In the family we often say “I’m not St. Patrick’s Well” when our daughters ask for a new game as a gift. This expression has now entered the common lexicon when one wants to indicate that one does not have a hidden and boundless reserve of riches.
But the Pozzo di San Patrizio really exists and is located in Orvieto, in the province of Terni.
And so, finding ourselves in Umbria on the road trip who took us from Genoa to see wonderful villages, summer blooms, and parks with monsters, we couldn’t miss a stop in Orvieto and its Pozzo di San Patrizio.
The famous Pozzo di San Patrizio was designed in 1527 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger at the behest of Pope Clement VII, to supply water to the city of Orvieto in the event of a prolonged siege.
Initially, it was called Pozzo della Rocca due to its proximity to the Rocca di Albornoz. Only in 1800, it assumed its current name of Pozzo di San Patrizio as its depth was compared to that of an Irish cave where Saint Patrick retired to pray.
Il Pozzo is an engineering masterpiece characterized by two helical staircases that never meet, in fact one goes down and the other goes back up. The two diametrically opposed doors allowed the mules not to get in the way during the operation of transporting the extracted water.
Visit to St. Patrick’s Well: informations
The Well is 54 meters deep and the spiral staircase consists of 248 steps. You cannot go with a stroller so a baby carrier or baby carrier backpack is recommended.
The steps themselves are low and passable easily even by small children who walk.
The visit takes very little time: between getting off, going back up and taking some photos, it takes at most 15/20 minutes.
For example, we left the stroller near the entrance and picked up our one and a half year old daughter while the other three and a half year old went on her own without any problems.
Visit to St. Patrick’s Well: how the visit works
St. Patrick’s Well does not have a ticket office therefore you must arrive already equipped with a ticket which you can scan independently at the turnstile at the entrance and enter.
Go down the ramp that leads into the depths – the well is not dark because it is illuminated by 72 windows – and you arrive at a small bridge that connects to another staircase which is the one to take to go back up.
Attention – To go down and up, there are two separate stairs. Being all automated – there is no staff to ask – the front door only opens to let people in so if you go back up from the same side, you won’t be able to get out and you will have to go down and up on the other side.
It may be useful to know that near the Pozzo there is a fountain where you can fill your water bottle and a paid toilet (€0.50).
St. Patrick’s Well: where to buy the ticket and how much it costs
The entrance ticket for the Pozzo di San Patrizio costs €5.00 for an adult – free for children under 6 years of age – and can be purchased at the ticket office located in Piazza Cahen, in the arrival station of the funicular.
If you have an entrance ticket to visit the Pozzo della Cava, you will be entitled to a €1.50 discount.
If the idea is to visit more attractions during your holiday in Orvieto, you could evaluate the Orvieto City Card which costs €28.00 and includes admission to 9 sites. You can buy it here.
Opening hours and how to get there
St. Patrick’s Well is open every day from 9:00 to 19:30. The ticket office hours are 9:00-20:00 every day.
To find out how to get to the Pozzo di San Patrizio in Orvieto, I refer you to this article.