Photo of Orvieto

About Orvieto

If you're visiting Italy, Orvieto deserves at least a day trip - it is in an excellent position to drop in, just off the highway between Rome and Florence. But there's too much here to pack into one day, so consider taking a bit more time and book a night in one of the best places to stay in Orvieto.

Orvieto sits beautifully, but inconveniently, at the top of a steep, volcanic hillside. Founded by the Etruscans, the town was designed to be impregnable. This lofty position has made it difficult to over-develop the town. Change takes time here, and that's why it's so unspoilt, uncrowded and home to so many of Italy's most beautiful buildings, some of which have been converted to elegant hotels.

What not to miss

  • The Orvieto Gothic cathedral, locally named the Duomo di Orvieto, is one of the few sights worthy of being called a 'feast for the eyes'. It took 30 years to complete the building's planning, and another couple of centuries to actually finish, during which time the originally Romanesque design took on a more Gothic shape as the architects, workmen and styles changed. In fact additions were still being made in the 1960s.
  • It's hard to choose highlights from something so impressive, but many people come just to see the frescos, specifically The Last Judgement by Luca Signorelli, which was said to be an inspiration for Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Apparently part of Signorelli's payment for the work was as much local wine as he could drink!
  • One of Orvieto's other highlights is as opposite as can be from the grand Duomo; Orvieto's underground cave system. There are around 440 caves in the system, used by locals as shelter, refrigerator, wells and even as a dovecote.
  • Orvieto also has a number of museums. There's an impressive collection of Etruscan artefacts in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, the Museo Claudio Faina e Civico has a significant collection of Greek ceramics and the Museale dell'Opera del Duomo di Orvieto, housed in the former papal palace, has the town's impressive art collection and the religious relics not housed in the cathedral or in Orvieto's numerous churches. And these are just the tip of the duomo...

What's more is that this little town welcomes travellers with an array of delicious cuisine and wines. The backdrop of the ancient architecture is perfect for a holiday of calm, art and adventure. Use our guide to the best places to stay in Orvieto and start to plan your visit to this scenic gem.

Just out of town

  • Very close to the town centre, La Badia is an historic abbey, with origins in the 6th century, turned country hotel. The spacious, air conditioned rooms are adorned with period features and antique furniture, many with views of the Umbrian countryside. The restaurant offers good local wines and authentic Italian cuisine. A unique country retreat.

Converted Palazzo

  • Locanda Palazzone has all the charms you'd hope to find in a rustic, but gorgeous Umbrian country house. The food is excellent, the views are perfect, and the range of accommodations, from suites to rooms to apartments, makes this an easy and comfortable spot for families and groups.

Country House

  • If you're looking for a remote, peaceful base not far from Orvieto, you will find nowhere more perfect than the Eremito Hotelito del Alma. The vibe here is monastic, yet comfortable. There's a heated pool and steam room, hewn directly from the stone of the mountain, where you can relax with the calming music of Gregorian chants. The food (vegetarian set menu) is largely home grown and the whole property has around 7000 largely untouched acres. Really something special.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you've decided that you'd prefer to book a villa or apartment, we recommend you visit our online booking partner, Booking.com, where you'll find a wide range from budget to boutique.

Travel information

  • The best way to get to Orvieto are from the airports of Rome or Perugia, roughly an hour and a half away from the city centre.
  • Alternatively, Orvieto's train station is on a main route that travels from Rome to Milan and passes through major cities including Florence, Arezzo and Bologna. If you arrive by rail there's a little funicular railway which runs right into the Piazza Cahen, which makes for an easy and spectacular way of entering the town for the first time.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Best time to visit: Although Orvieto displays a variety of attractions throughout the year, the best times to visit are during the pleasant summer months when temperatures range between 20 to 28° C, or right after the winters (February to March) to enjoy the Gothic architecture and welcome the spring flowers.

Still not sure where to book?

Best Hotels in Orvieto

  • Hotel Virgilio 49 rooms from £60

    05018 Orvieto TR

    A gorgeous medieval townhouse just opposite the cathedral, with sophisticated interiors featuring polished marble floors, statues and comfy furniture. Fresh, light rooms have great views and antique-style handpainted details add character to the simple contemporary backdrop.

    Local exploring  -  A perfect base from which to explore this picture-perfect hillside town
    Sights nearby  -  Head to the Cathedral of Orvieto, the Chapel of San Brizio, St. Patrizio’s Well and the underground city
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Check prices
  • Ripa Medici Rooms and Suites 3 rooms from £61

    Orvieto (TR)

    A lovely townhouse B&B set on a hill, offering wonderful views over the town and countryside. There are either double rooms or suites with kitchenettes, all decorated in an elegant rustic-chic style, with a pastel palette and pretty, feminine antiques and floral fabrics. A romantic, cosy base.

