Learn about ancient techniques involving pigeon keeping and tool construction in the labyrinth of mysterious caves beneath Orvieto’s old town.
The Etruscan Orvieto Underground is comprised of a network of caves and tunnels that date back around 2,500 years. The pathways interlink, creating a subterranean world that has helped archeologists find out about Orvieto’s former inhabitants. Meander through the labyrinth of open caves to learn about the Etruscan era of this historic region.
Embark on a guided tour to discover the myriad mysteries that lie beneath Orvieto’s surface. Encounter the remnants of an olive press and grindstones dating back to the Middle Ages. This section contains many intriguing artifacts, including a fireplace, a water channel and a cellar.
See the vast pozzolana quarry, where excavations were carried out in the late 19th century. The quarry also contains some evidence of Etruscan presence.
Discover the intriguing rectangular openings within one of the caves and hear how these holes were once used to breed pigeons. Other openings were used as kilns to create clay vases in the 18th century. If you visit the caves in summer, you’ll relish the underground labyrinth’s cool temperatures.
Purchase tour tickets for a reasonable price near the tourism office in the Piazza Duomo. Guided tours last around 1 hour and are available several times per day year-round. The walk is easy; however, it is recommended you wear comfortable shoes.
Walk south for 5 minutes from the Piazza Duomo to reach the Etruscan Orvieto Underground, which lies within a picturesque green hillside. Enjoy a picnic on the scenic hilltop before or after your tour of the city’s mesmerizing tunnels. Note the outline of the impressive Badia dei Santi Severio e Martirio (The Abbey of Saints Severus and Martyrius) amid a flurry of olive trees from your hilltop lookout.