Orvieto, Velzna, Volsinii… Urbs Vetus.
City inseparable from its tufa stone outcrop was created by the volcanic activity of nearby Lazio. Impregnable natural stronghold, in the valley of the Paglia River that, just up ahead, flows into the Tiber, ancient axes upon which there has been the movement of people and goods for millennia.
The Cliff (La Rupe), giant of stone, is nestled between the hills, a landscape shaped by the hand of man in which mainly vineyards and olive groves were cultivated. The Etruscan city, Caput Etruriae, highly flourishing from the sixth century B.C., from the Greeks earned the name of Oinarea, “flowing with wine”, evidence of the pride of its soil’s products. Always a junction of connection with all the other Etruscan cities, the network of roads that connect to the territory touch the area of one of the most important Etruscan sanctuaries: the Fanum Voltumnae.
At a short distance the darkened corridors of the tombs of the Vercnas and Leinie families stand in watch of the city, with their spectacular painted walls, which illustrate an Etruscan kitchen complete with servants who slaughter animals, prepare food and bake loaves accompanied by the sound of music. Sounds and tastes that are amplified in the middle ages, when the city became a powerful one that dominated a vast and rich territory.
The Cliff was occupied by new buildings: public and private palaces, towers, churches and convents, and in 1290 the first stone was laid for the new Cathedral that even today preserves the linen of the miracle of Bolsena. The Cliff, in his bowels, retains an architectural gem that is a product of the genius of sixteenth century engineering: the Well of San Patrizio. Tufa stone and water, food and wine, linked by history in an indissoluble interweaving.