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History comes alive in the ancient city of Orvieto, Italy

August 27, 2010 - 2:23am
Orvieto is a truly beautiful city
Travelers book Europe tours to both explore the sites of the Old Continent and learn more about the ancient history within them. While Rome may be the most popular destination for those travelers interested in the cultural history of the Italian peninsula, travelers will find themselves transported to a different era upon setting foot in the nearby city of Orvieto.

Located in the southern portion of the Umbria region, Orvieto is an ancient Etruscan city built on a steep hill and designed to be impregnable to invaders. The city has proven a strategically important to numerous cultural groups in the region over the years, and is home to countless works of Etruscan, Roman and even Renaissance art and architecture.

Of the myriad sights to see in the city, the most popular is the Duomo, a sizable cathedral built over the course of the 13th and 14th centuries that incorporates aspects of Romanesque and Gothic architecture in its combination of pitched roves, towering spires and gold flaked adornments.

Also of interest is the labyrinthine underground city beneath Orvieto. This expansive series of tunnels has led to many significant archaeological finds in the region and currently hosts a number of galleries, wells, quarries, cisterns and more.