Saturday April 16
Orvieto is one of those hill towns in Umbria that I have always wanted to see and today is the day. Perched high on a hilltop, Orvieto is an awesome sight when approaching by train. Unfortunately I was unable to get any good photos of that vista from my vantage point on a moving train. Once there, of course I walked the winding streets till I reached the highest point and these are some of the amazing and spectacular views I had. Incredibly beautiful and tranquil!
The immense Duomo, which dates back to the 13th-17th century, was breathtaking with its mosaics, huge bronze doors and Gothic architecture. It was the focal point in the piazza, and from there I wandered among the little streets which had many ceramic shops, as this area has always been well-known for these hand-painted works of art.
After browsing through quite a few, I came back to the first shop, where I had met Chiara Giacomini, the owner who had spoken with pride of the four generations of her family involved in this ceramiche artistiche work. I bought several beautiful pieces which actually were designed by her daughter. I also met her son Giulio, who explained that he attended art school for five years prior to him becoming the skilled craftsman that he is today. After the post office experience, I was happy to arrange to have the ceramics shipped home.
I stopped for lunch at L’Antica Piazzetta, and decided to try a regional specialty, fettucini with porcini mushrooms, and it was delicious. I opted for an outdoor table, and as a special side offering, one of the waiters sliced the thinnest prosciutto from a prepared side of pork in front of me. I am not that fond of prosciutto, but after aging for 24 months, this was incredibly delicious. This is one of the experiences that makes being in Italy so wonderful. You just do not find these kinds of places with these special touches anywhere but here.