets, and enjoying a glass or two of Orvieto wine and sampling the local cuisine. 

Frequently described online as a hidden gem, and having had Rome virtually to myself in August, I had expected to be the only visitor in Orvieto. Wrong, it may not be so well known outside Italy, but it was certainly busy with Italian tourists when I was there, but then again, it was the middle of summer.

That’s why I suggest staying a little longer – Orvieto must be even more lovely once all the day-trippers have left. But if time is restricted, a day will suffice. 


Admiring the View of Orvieto - An easy day trip from Rome by train
Viewing Orvieto From Above


Get An Orvieto Carta Unica 


If you are planning to visit many of the main sites and a few museums, I suggest getting hold of an Orvieto Carta Unica.  For only €20, you will save money, the hassle of buying individual tickets to various sites and avoid having to queue. 

The more sites you visit, the more money you will save, and if you’re like me, you will probably end up visiting places you weren’t planning to visit, just to get your money’s worth. It’s not just me that does that, is it? It also offers discounts in some of the shops and restaurants in the town.  

The Orvieto Carta Unica is probably more useful if you plan to stay a night or two. One day was a little bit rushed, but then again, I arrived mid-morning; I could have perhaps made more effort to get there earlier. If you don’t visit all the sites – it’s not a problem as the card is valid for one year, or you can pass the card onto a friend. I’m keeping mine as I hope to be back in Orvieto within the year. Note, though, that you can only visit each site once with the card. I went to the Duomo, so if I now pass my card onto someone else, they wouldn’t be able to use the card to enter there. 


Where Can I Buy The Orvieto Carta Unica?


You can buy the card online, or at their sales offices in Piazza Cahen (just to the right of the funicular) or in Piazza Duomo (just across from the cathedral) and, at the ticket desks of the museums and monuments that are included in the card. 

The card is valid for a year from the issue date. 

The Carta Unica can be passed on to someone else who can then use the unused admissions. 


 

What To Do In Orvieto 


Pozzo di San Patrizio (St Patrick’s Well)


Looking for things to do in Orvieto on your day trip from Rome by train. Visit St Patrick's Well
Looking Down St Patrick’s Well

After the Duomo, St. Patrick’s Well is the second most important and popular attraction in Orvieto. But I mention it first, as it was the first place I visited on arriving in Orvieto as it’s just a very short walk from where you disembark from the funicular.

The well was dug in the 16th century to guarantee an all-year-round water supply to its citizens. 

The well shaft is thirteen metres wide and sixty-two metres deep. To reach the bottom of the well, there are two separate spiralling staircases. With two stairwells, those going down to fetch water with their mules would not encounter those who, already laden with water, were on their way up. Nowadays, it’s unlikely you will be passing any mules!

Each stairwell has 248 steps. Light is provided by the seventy-two windows but diminishes a bit as you get further down. At the bottom of the well is a small bridge that connects the two staircases.

The Pope named the deep well after St Patrick because it reminded him of the cave in Ireland in which St. Patrick prayed. 

The well is practically next door to the funicular – just to the right-hand side. Like many other visitors who had just arrived, this was my first activity. With hindsight, I would probably have allowed more time on my return to do this as I expect it would have been less busy. Mind you, it wasn’t too crowded, and if you want to walk to a bottom of a well, this is the perfect activity for you. It’s actually quite fun – I think it’s the first time I have ever been inside a well. 

Opening Hours For St Patrick’s Well (Pozzo di San Patrizio)

Open daily from 09:00 to 18:30

How Much Does It Cost To Visit St Patrick’s Well

Adult €5

Or free and no queuing if you have the Orvieto Carta Unica. 


 Duomo di Orvieto (Orvieto Cathedral) 


On a day trip from Rome by train - you must visit Orvieto Cathedral
The Imposing Orvieto Cathedral

When I first arrived at the Duomo, there was a long queue. I had managed to time my arrival with a large tour group -yikes. Not to worry, this allowed me to admire the vast exterior. The cathedral is very impressive from the outside with its black and white stripes of basalt and marble and its fancy facade. 

Construction of the church began way back in 1290 but wasn’t completed until 1591. Inside, there was beautiful artwork on the walls and ceilings and stunning stained glass windows. Some say that the frescoes here rival Michelangelo’s in the Sistine Chapel. But when you looked a little closer at the paintings, these weren’t calm, happy, peaceful religious images with cheerful cherubs – these were brutal! 

Seeing the Fresco inside Orvieto Cathedral is a must thing to do in Orvieto
It’s Judgement Day At The Orvieto Cathedral

Random fact of the day – I don’t know about you, but whenever I read up about a place, I usually forget everything almost immediately except one random fact. Apparently, the cathedral has five bells tuned in E flat that date back to the Renaissance. No idea why I remembered that! 


Opening Hours Of The Duomo di Orvieto 

Open daily, but times vary according to the time of year.

November-February: 07:30-17:00 (Sundays 14:30-17:00)

April-September: 07:00-19:00 (Sundays 13:00-19:00)

March / October: 07:30-18:00 (Sundays 13:30-18:00)

How Much Does It Cost To Visit The Duomo di Orvieto 

Orvieto Cathedrals's black and white walls. A must see on a day trip from Rome by train
The Black and White Walls of Orvieto Cathedral

Adult €5,00 (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo included)

Children – Free up the age of 10

Included in the Orvieto Carta Unica

Admire The Etruscan Artefacts at the Museo Claudio Faina 

The Museo Claudio Faina  is housed inside the Palazzo Faina, located in Piazza Duomo, in Orvieto. 

