The Duomo di Orvieto almost defies description! It is truly stunning and spectacular!
Walking through the delightful hill town of Orvieto in Umbria, if you follow Corso Cavour to Via Duomo and then follow it past the numerous shops and eateries, eventually you will turn a corner and enter a lovely piazza, the Piazza del Duomo. It won’t take you more than a moment to realize why it’s called the Piazza of the Duomo!
Standing before you, in its soaring seven-story breathtaking magnificence is its namesake, the Duomo di Orvieto. I can share the photos and tell you about it but, to experience it is indescribable.
Pope Nicholas IV blessed the new foundation in 1290. Why a cathedral of this size was built in Orvieto is attributed to Pope Urban IV who was inspired and motivated (since Orvieto was his home) to house an altar cloth found by a priest while traveling through the nearby town of Bolsena; a cloth that was believed to be stained with the blood of Christ during the miracle of Bolsena in 1263.
Dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, although construction began in 1290, it took three centuries to complete which explains the design and architectural evolution from Romanesque to Gothic.
The glorious and quite dazzling Gothic mosaic façade is attributed to Maitani. Created in the late middle ages, the mosaics primarily depict major scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary present a remarkably magnificent sight and beautiful homage.
Walking through the 20th century bronze doors and you begin your tour of the interior chapels and their rich collection of carvings and frescoes.
Many illustrious and prominent artistic masters contributed to its design: di Cambio, Maitani, Pisano and Orcagna; and decoration:Ugolino di Prete Illario, Beata Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Luca Signorelli, Gentile da Fabriano and a Pieta by Ippoilto di Scalza.
It’s difficult to comprehend the scale until you see photos of the Duomo with people in them…yes, those are people on the steps!
Positively dwarfed by the sheer scale of this majestic Duomo, Duomo di Orvieto is truly one of the most beautiful in Italy, if not in Europe.(In order to truly appreciate the Duomo, I would highly recommend a professional tour by a local guide.)
Would you love to visit Orvieto and its stunning Duomo?
Orvieto is one of many picturesque and, dare I say, charming medieval hill towns in Umbria.
Contact me today and I can help you plan your unforgettable exploration and immersion into Umbria, “the green heart of Italy”!