Orvieto in Italy is a stunning city built on a volcanic plug in the middle of a wide sweeping valley. You pass by it on the motrway or train thinking “that’s an incredible looking city…”
Well, it’s worth the stop. In the wonderful candy striped cathedral are Signorelli Luca’s amazing 15th century frescos, as fresh and vibrant today as they were when he climbed the scaffolding to paint them.
Orvieto was saved from destruction during the Second World war by a chance agreement between the German defenders and attacking British forces, so when I first visited here in 1979 hitchhiking my way around Umbria and Tuscany with a backpack full of oil paints, I found it an unchanged medieval jewel.
Early in the morning the valley was lost in mist, but up on the hill the sun was burning through and I painted this view of the rocky escarpment rising out of the mist.
The white wine of Orvieto is a must!