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An Orvieto Day Trip From Rome By Train Is A Great Choice

Making an Orvieto day trip from Rome, Italy is a great choice if you are want a beautiful and historic Umbrian hilltop town with amazing sites to go with it.

Orvieto day trip from Rome - The Duomo

The Duomo in Orvieto

Is An Orvieto Day Trip From Rome Worth It?

Orvieto is rich in Etruscan and Medieval history. If you are looking for a day-trip from Rome, you couldn’t pick a more enticing destination that is very convenient by train and small enough to experience in a single day, but with enough to see to make it well worth the trip. We visited Orvieto for a couple of days at a very relaxed pace and we wanted to share a couple of special places that we enjoyed.

Saint Patrick’s Well In Orvieto

The historic Orvieto Well of Saint Patrick (il Pozzo di San Patrizio) is one of my favorite places in Orvieto because of how unlikely it was that I would agree with anyone telling me I’m going to pay €5 to see a well. My image of a well is your standard deep hole with a bucket used for fetching water. This was something quite different, spooky, tiring and a treat for anyone looking for something a little different.

Orvieto day trip from Rome - Saint Patrick’s Well

Saint Patrick’s Well

Saint Patrick’s Well was built between 1527 and 1537 at the request of Pope Clement VII. He experienced the Sack of Rome and he wanted to protect the city in the eventuality that it was besieged. For this reason it was designed precisely to provide water in the event of a disaster or siege.

The well’s original name was the Well of the Fortress (Pozzo della Rocca), in reference to the nearby Albornoz Fortress for which the well was built. It was only in the nineteenth century that the name was changed to Saint Patrick’s Well. The local friars were inspired by the legend of the Irish saint.

It was believed that in Ireland, at a bottomless cave, one could reach the afterlife, obtain the remission of their sins and gain access to Paradise. As one who has traveled to the depths of this well, I am sorry to inform you that I was unable to reach the afterlife, there were no gateways to Purgatory and it is one long circular descent with an equally long climb out.

The well is 177 feet (54 meters) deep, 42 feet (13 meters) in diameter and it was built by digging into the hard stone on the plateau on which Orvieto was built. It has 248 steps, with 72 large windows that help light the well, in addition to the electric lights along the steps. It is circular and has a double-helix set of stairs so that people descending wouldn’t encounter the others that are climbing out of the well.

At the bottom of the well is a walkway that crosses the bottom from the descending stairs to the ascending. People did throw coins into the well water, presumably for good luck, but if you want to do this, please refrain from throwing coins until you are at the bottom. If you toss them on the way down you could easily injure someone crossing the walkway.

Orvieto day trip from Rome - Saint Patrick’s Well

Saint Patrick’s Well

For us, this was an amazing and unexpected experience. It reminded us of the pit into which Bane throws Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. It was dark, cool and very humid, which made the stone steps pretty slippery. We didn’t know how deep it was when we started and we weren’t expecting such a long climb to get out. We considered if it would’ve been possible to turn around halfway down, but the exit is a separate door from the entrance, so it would’ve caused some problems. We made it to the bottom and back up, but I went at a pace that even the oldest visitors had no trouble passing. This was a stark reminder that I need to start running again!

How To Visit The Well Of Saint Patrick In Orvieto

  • Address:
    • Pozzo di San Patrizio
    • Viale Sangallo
    • 05018 Orvieto
  • Telephone:
    • +39 0763 343768
  • Visiting Hours:
    • November through February, 10:00 AM – 4:45 PM
    • March, April, September and October, 9:00 AM – 6:45 PM
    • May through August, 9:00 AM – 7:45 PM
  • Tickets:
    • Full-Price: € 5.00
    • Discount: € 3.50 (for groups, students, seniors, minors, disabled and members of the Pozzo della Cava)

Sites On An Orvieto Day Trip From Rome – The Duomo

Orvieto day trip from Rome - Inside The Duomo

Inside The Duomo

The Duomo of Orvieto, officially known as The Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and is the central place of worship in Orvieto and the symbol of the city. It brings together different architectural styles, including Gothic and Romanesque, with construction beginning in 1290 at the request of Pope Nicholas the IV.

The interior  of the duomo dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries and has a typical shape for a basilica. There is a long body consisting of three naves covered by a wooden trussed ceiling. There are two important chapels, San Brizio and the Corporale, open from both ends. The walls of the central nave and its pillars are similar to the external decoration with alternating basalt and travertine bands.

Other Things To See At The Duomo In Orvieto:

Orvieto day trip from Rome - The Rose Window

The Rose Window

  • Outside, the mosaics on the face of the duomo depict the Virgin to whom the cathedral was dedicated.

  • The magnificent rose window is the work of Andrea di Cione known as l’Orcagna (1354-1380)

  • The statue of the Pietà by Ippolito Scalza, a work influenced by Michelangelo’s Pietà and created from a single block of marble that represents the moment of the death of Christ after being taken down from the cross.

  • After you exit, don’t miss the Torre di Maurizio, located between the square and the beginning of Via del Duomo. On top of this medieval tower is a prominent bronze statue that “strikes the hours” hitting a large bell with a hammer. It still works today.

Orvieto day trip from Rome - Opera Pia Sancte Marie

Opera Pia Sancte Marie

Lastly, I noticed and then I got a little obsessed with, the iron stands topped by a circle and the letters OPSM. In case you were curious, these stand for Opera Pia Sancte Marie, and if you don’t speak Latin, please let me explain. Opera Pia is a name for a charitable organization responsible for “providing assistance to the poor, both in a state of health and sickness, to provide them with education, training, introduction to some profession, art or craft, or in any other way the moral and economic improvement”. In this case, Opera Pia Sancte Marie is the organization that provides this assistance in the name of Saint Mary.

How To Visit The Duomo On An Orvieto Day Trip From Rome

  • Address:
    • Piazza del Duomo, Orvieto
  • Telephone:
    • +39 0763 343592
  • Visiting Hours:
    • November through February, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
      • Sundays, 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
    • April Through September, 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
      • Sundays, 1:00 PM to 5:30 PM
    • March and October, 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
      • Sundays, 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Tickets:
    • Full-Price: € 5.00
    • Discount: Children up to 10 years old are free

Is One Day For An Orvieto Day Trip From Rome Enough?

I’ve described visiting Orvieto as an easy day trip from Rome and if you plan accordingly you can see a good portion of the town in the span of a single day. If you would prefer to take a slower pace, avoid feeling rushed and want to check out more than I’ve detailed above, take a couple days and you will enjoy your visit that much more!

Is Orvieto Walkable?

Yes, Orvieto is a small enough town that walking from end to end should be no problem for anyone without mobility issues. There is also a town bus that runs from the funicular to the Duomo in the center of Orvieto if you want to skip that walk once you arrive.

More Ideas For Day Trips From Rome

If you are comfortable with traveling an Orvieto day trip from Rome, there are many other locations around Rome that might interest you as well. Check out these places to go for a day trip:

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