Via della Pace, 26
Tel. 0763 342527

Tutti i giorni 9.00 -12.00 / 16.00 -18.00
Martedì e Domenica chiuso

Visita di circa 20 minuti in italiano, inglese e tedesco
(per gruppi necessario prenotare ed possibile effettuare la visita anche martedì e domenica)

Biglietto € 4,00

Orvieto, of ancient origins, is considered a real historical, cultural  and archeologic jewel of Italy. A protagonist of a very mysterious past.

Located on a mass of tuff stone, called “La Rupe”, the city was the home of the Etruscan civilization from the eighth century B.C., and became a part of the Roman state in 256 B.C.

The Etruscans were able to create a vast and organized domain. They managed to make a social civil cohabitation and they commercialized in a large range, even magaging to control streets and crossings.

The Etruscan civilization were masters of hydraulics. To guarantee water supply in the houses, workshops and the distribution of it in sacred places, they build wells and water tanks. The tanks were of two types. with or without plaster.

The tanks without plaster were made without the use of waterproofing on the inside, they were build in places where the geological conditions of the ground are waterproof.

The tanks with plaster have a cilindrical form: the internal wall is made of a waterproof plaster, obtained from a mixture of white lime, pozzolana and clay. The roof, is made without any plaster, but is on the contrary, escavated from the tuff stone.

The excavation of the tunnels and the wells, procured the materials fo build the overlying city. It was during the twelfth century that the city strengthenth its political influence and that it reached its peak of glory

In that period of time the Duomo was raised to keep artworks. During the second half of the Medieval Ages, there were problems with the water supply system.

For private and public hygenic reasons, the townhall of the Medieval Orvieto raised a law that prohibitted people from trowing trash on the streets. From here the famous “butti” were born, cube shape like underground spaces, excavated in the corners of the rooms or in corrispondence of the surrounding walls of the space.
They were used as garbage cans, where people could throw away any kind of domestic trash: animal bones, crockery and broken glasses, tiles, useless pieces of tuff stone, rubble, ect. Some wells or tanks were transformed into butti. A series of telluric movements and the plague from 1348 determined the end of the wells and tanks, the rotting water was the definitive cause of the complete transformation from all the wells and tanks into butti.

Today Orvieto is a calm city, that between its small streets and stones preserves its old cultural structure, the mysterious story of its past sometimes gives testimonies of time to scolars and people passionate of old cities.

Between the Duomo and St. Patricks Well, Adriano di Mario, a passionate of archeology, discovered and restored after several years, the old walkway excavations, silo wells, tank wells, butti wells.

The visitor, going in direction of Rome, or in direction of Florence, attracted to the history of Orvieto will for sure make a visit to the underground city.

The visit of the caves, gives also the possibility to have a tasting of local products, and will leave indelible memories.

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