Thursday (May 5)

The conference ended yesterday, so the plan is for Dan to relax and be on vacation until we fly Sunday. He did some research before we left home and decided he’d like to spend the day exploring Orvieto, a small hill town just under an hour and a half by train.

We slept late and around 10:30 strolled down to the concierge and asked about trains. She made it sound like a kindergartner could do it with their eyes shut, so we grabbed a cab and headed to Roma Termini, the main terminal for this city of five million. We were stopped in our tracks by the sheer number of fellow travelers and all the ticket machines. We could make sense of none if it. With the help of two ticket agents, a nice worker who explained which train number we were looking for, and an American couple, we managed to get to track three in time for the 1:00 train. Assuming there’d be a coffee trolley on board we didn’t give much thought to the fact that we left the hotel without eating. No trolley.

We enjoyed the scenery on the way out of town, chatted with mother daughter travelers from San Diego, and reviewed the travel book for highlights and how-tos once we arrived. Orvieto has a three track station, so we easily found our way out and located the funicular up the hill to the old town. First order of business was a meal of some sort. Problem is, restaurants stopped serving at 3:00. We found one that could offer us a sandwich–if we took it to go–or lasagna if we wanted to sit down. We chose the lasagna and were not disappointed. It was smothered in shaved truffle. The most truffle I have ever eaten. Fabulous. Dan enjoyed his with a beer and I took mine with still  water.

We explored the small town until time for the 5:30 train. Besides the beautiful overlooks, there were two highlights for us: the magnificent Duomo and an amazing well, circa 1537.

The church dominated the town square at the top of the hill and had black and white prison stripe exterior and interior walls save for the front which was bedazzled with amazing mosaics and reliefs. It sort of sparkled in the sun. The interior had a few beautiful side chapels but was otherwise pretty plain.

The well was like nothing I have ever seen and for that reason my favorite site so far this trip. Don’t think winch and small bucket, think 248 deep steps down a one way spiral staircase and 248 steps up another spiral staircase. The steps were designed to accommodate donkeys used to carry the water up, so they were deep but not steep.  It’s dimly lit plus there are 70 windows cut into the wall to let in light from the surface. It was slow going, but we persevered and went to the very bottom and then huffed and puffed our way back!

We managed to get the train back to town with no effort, grabbed a fabulous pizza near the station, and took a cab back to the hotel around 9:30.

Today was all thanks to Dan since he not only researched the destination, he chose the restaurants. What a guy!


4 thoughts on “Thursday (May 5)

  1. I love it!! The pictures were great.

    Matt Mongeon | Senior Business Analyst
    PMP, ITIL Foundation, RCV, OSA, SOA
    Technology Team – Cox California
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