We woke up at 8:22 in Veterbo. Breakfast here was one of the most luscious. In addition to all the standard staples of breakfast, they also presented fresh fruits and more. This was probably the best breakfast for the whole trip.
Odometer showed 9,472 after first day of driving (120 km). We checked out from hotel at 11:34. We drove toward Bagnoregio. On the way there we made our first stop at a supermarket. First task of the day is to get a shopping cart for €1, and not to forget to return your cart and get your one euro back.
|From super-small village in Lazio towards a well established tourist center Orvieto in Umbria||Every street in Bagnoregio is a tiny paradise for explorer and connoisseur|
Trip to supermarket is a return to familiar. Parking is free. All shelves are organized in a logical order. You do not have to worry about missing something unique and precious (like with site seeing), because you can always get it next time. We even considered buying a table knife for €2 for our future watermelon feasts, but we passed.
We bought a case of sparkling water (Acqua minerale frizzante), fruit juice, grapes, kiwi and soy yogurt all for €12.86 (12:52).
|Civita di Bagnoregio is a satellite town. Unfortunately we did not go there. We did not even know, what is it we are seeing at the moment. Even on the picture it looks like a magic castle. Very sorry we missed this spot.|
|No air conditioning. Just shutters, white walls, open windows and siesta. Very ecologically friendly.|
Around (13:22 we parked in the middle on Bagnogegio. This is a really small town on a hill, and you can see next even smaller village – Civita – on the next hill. We did not go to Civita, but now I wish we did. On the pictures it looks like Civita is only connected to Bagnogegio by a narrow pedestrian pass high above the ground.
We made a stop for food in the middle of nowhere. I can only find this place now by address on the receipt. We ate at La Mora Di Massimo Pascucci (Località Buon Viaggio, 18 – 05018 – Orvieto). On the map this place is south of Orvieto on rural SS71. This is already in a next Italian region – Umbria. I remember ordering Chicken Arrabiata – angry chicken. This is a half chicken cooked under a heavy press (€20 cash 15:09).
|Magic of 10X magnification allows to see fine details of Orvieto from surrounding hills|
As we approached Orvieto, we stopped multiple times to get a panoramic view of the entire city on the hill and its Duomo. And all this surrounded by rows and rows of vineyards and olive groves.
We arrived in Orvietto (Umbria) at 15:46 into a massive covered garage on the side of the hill (odometer 9,530 km). To reach the city we had to climb up using stairs and 6 escalators. Usually only 4 out of 6 actually work, so get ready to get yourself at least half of the way up.
Orvieto organized around 2 main perpendicular streets: Corso Cavour and Via del Duomo. Most of our exploring was limited to these 2 streets, and that is why we perceived Orvieto as a small cozy town. Here I bought a very detailed (1CM=2KM) map of Tuscany (€7.90 – 16:32) to facilitate my navigation for the next week.
Very quickly we found the main Duomo square and made lots of pictures of its festive front side decorations.
|Main church in Orvieto collects entrance fee. Unacceptable. But you can enter into the building enough to see that it is exactly the same inside as outside.||Orvieto – we just arrived into a new city. We do not have a place to stay yet. Actually we are planning to keep going further north today. But we are comfortable enough to do a sight seeing.|
On the same square we noticed an English tour to city underground. Next (and last for the day) tour was leaving conveniently at 17:30, so we took it (€6×2=€12 cash). There are more than a thousand caves in the city, and nowadays most of them are connected to private cellars. Our tour included 2 caves (17:45 – 18:45), and we saw several ways the caves were utilized:
– to raise pigeons for their meat in little holes in the cave walls;
– to gather and collect rain water in underground basins;
– to press olive oil under a constant never changing temperature of 12-150C;
– to quarry for building materials.
These are just a few possible scenarios. Initially the material is easy to dig, but it hardens after exposure to fresh air, creating solid, long lasting caves.
