If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City for a day, taking a trip from Rome to Orvieto is the perfect solution!
This medieval town is located in the Umbria region of central Italy and is famous for beautiful churches, delicious food, and stunning views.
Here's everything you need to know about taking a day trip from Rome to Orvieto.
On this page, we'll go over:
Orvieto is a beautiful medieval hill town in the region of Umbria located just off a main highway and the train line between Rome and Florence.
Because of its location in central Italy and the abundance of green, Umbria is a region that is known as “the green heart of Italy”.
Orvieto sits up on volcanic rock called tufa overlooking a verdant landscape of vineyards and olive groves.
After being in Rome for several days, you may want to experience its opposite.
Orvieto is a lovely and peaceful small town in Italy, but is a living and working town and not just a tourist destination.
If you want a glimpse into small town life in Italy, I honestly cannot think of a better place that’s also extremely convenient from Rome.
Besides the locals going about doing their daily business, there are also many small shops and artisans, restaurants, museums and churches to visit and even a nature walk just below the town.
Orvieto is 120km north of Rome (about 75 miles). It’s located between Rome and Florence off of the A1 (a major autostrada/highway) and well connected by train.
Traveling to Orvieto by train is the easiest, most convenient way to get to Orvieto from Rome.
If you have a rental car and plan on stopping by Orvieto on your way north, there are both parking garages and metered street parking.
From Rome to Orvieto
You can depart from Roma Termini or Roma Tiburtina train station for the Rome to Orvieto train, both of which are easily reachable via public transport.
Trains depart throughout the day regularly, generally it is a direct train and the departure times vary depending on the route and train schedules.
The train ticket prices from Rome to Orvieto are inexpensive, although you will pay more for a train journey on the high speed trains.
For cheap train tickets choose a local train option that takes a little longer to reach Orvieto train station.
You can book your Orvieto train online in advance, where you can also see the train times and different train tickets available.
When booking your train travel, be sure to select Orvieto station not Orvieto Centro. The earliest train leaves Rome around 6am and the last train returns to Rome around midnight.
Always check the train times for your chosen ticket as there is a route which does not offer direct services, so you may need to change. This can be a good way to save money on your trip from Rome to Orvieto!
You can also purchase your train tickets in person for your journey to Orvieto.
Booking in advance will guarantee you the cheapest fares but booking on the day allows you to be flexible.
Just bear in mind that you are unlikely to be able to choose the cheapest tickets for the InterCity trains in particular on the day.
The journey from Rome to Orvieto takes an hour to an hour and 20 minutes depending on the trains and timings.
Keep in mind that in Roma Termini, the platform for the regional (slower) Rome to Orvieto train is often the 1est or 2est platform, which are located all the way down track 1 about a 10 minute walk from the main gallery.
If you need to go to one of these platforms for your train to Orvieto, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there.
Once you arrive in Orvieto by train, cross the piazza/street to reach the funicular station.
The funicular takes you up into Orvieto center, located just over 100m up the hill. Tickets for the funicular are €1.30.
The funicular runs every 10 minutes during the week and every 15 minutes on the weekend and stops running at 8:30pm. The trip up takes just a few minutes.
Once you exit the funicular station at the top, you can either take the bus or walk up into the historic center.
If you walk, find the street directly across from the funicular station called Corso Cavour, which you can follow all the way up into the main part of Orvieto. The walk into the center (where the large brown clock tower of Torre del Moro is located) is about 10 minutes.
Otherwise, you can jump on the A line bus which takes you directly from the funicular to the Duomo di Orvieto in just a few minutes. You do not need to purchase a second ticket for the bus when you take the funicular up so keep your ticket on you.
Take the A1 autostrada north out of the city for your journey from Rome to Orvieto. The exit for Orvieto is about 15 minutes after the Attigliano exit.
Once you exit the autostrada, you’ll need to pay the toll. You’ll now be in the town of Orvieto Scalo and Orvieto center is about 10 minutes away. Follow the signs to Orvieto centro (bulls-eye type symbol).