Opening Hours of the Museo Claudio Faina

Open every day except Tuesday.

March to September: 9:30 – 18:00

 October to February: 10:00 – 17:00


How Much Does It Cost To Visit The Museo Claudio Faina

Adult €4,50

It is included in the cost of the Orvieto Carta Unica.


The Torre del Moro 


Well, if you have walked down to the lowest point in Orvieto at St Patrick’s Well, you should also climb to the highest point at the top of the tower. The 47 metre high Torre del Moro has loomed over the town of Orvieto since the 13th century, though the clock was added in 1866. For incredible 360-degree views of Orvieto, you just need to climb up the 250 steps. 

On top of the Torre del Moro on my day trip from Rome by train
Who’s That Spoiling The View


Opening Hours For The Torre del Moro Orvieto


Open daily, but times vary according to the time of year.

March-April / September-October 10.00-19:00

November-February 10.30-16:30

May-August 10.00-19:30


How Much Does It Cost To Visit The Torre del Moro Orvieto


Adult €2,80 

Children – Free up the age of 10

Included in the Orvieto Carta Unica


Orvieto Underground 


I wanted to do this, but there were limited spaces and tours on offer because of current climes. So I missed out on this occasion because needed to be sure I’d get back early evening to feed the cats! The guided tour of the underground of Orvieto is an hour long, and you get to see the remains of an old olive oil mill, Medieval throws, and dovecotes. It just sounded quite interesting. If you have been, do tell me what it was like. 


Opening Hours For The Orvieto Underground 


Open every day except 25 December

Tours take place 11.00; 12.15, 16.00; 17.15 

Reserve your tickets in advance or as soon as you arrive in Orvieto to guarantee a spot.


How Much Does It Cost To Visit The Orvieto Underground 


Adult €7 

Included the Orvieto Carta Unica. 


Be Sure To Allow Time To Just Wander Aimlessly Around Orvieto 


Don’t forget that the best part of visiting any town is just wandering around and losing yourself in the charming streets. It’s a gorgeous town, and like many tourist towns, the best sights are often off the busy main thoroughfare. Explore the weaving lanes, admire the brownstone houses and sip a glass of local wine on cobbled piazzas. However, the main streets themselves in Orvieto are lovely and surprisingly not tacky touristy at all.  


Where To Eat In Orvieto.


There is an abundance of places to eat in Orvieto – many with great reviews, many without. Choose wisely. The ones around the Piazza del Duomo looked nice but didn’t rate highly. Isn’t that always the way? But great for a drink and a place to people watch.

 I had been recommended the Trattoria Tipica La Pergola It is a small restaurant, tucked away down an alley close to the Duomo. It was packed when I showed up with a really long queue of people waiting. So, it was obviously an excellent place to eat, but I still had lots I wanted to see and no patience to stand in line. 

Off the next street, I came across the Trattoria La Grotta.  Busy, but I spotted a table with my name on it. I quickly checked the reviews online – I hate paying tourist prices for lousy food. I’m referring to you, Taormina! The reviews were good. 

Anyway, lunch was fabulous. I tried the homemade pasta with truffles and a chocolate and caramel mousse. How do the Italians stay so slim? 

And of course, I had to try the local Orvieto Classico white wine at €4 a glass. I don’t usually drink wine at lunchtime, but you understand, I had to have one purely for research purposes.


The Restaurant Trattoria La Grotta where I went for lunch on my day trip from Rome by train
Delicious Food Served Here

How To Get To Orvieto On A Day Trip From Rome By Train 


Trains depart from both Roma Termini and Roma Tiburtina train stations, and the journey time is around one hour and twenty minutes. Orvieto Station is on the central Rome to Florence line. 

Be sure to allow extra time if departing from Roma Termini station to find the platform. It’s a busy station, and if the train is leaving from platform 1 est like when I went, that’s miles away from all the other platforms. 

Whenever I use the trains in Italy, I always use the Omio app for booking tickets . It’s easy to use, and you can book your tickets online and no need to queue up at the station for tickets or try and work out how to use the ticket machines. 

Once you arrive at Orvieto station, the easiest way to get up to the medieval hilltop town is to take the funicular up to Orvieto. The funicular is just across from the station – you can’t miss it, honestly. Tickets cost €1,30 each way. It’s not a long journey, just 580 metres uphill, but it would be a steep climb, not something you’d want to walk on a hot day.

If there’s a queue at the funicular for tickets, you can also buy them at the Tabac at the station.  


More Suggestions For Easy To Do Day Trips From Rome


Have a look here for other ideas for easy to do day trips from Rome by train.


Interested In Housesitting? 

I have house-sat in some great cities – Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Rome, Jerusalem, to name just a few. It’s a great way to experience a place as a local and have lots of pet cuddles too. And I always use housesitters, whenever I travel too. 

If you’re thinking about trying house-sitting, take a look at TrustedHousesitters, this is where I usually find my sits and housesitters. 



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