Todi and Orvieto in Umbria, Italy

We awoke to a gorgeous morning to explore the Umbrian countryside. The ancient city of Todi was our destination for the day, as well as Orvieto. But first, breakfast. Mauro fixed us up a fresh cup of coffee to our specifications and had a bountiful spread of meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, fruits and juices awaiting our selection. Their conservatory is a lovely place to eat and view the countryside.

Griifins morning conservatory

Griffins breakfast pastries

Griffins breakfast

Full, caffeinated and ready to go, we took the backroads through the countryside and the views were amazing as we wound through the hills.

Umbria countryside viewWe stopped at the highest point to capture the panoramic view of the city of Orvieto sitting in the distance on its own hilltop. The huge building is the Duomo, which you will see later in this post.

Orvieto view of hilltop town 2, larger

The zoom lens brings it closer…Orvieto view of hilltop town 1Along the way were little vineyards and small communities perched along the road. After we got over the hills, the countryside leveled out a bit into rolling hills and bigger farm country. There were quite a few agritourism farm signs along the way where tourists can stay on the farms. As we got closer we could see Todi in the distance…

Todi, hayfield view

Todi hill country viewThis is the Santa Maria della Consolazione church located at the foot of townTodi, Santa Maria della Consolazione churchWe drove up the hill and into the small town piazza where we found a parking spot just off the Piazza del Popolo. A statue of Garibaldi guided us to a panoramic viewTodi, bldgs with Garibaldi statue back

Todi, Garibaldi statue

Todi Garibaldi lookout viewThe Piazza del Popolo with The Cathedral at the backTodi PIazza del Popolo, The Cathedral

Todi flags, pigeons, bell

Todi The Cathedral Jamie on steps

The carving on the stone and wood was intricate and so beautiful

Todi The Cathedral front vert view  Todi The Cathedral stone carved details

Todi The Cathedral Wally at door

Todi The Cathedral, Piazza del Popolo, vert view of front

Todi The Cathedral door wood carvingA nice place to sit and rest…

Todi, Jamie on Cathedral stepsLooking down into the Piazza del Popolo. As you can see, this is not a touristy town!

Todi Wally going up Cathedral steps We wandered in the opposite direction, through the piazza and down the hill. Another church was perched on a little hill so we climbed the steps to check it out. It was the Tempio di San Fortunato

Todi Tempio di San Fortunato sign, statue

Todi Tempio di San Fortunato church front

Todi Tempio di San Fortunato domed chapel

Todi Tempio di San Fortunato frescoed chapel

Todi church marble chapel

Todi Tempio di San Fortunato interior centerGorgeous! Italian churches are just amazing!

 Neat building next to the church. I bet they have a great view. Todi, tower with archesPanorama from their nice little park overlook

Todi, view towards Perugia

Umbria, Jamie photographing Todi panorama Jamie and WallyThe signs for the restaurant with the panoramic view drew us to Pizzeria le Scaletta. Here’s the view from their patio – pretty nice! This is facing towards Perugia (I think).

Todi Pizzeria le Scaletta panoramic view

Todi Pizzeria le Scalette menu

Todi Pizzeria le Scaletta patio view, wally

Todi Pizzeria le Scaletta patioTasty local red wine, local olive oil, Modena balsamic vinegar and fresh bread to start off…

Todi Pizzeria le Scaletta Wally, bread

And then PIZZA! We are forever spoiled on Italian pizza. We haven’t found anything like it back at home yet. It’s their freshly made pizza dough, fresh toppings and the CHEESE. It just melts in your mouth. All those delicious flavors coming together in a soft and juicy food perfection.. My mouth is watering just looking at the picture and remembering…

Todi Pizzeria le Scaletta Wally happy, pizza Salute! Todi Pizzeria le Scaletta, Jamie  After lunch (we couldn’t eat it all so took some with us for dinner), we stopped off in a little meat and wine shop just off the piazza. The proprietor spoke just enough English to be helpful and helped us pick out several local Umbrian red and white wines (just 3-4 Euro a bottle!) and a good grappa for Wally. Of course I couldn’t resist the local cheese either.

Time for the next destination of the day, Oriveto, so we drove out the cool stone gateway from Todi and got under way again. Todi exit gate roadWe stopped off to check out the weird looking lake beside the road and let the speedy person behind us go past. It was making me very nervous how fast Wally was driving on the windy road but he was having fun. He said he couldn’t let the grandma behind us talking on her phone and staying on our bumper show him up – jeesh! I was hanging to the door for dear life with my hand over my eyes. This was the Lago di Corbara (lake name).

Wally leaning on Peugot at Lago di CorbaraFinally, Orvieto came into view. There is a modern community at the foot of the hill with motels, shops, restaurants and stores. On top of the hill, Orvieto is a walled and quite large ancient city.

Orvieto walls around city

Fortress walls

Orvieto fortress wall and tower

Wally at the Albornz Fortress gateOrvieto Albornz Fortress gate, Wally

Orvieto fortress wall to valleyOn a walkway in the fortress is this scary looking goat sculpture. Me and the goat…Orvieto, Jamie on fortress wall

Orvieto goat sculpture, fortress

Orvieto view of wall, countrysideSo glad he’s chipper ~ I’m coming, I’m coming… slowly (huff, puff, out-of-shape)

Orvieto street, bell tower, Wally

Orvieto street, boar shopI loved the wild boar outside the shop topped off with a spring-like hat.

Orvieto boar with hat

An inviting alleyway…

Orvieto inviting alleyCutting boards and wood cooking accessories made from olive wood

Orvieto olive boards shopItaly is home to Pinocchio

Orvieto pinocchio on benchLovely painted ceramics – not cheap!

Orvieto artistico shop  Orvieto ceramic plates on wall

Orvieto ceramic shopI was ready to quit and go home (Griffin’s Resort) for the day but Wally kept pushing me onward (literally behind me pushing). Then we spied this up a street…

Orvieto Duomo di Orvieto glimpse up streetIt glows! What a treat to blindly arrive at the time of day and completely ignorant of this town’s treasure. With the late afternoon sun hitting it, it’s gold facade was on fire!

Orvieto Duomo di Orvieto front viewWow! This is the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Assumption or the “Duomo” and it was built between the 13th to 17th centuries. Learn more about it at: http://www.inorvieto.it/en/visit/orvieto_s_duomo.html

Orvieto Duomo di Orvieto 3:4 view

Orvieto Duomo di Orvieto side

Orvieto Duomo de Orvieto back view

Orvieto Duomo di Orvieto and piazza

Cafes and shops in the Duomo piazza – so humble compared to that massive zebra church! We had an espresso at a little cafe in front of it to try to revive me. I have to admit here that I was so tired that we didn’t go inside! We’ll have to go back and stop in again next time to see its famous paintings.

This unassuming little cafe and shops sit right next to the Duomo.

Orvieto Duomo Piazza cafes & shopsI needed to rest, so it was back to Griffin’s Resort for one of the local wines we had gotten in Todi by the pool for sunset. Their nice chaise beds by the pool are perfect for lounging with a glass of wine.

Griffins pool to house viewA snail had wandered up to the cushioned seats. Wine and escargot?

Griffins Resort Merlot & escargotGriffin’s San Michele conservatory at night. This huge tree has a hole in the middle and is pretty spectacular.

Griffins tree:dining at nightHeaded in to rest now ~ we’re off to Cortona and Tuscany tomorrow.

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