The main paid parking garages are located at via Roma or Campo della Fiera - there are signs for these on the way up. Otherwise, there is blue-striped, metered paid parking at Piazza Cahen near the funicular and limited blue striped parking at Piazza Marconi (Parcheggio Piazza Marconi on Google Maps) and Piazza del Popolo.
Rates are always changing, but are currently €1 per hour and you must have coins or the smart phone app Easy Park to pay.
There is so much to do in Orvieto, read on for some of the must-sees:
Officially known as Santa Maria Assunta, the Duomo di Orvieto is the star of Orvieto.
This 14th century cathedral is considered by many to be one of Italy's most beautiful cathedrals.
Its black and white striped marble structure, incredible facade with bas reliefs and mosaics and rose window, the statues of the Annunciation and the 12 Apostles and the San Brizio chapel with impressive and striking Luca Signorelli frescoes of the Last Judgement are all stunning.
Near the church is the Torre di Maurizio which has at the top a large bronze statue of a man that strikes the hour with a hammer against a bell. The cathedral alone is well worth making the journey from Rome to Orvieto!
Orvieto is built on tufa rock and has a vast underground network. The tour shows you a fascinating glimpse of what the underground area of Orvieto was used for by its residents.
You can buy tickets at the office next to the Tourist Information office near the cathedral.
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For a small entrance fee, you can climb this medieval tower.
There is an elevator to the 2nd floor, but then you have to walk the rest of the way (200 or so steps up) so this is not recommended for people with heart conditions.
The tower offers panoramic views of Orvieto as well as the surrounding countryside. The clock still tells the time, but has been silent for several years now.
This well was built in the 1600s in order to provide Orvieto with a water supply in case there was a siege.
It's an engineering and architectural wonder located right next to the funicular station, perfect to see when you arrive in Orvieto by train from Rome.
The Duomo gets top billing, but there are many more churches in Orvieto which are well worth visiting. Sant' Andrea church in Piazza della Repubblica has a stunning 12 sided bell tower.
You can also visit the subterranean level (reservation only) to see remains of Ancient Etruscan and Roman buildings as well as an early Christian church.
The oldest church in Orvieto is San Giovenale built in its original state in 1004 over the ruins of an Etruscan temple. It has wood beamed ceilings and beautiful restored frescoes.
There are also views of the countryside from this vantage point and a small park with benches down a slope at the foot of the church.
Rome and Orvieto both have a wealth of museums to explore - here are some of the best ones you can see on a day trip from Rome to Orvieto:
Orvieto has been occupied since Etruscan times and this museum has an impressive collection of artefacts from the surrounding area including pieces from a necropolis located off the main road.
Showcasing some of the more important Etruscan pieces that have been found in the area including a coin collection, vases and bronzes and sarcophagus.
Housed in what was a former papal residence this museum features bronze sculptures by the artist Emilio Greco who also created the three bronze doors of the Duomo.
This is a gorgeous walking trail that runs along the volcanic rock on which Orvieto is built on (the name means "ring of the rock").
It takes about 1 to 1.5 hours for the full trail, but you can also do a shorter walk.
There are 5 entrances to get onto the trail so if you get tired you can get off it at various spots. Just a few meters down from the town and you are suddenly immersed in nature.
At various points you’ll walk past an Etruscan necropolis, a tiny church built into the rock and some steep hills so a bit of a workout too.
In several sections of the trail there are beautiful views of the countryside including views of the 12th century Abbey of San Severo, now an event hotel called La Badia.
Passeggiata means a stroll. The small town passeggiata is a sight to behold and it exists in full force in Orvieto.
It is a time in the evening when residents come out for a walk along the two main streets before dinner to have a drink or chat with friends and catch up on local gossip. Only very bad weather will keep people inside.
So cozy up to a bar with seating outside, enjoy a drink and people-watch.
For a peak into small town life and its residents, this market on Thursday and especially Saturday mornings is THE place to be - best place to get vegetables, fruit, cheese, etc. and inexpensive clothes as well as second-hand clothes & shoes and household goods.
Excellent cheese guys from Tuscany who sell their pecorino cheese (sheep’s milk cheese) and well-aged parmigiano will also vacuum pack (sottovuoto) for travel.