We emerged from underground around 18:30, and we had several options to continue our trip towards Siena, but it was getting late. I asked for a list of hotels in the tourist information booth, and I picked the nearest and cheapest one – Hotel Posta a few paces off Via del Duomo (Via Luca Signorelli 18). Without an extensive search we got a great room for €57 without A/C, but with a tub (19:06). At this point of the trip Lira had a little running nose situation, so no A/C was a blessing in disguise.
|Each town has its own craft that is predominant||Sun hits the opposite wall as it
enters Duomo through the window
We made a round trip to the parking garage to get our bags, and even made couple of photos from the roof of the garage onto the ancient city (20:30). For dinner we picked a restaurant right beside the Duomo walls – Enoteca Al Duomo (Piazza del Duomo, 13). Here Lira ordered pasta with tomato sauce and some wine, and I ate salad with tuna (€25.50 – 22:36).
In the hotel lobby (22:45) I’ve got a few minutes to myself to evaluate our travel so far. Everything was perfect. Car was safe and secure in the garage (€12) Wi-Fi was free and working in the lobby I even checked my work email, and there were no immediate fires to extinguish. We were just at the beginning of our trip with lots of plans and aspirations, and weather was hot and cooperating. But how little, little, little time there is to stop and think about pleasures of travel.
|Hotel Posta – on the first attempt we found a perfect spot to rest right in the middle of the old town||A distant castle, a leopard kitty, a griffon – tourist life is just wonderful|
In Italy you are always in the vicinity of churches with bells. These bells come to live every 15 minutes. Other people are also tend create noises of their own. So in any travel list one should have ear plugs as a necessity. Many bells are quieted between 23 and 7 in the morning, but with ear plugs you are turn into a master of your own sleep, and you do not have to follow any external noise schedule.
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- Aug 10-11 FRI-SAT - A two-day flight to Rome (2019/11/28)
- Aug 12 SUN - First steps in Rome - Pantheon (2019/12/04)
- Aug 13 MON - Vatican (2019/12/08)
- Aug 14 TUE - Colosseum (2019/12/12)
- Aug 15 WED - Getting the car - Starting North - Viterbo (2019/12/16)
- Aug 16 THU - Bagnoregio in Lazio, Orvieto in Umbria (2019/12/20)
- Aug 17 FRI - Orvieto - Montepulciano - Siena (2019/12/24)
- Aug 18 SAT - Siena - Villa Galileo - Firenze - Day 1 (2019/12/28)
- Aug 19 SUN - Firenze - Day 2 - Uffizi Gallery (2020/01/04)
- Aug 20 MON - Firenze (Day 3) - Collodi (2020/01/08)
- Aug 21 TUE - From Pescia to Lucca (2020/01/12)
- Aug 22 WED - Lucca (Toscana) - La Spezia (Liguria) (2020/01/16)
- Aug 23 THU - Cinque Terra [... in progress ...] (2020/01/20)
- Aug 24 FRI - Torre del Lago Puccini - Pisa and Agriturismo (2020/01/24)
- Aug 25 SAT - Agriturismo in Pitigliano [... in progress ...] (2020/01/28)
- Aug 26 SUN - Road to Napoli [... in progress ...] (2020/02/04)
- Aug 27 MON - Napoli - Day 2 [... in progress ...] (2020/02/08)
- Aug 28 TUE - From focused Napoli to heavenly Sorrento (2020/02/12)
- Aug 29 WED - Capri - Day 1 [... in progress ...] (2020/02/16)
- Aug 30 THU - Capri - Day 2 [... in progress ...] (2020/02/20)
- Aug 31 FRI - La Dolce Far Niente [... in progress ...] (2020/02/24)
- Sep 1 SAT - Mount Vesuvius [... in progress ...] (2020/02/28)
- Sep 2 SUN - Last day in Rome [... in progress ...] (2020/03/04)
- Sep 3 MON - From Rome back to Boston (2020/03/08)
- Italy 2012 - Final Summary - Rules to Adopt and Follow <br> (2020/03/12)
- Italy 2012 August - Roma, Firenze, Napoli and between (2020/11/24)