Orvieto is a delightful little town that should definitely be included on a road trip in Umbria with children.
It lends itself well to a visit with the family as it has an intimate historic center where fun for children is guaranteed with funiculars, a playground and descents into very deep wells.
In fact, Orvieto boasts an invaluable hydraulic work: the Pozzo di San Patrizio called the perfect well for its double helicoidal staircases which are completely independent and which allow you to descend without ever meeting those who are ascending.
Below you will find all the information for visiting the city of Orvieto and surroundings.
Visiting the city of Orvieto and surroundings: how to get there
Orvieto is a small village perched on a tuff cliff at 325 meters above sea level, from which it dominates the entire valley below.
One of the funniest ways for children to get to the town is to take the funicular that connects the train station with the historic center of Orvieto.
On weekdays the funicular is open from 7.15 to 20.30 while on holidays it is open from 8.00 to 20.30 and runs every 10 minutes.
The ticket can be purchased directly on site and costs €1.30 per person and lasts 90 minutes. Keep it because it is valid as a discount on the purchase of tickets for other attractions.
Alternatively, you can arrive by car and leave it in the parking lot opposite the arrival station of the funicular, in Piazza Cahen. During the week there are no problems finding a place but on the weekend it is better to arrive early.
Another large car park is located in Piazza de’ Ranieri, below the Pozzo della Cava, and in this case the historic center can be reached via a series of free escalators.
Visiting the city of Orvieto and surroundings: what to see
Orvieto is a beautiful town not yet affected by tourism; we particularly appreciated its historic center by strolling unhurriedly in the narrow streets. It also works well with a stroller.
The first stop to see is certainly the Cathedral of Orvieto, a Gothic and Romanesque building of truly incredible beauty. 20 different artists worked on its creation for something like three centuries.
The interior is divided into two chapels characterized by frescoed vaults, wonderful paintings and statues of great historical value. The entrance ticket costs €5.00, free for children under 6 years of age.
In Piazza del Duomo you can go and discover the underground Orvieto: the ticket costs €8.00 and the visit lasts 45 minutes.
Furthermore, having time available and slightly older children, there are also three museums in Piazza Duomo: the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the National Archaeological Museum of Orvieto, and the Claudio Faina Etruscan Museum.
Continuing our walk through the streets of the historic center, we passed the Torre del Moro – from the top of which you can enjoy a unique panorama of the valley below – the Church of Sant’Andrea and the Palazzo Comunale, and we arrived at the Pozzo della Cava, the oldest well in Orvieto which boasts Etruscan origins.
▶ If you want more information on visiting the Pozzo della Cava, you can look at this article.
Another attraction of Orvieto, perhaps the most famous together with its Cathedral, is the Pozzo di San Patrizio, an engineering masterpiece commissioned by Pope Clement VII in 1527 to guarantee a water supply in the event of a siege.
▶ If you want more information on visiting the Pozzo di San Patrizio, you can look at this article.
Where to have lunch
As for lunch, we decided to sit in the pretty outdoor area of the Bottega Roticiani which is a butcher’s shop that also offers sandwiches and street food. For about €20.00 we had lunch with two excellent sandwiches with porchetta, a sandwich with ham for the girls (divided in half because it is very large) and two glasses of house wine. All very good.
Orvieto City Card
If the intention is to visit more attractions in your itinerary in Orvieto, it could be convenient to buy the Orvieto City Card at the price of €28.00.
Includes admission to 9 attractions such as Orvieto Cathedral with the Chapel of San Brizio, Pozzo di San Patrizio, Pozzo della Cava, Orvieto Underground, Torre del Moro, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo Faina, Necropolis of the Tufo Crucifix, National archeologic museum.
You can buy it here.
Albornoz Fortress and playground for children
Near the arrival station of the funicular, there are the Municipal Gardens of Orvieto where there is a play area for children. The offer is a bit limited but it can be fine for half an hour of leisure.
The Gardens are housed inside the Albornoz Fortress, built by the Spanish cardinal Egidio Albornoz in 1364 on the instructions of Pope Innocent VI, during the period in which the Papal Court was located in Avignon.
Of the original quadrilateral fortification with moat and drawbridges, today only the tower remains that dominates the ancient Porta Rocca or Soliana from which, if desired, along a steep path on foot, you can reach Orvieto Scalo.
From the walls you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the valley below.
The other children’s playground is located in Viale della Confaloniera. It remains in a slightly decentralized area with respect to the historic center but is the largest playground in Orvieto. Here too you have a beautiful view of the valley with a northerly exposure.
Where to sleep in Orvieto
Agriturismo Podere Pescara – Farmhouse surrounded by greenery, truly tastefully renovated. Swimming pool, parking, and excellent breakfast included in the price. Book here.
Orvieto is the jewel of Umbria, a real open-air museum with an excellent artistic heritage. Spend at least half a day wandering through its narrow streets to discover the craft shops and cafes where you can eat or buy typical products.