This is a gorgeous little theatre built in the 1800's.
You can stop by the theatre and see what's showing - they have posters outside and the ticket office is to the right if you are facing the theatre.
From piano recitals to dance performances to concerts by visiting choral groups and more, tickets are usually very reasonably priced and it’s a great and inexpensive way to spend an entertaining couple of hours in the evening.
There are a handful of public parks in Orvieto, one near the funicular station at the Fortezza Albornoz, once an ancient fortress with moat and drawbridge.
The other park is called Confaloniera and is located at the end of Via del Popolo, just past the street Via S. Nicola. Both of these parks have swings and slides.
These tall wooden horses by the Orvieto’s woodcarving family Michelangeli are located on Via G. Michelangeli street.
(WARNING: this is not for kids of all ages or parents faint of heart).
These handrails that lead down the stairs from the Duomo to Via dell Scalette are not officially a slide, but it's a rite of passage for all Orvietani kids (and their parents) to straddle and slide down these rails.
If you're careful and coordinated, it's a lot of fun.
This is a large pedestrian piazza with lots of rooms for kids to run around and play.
If you're looking at the Duomo, the large open area on the left side is a place where young kids ride bicycles, kick around a ball or just run around and play.
Trattoria del Moro-Aronne
Our family's favorite!
This family-owned and run restaurant is very popular in the guidebooks so is usually crowded with visitors, but they have not lost their integrity - their food is traditional and exceptional.
When eggplant is in season go for the polpette di melanzane and their roasted potatoes.
Their nidi di rondine pasta dish with pecorino and honey is a cheese-lovers delight and they make a fantastic porcini mushroom/truffle pasta dish.
Owner Rolanda and other family members work non-stop and are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly.
Staying in the family, Trattoria del Moro took over a deli near their restaurant and opened up a small wine bar where you can now find Rolanda’s son Cristian and his wife Luana behind the counter.
You can have a sandwich made to order or choose from the ready made dishes. In the evening it’s an excellent spot for aperitivo or dinner.
They also sell various kinds of cheeses, salami, prosciutto, pastas, olive oil, wine and other high quality food products you can take with you when you journey home.
Don’t let the “Antica” in their name fool you. This restaurant is modern and has fantastic food and great service. Their menu is limited, but they have lots of off-menu items served daily.
Trattoria del Orso
This restaurant was formerly owned and run solely by an older couple, Ciro and Gabriele and is listed in many guidebooks. Since 2016 the restaurant has been under new ownership.
Trattoria La Palomba
You'll find many classic Umbrian dishes here, although it's not very vegetarian friendly.
Classic Umbrian dishes - the dishes made with umbrichelli - an Umbrian flour & water pasta - are particularly good.
Here's where you'll find Averino, the older unsmiling owner who is all business, but who with the local young people is a real softie.
This place is small and probably the last restaurant in Orvieto where you can get an inexpensive, no frills meal. Nothing fancy or interesting here, just basic traditional food.
Despite being a Roman dish, it’s their spaghetti alla carbonara which is their signature dish - Rome and Orvieto are close enough that there is some overlap in their food cuisine.
Duca di Orvieto
The owner, Adler, is absolutely delightful and she makes the best mulled wine in the winter.
She specializes in decades-old recipes - making desserts out of beans and sauces from nothing but reduced wine.
She also sometimes does a medieval menu for special food events that take place from time to time.
A microbrewery and restaurant in one in the heart of Orvieto on the famous Michelangeli Street.
From traditional pasta dishes with Orvieto’s famous truffles to various types of hamburgers & veggie burgers, there’s a little something for everyone.
Family owned shop that has been around since 1938 and that was renovated several years ago.
It’s the hot spot to get a glass of wine and charcuterie in the evening and a light lunch spot in the afternoons.
From the folks from Bottega Vera, this is their new location for wine tastings and dinners.
Very good spot for a great glass of wine and light dinner.
Local artisanal gelateria in Orvieto since 1989 that sources and uses quality ingredients for their gelato made fresh daily.
Orvieto has a mix of hotels, B&Bs and private apartments. I recommend the following places to stay:
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