By Thomas Morrone, CFP®, CPA
Orvieto is a medieval, walled city set high atop a cliff. We did not stay inside the walled village but instead chose to stay at a vineyard just a few minutes away. We had a rental car so getting to and from the village was convenient. Our three-night stay here was at a wine vineyard and resort called Altarocca. The setting of the resort was so picturesque, perched on a hillside with rolling hills of grape vines and olive trees in every direction. After a long day of travel, arriving at such a beautiful location, made the journey well worth the effort. Our first order of business after checking into our room was to walk around the resort to get the “lay of the land”. We quickly found the terrace overlooking the scenic rolling hills and settled in for a nice glass of wine. After enjoying the view for a bit, we decided it was time to transition to dinner mode. We dined at the resort and of course had more wine local to the region. The food and wine complimented each other very well and made for a perfect dinner.
Having a car was part of our plan so we could explore the region. The next morning, we began our exploration in the walled village of Orvieto. The drive from the resort to the village was less than 15 minutes but the views along the way were classic Umbria. The main attraction in Orvieto is the Duomo in the piazza-centro. It was astonishing to me to learn that the duomo took over 300 years to build. The fact that these massive structures were constructed so many years ago, without any machinery boggles my mind. Also, the intricate details and the craftmanship throughout the Duomo were so very impressive. We took a little tour bus around the village to see more of the sites and by then we were getting hungry. We had a warm porchetta sandwich with melted buffalo mozzarella and grilled vegetables for lunch. Yes, it was fabulous and of course we washed down our lunch with some nice wine. We walked around some more and hopped back in the car and made our way back to the resort. We stopped along the way and grabbed some food and wine to eat at the resort and to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Bella!
After a marvelous breakfast, we drove to a 2,500-year-old village called Civita di Bagnoregio. The walled village was only accessible by a 300-meter-long foot bridge. Simply the walk from the parking area to the arched entryway to the village was an experience into itself. The views were amazing, and the ancient architecture was impressive. An interesting piece of information was only 13 people are residents and that there are more stray cats than people that live in the village. Many people own businesses and work there but only 13 residents. That is cool when you think about it. After some exploring and shopping it was time for lunch. Every meal to this point was scrumptious and this lunch was no different. A stuffed, baked eggplant for an appetizer with some pasta for our main course and of course a carafe of local white wine (vino bianco). We always had the “house” or local wines because they were all fabulous and enjoyed every drop.
On our way back to our vineyard, we stopped at Lago Bolsena, a beautiful lakeside village. What is not to like about a village in Umbria set on a large blue lake? Cathy was my co-pilot with google maps as I shifted and down shifted along the mountain roads, around piazzas, through villages and navigated countless roundabouts. We were a heck of a team. In the morning, we would be heading to Assissi for the next leg of our journey. It was an hour and a half drive with a stop in Todi along the way.
More to come so stay tuned and arrivederci for now!
Until the Next Tom’s Take……………………………….