The ancient city of Orvieto, dating from the pre-Roman Etruscan period, is situated 9km away from the Villa. The walled city, high up on a large volcanic tuff, invites you to explore its narrow hilly streets and enjoy the views over the valley below. The bustling streets house many shops selling everything from tourist-pleasing nicknacks to fine art and local craft pieces in olive wood and ceramics. Delis selling local food abut chic fashion boutiques reminiscent of Rome or Milan. The Duomo (cathedral) is well worth a visit, and the many restaurants, cafes and pizzerias offer fine dining alongside more rustic and quirky home cooking. The city has a wealth of historic sites with numerous churches; the oldest San Giovenale dating back to 1004.
The Orvieto area is noted for its white wine Orvieto Classico. There are many local vineyards offering excellent wines, both red and white.
Orvieto is surrounded by beautiful Umbrian countryside, with many small villages and hilltop cities to explore on foot, or on two to four wheels! Some of our local favourites include:
Lake Corbara and Civitella del Lago
Lake Corbara and the town above it Civitella del lago form part of the view from the villa. The lake is a man made reservoir with a large dam at on end. Civitella del Lago has a commanding view of the lake and surrounding countryside. It looks down towards Orvieto and across the higher plateaux towards Montefiasconi. It is worth a visit for the view alone. There is an excellent restaurant with large windows overlooking the lake, the view is utterly stunning. Next door is a bar/pizzeria with a roof terrace. There is good walking around the lake near the small town of Corbara. The lake itself offers good fishing (carp).
Baschi is a small town 15 minutes drive from Orvieto Scalo and the motorway exit. The quaint little streets in the old town are worth a wander. Within the central area is a lovely 16th century church. There is a delightful little restaurant in the town square with a rustic local menu.
The small town of Porano is about ten minutes drive from the villa. The down nestles into the hillside above Orvieto. From some vantage points you can get a fantastic view down onto the ancient city. The town has a couple of bars and some local shops and services
The City of Assisi is well worth a visit. It has stunning medieval streets and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. The Basilica dedicated to St Francis dates from the 13th century.
Villa Gelsomino is within easy reach of Lake Bolsena, a freshwater volcanic crater lake some 13km at its widest, offering a ‘seaside’ feel with Restaurants and Cafes overlooking the lake The Medieval town of Bolsena provides spectacular views from the approach road and castle with ancient narrow street and shops with a lovely cobbled piazza there is a small marina with fishing and pleasure boats. Lake cruises are available in season.
A fantastic hilltop town a short drive from the shores of Lake Bolsena. The castle at the pinnacle of the town was a Papal residence for many years and is well worth a visit, not least for the fantastic views. The dome of the cathedral is one of the largest in Italy. In the lower streets nestle craft shops, cafes and restaurants. We think Il Caffe, on the square at the top of Corso Cavour, serves some of the best coffee and biscotti in the region. Mamma Pappa, a little further up the hill at Largo del Plebiscito, offers some fantastic home-style cooking.
Bagnoregio and Civita di Bagnoregio
Bagnoregio is a bustling old town town not far from the villa, well worth a visit there are several good restaurants. Situated on the far side of the town is Civita di Bagnoregio. This is an ancient part of town situated on a steep hilltop and accessed via a large footbridge. The scenery is spectacular and should not be missed. There is a quaint little café just inside the town gates and a number of restaurants. The town gets very busy at the weekends especially Sundays with many Italians visiting. It is a good idea to book a table at a restaurant during busy times. There is a small entrance fee to cross the bridge into Civita
Orvieto is within easy reach for day trips to iconic Italian cities including:
- Rome and The Vatican
Personal tours to popular tourist locations can be arranged with our local partners. Please contact us to find out more.