We crossed the border from Tuscany into Umbria to visit Orvieto which is such a high village that once you park your car you have to take a series of escalators through tunnels underground before finally reaching the top. Surely this was once the spot of a volcano. The main reason to come to Orvieto is the cathedral, a true masterpiece, and probably the most well done gothic cathedral ever.

The cathedral comes into view as you head up the main street there.

All of the colored sections are mosaics. It was just incredible.

Not a painting but mosaic work.

Loved this column.

There were incredible sculptures of marble too depicting Biblical scenes. This is of God taking the rib of Adam to create Eve.
I wish I could have taken photos of the chapel inside. It was amazing. Started by Fra Angelica and finished by Signorelli, it showed the Last Days, Judgement Day, and heaven and hell. Signorelli had even put an ex girlfriend in it, being taken to hell on the back of a devil. Sort of creepy stuff but fascinating to look at. I guess, if you weren’t able to read the Bible and saw these paintings you would be inclined to keep coming to church and supporting it financially.

8 thoughts to “Orvieto”

  1. Splendid! All these while the mention of great Gothic cathedrals, only France and Spain come to mind. This is a well-hidden treasure, and a delightful surprise!

  2. Spectacular mosaic work, it certainly maintains its’ beauty far longer than frescos. The stone carving is just as wonderful.
    They must have had some great leg muscles all those hundreds of years before the escalators!

  3. Hey Mom,

    Nice pics! I finally finished putting the link to your kindle book, Secrets of A Paris Tour Guide, on your website! Sorry it took so long!


  4. That twisted column of mosaic work looks like something you’d see in Spain. Wonder if there was Moorish influence in Umbria, maybe as a spillover from Venice? Will have to do some reading, see what info is out there.

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