    Local exploring  -  A lovely location in the centre of Orvieto, ideal for exploring the town's many offerings
    Sights nearby  -  Visit sights such as the Duomo di Orvieto, Al Pozzo Etrusco, and Chiesa di Sant'Andrea
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Lively area  -  In the thick of the action.
    Check prices
  • Altarocca Wine Resort 36 rooms from £109

    Orvieto (05010 Terni TR)

    A lovely vineyard resort with a choice of indoor and outdoor pools as well as an indulgent on-site spa. Interiors are unfussy and fresh, exuding simple elegance. Rooms are similarly smart, with sink-into beds and great views. The restaurant serving regional Umbrian cuisine is a real highlight.

    Hideaway  -  A lovely countryside retreat surrounded by rolling vineyards, ideal for a quiet retreat
    Sights nearby  -  Head to the nearby medieval town of Orvieto which is teeming with culture spots, trattorias and restaurants
    Great walks  -  Head out on one of the idyllic rural paths to soak in some fresh country air
    Swimming Pool  -  Seasonal outdoor pool
    Check prices
  • Misia Country Resort & Spa 12 rooms from £114

    Orvieto (Umbria)

    This hotel is located in the quiet village of Rocca Ripesena. The resort offers private rooms and self-contained apartments; the accommodation is bright and spacious with a blend of modern and classic interior design. Book an apartment with a games room for added family fun; a charming country stay.

    Country Escape  -  Overlooking the beautiful woodlands outside of Orvieto, this resort makes a great escape to the country
    Local exploring  -  Located close to Orvieto, there is plenty of local exploring to do surrounding the hotel
    Families  -  The self-contained apartments are perfect for families travelling with children
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Orvieto Cathedral, a large 14th-century Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
    Check prices
  • Borgo La Chiaracia 26 rooms from £150

    Orvieto (Castel Giorgio)

    This five-star resort and spa is nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The well-appointed rooms are spread across three traditional buildings. Rooms are inspired by classic design and feature luxury fabrics; the best suites have a private terrace. Book into the serene hotel spa; an indulgent resort.

    Romantic Break  -  With its tranquil country setting, luxurious rooms and sleek spa, this hotel ticks the boxes for a romantic getaway
    Country Escape  -  Located in the quiet and picturesque Umbrian countryside, this hotel is the perfect escape to the country
    Spa breaks  -  The hotel's state-of-the-art spa facilities make it a great option for a spa break holiday
    Great walks  -  Plan a day of long walks to explore the Umbrian countryside at the nearby Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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  • Eremito Hotelito del Alma 14 rooms from £154

    Parrano, Umbria

    A monastic Medieval detox in Umbria, with single 'celluzze' rooms only. Stripped back to essential comforts, such as hand embroidered sheets. Situated in 7000 untouched acres, the house took four years to build from scratch. Vegetarian menu, simple yet chic eco spa, Gregorian chants - near perfect

    Outstanding location  -  Wonderful peaceful setting surrounded by 7000 acres of private woods and hills, only the sound of wind in the trees at night
    Restaurant  -  Organic homegrown vegetables, vegetarian fixed menu, delectable homemade pasta and exquisite risotto
    Spa  -  Small heated indoor pool hewn from the rocks and steam room
    Outdoor dining
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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  • Locanda Palazzone 3 rooms from £162

    Orvieto, Umbria

    Gorgeous rustic country house with excellent food and lovely views. Various rooms, suites, family rooms and apartments, all simply designed, cater to families, friends, and couples. Swimming pool, terraces, and five course set dinners. A very bucolic spot.

    Views  -  Hilltop position affording stunning views over the surrounding countryside
    Foodies  -  5 course set dinnners
    Gourmet
    Romantic Break
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, I Escape
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  • La Badia 27 rooms from £167

    Orvieto

    Historic abbey, with origins in the 6th century, turned country hotel. Spacious, air conditioned rooms adorned with period features and antique furniture, many with views of the Umbrian countryside. The restaurant offers good local wines and authentic Italian cuisine. A unique country retreat.

    Sights nearby  -  Orvieto is very close by. Also easy to reach are Todi, Perugia, Assisi and Gubbio.
    Views  -  Wonderful views over the surrounding Umbrian countryside
    Local markets  -  Explore the local street market in Orvieto
    Cooking classes  -  Hotel run cooking classes
    Check prices