Day: March 24, 2016

Umbrian landscape

Orvieto: A jewel in Umbria

Candice and I decided early in our stay to take a day trip outside of Rome once each week during my sabbatical. A colleague had sent along a blog post on the 10 best day trips from Rome, which whetted our appetite, and with the prospect of seeing one of Italy’s best cathedrals, we jumped on a train last Tuesday to visit the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto. What a marvelous decision! 75 minutes after leaving Rome, we pulled into the Orvieto train station on a beautiful, sunny spring day.  My first thought was about how we would navigate getting up the 984′ rock plateau that serves as the base for the town.  But immediately across from the station was a funicular station, and my spirits soared. Let me pause for a second to say how much I love funiculars (or incline railways).  When we were young, my father (the TVA engineer) use to take us to see old and new engineering projects, and one of my earliest recollections was taking a small funicular to …