En route to Florence, enjoy a relaxing drive through the Umbrian countryside. After an approximately one and a half hours' drive we shall reach Orvieto, a gorgeous medieval small town, famous for its Gothic Cathedral. In 1263 a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe that Christ was actually present in the consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the tomb of St. Christina, he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal.
The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing.
The Pope listened to the priest's account and absolved him. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto.
He decided also to institute the "Corpus Domini" day, one of the most important feats of Christianity. The construction of the cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary (Santa Maria Assunta), lasted almost three centuries with the design and style evolving from Romanesque to Gothic as construction progressed. The interior is simple and austere. The Cappella del Corporale lies on the north side of the main crossing. It was built between 1350 and 1356 to house the reliquary with the corporal. On the opposite side, there is a 15-century addition to the cathedral, the Chapel of Saint Britius, beautifully painted by Fra Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli and Luca Signorelli.
The Gothic façade of the Cathedral is one of the masterpieces of the Late Middle Ages. The most exciting and eye-catching part is its golden frontage, which is decorated by large bas-reliefs and statues with the symbols (Angel, Ox, Lion, Eagle) of the Evangelists created by Maitani and collaborators (between 1325 and 1330). In 1352 Matteo di Ugolino da Bologna added the bronze Lamb of God above the central gable and the bronze statue of Saint Michael on top of the gable of the left entrance. The bas-reliefs on the piers depict biblical stories from the Old and New Testament and are the collective and anonymous work of at least three or four masters with assistance of their workshops.
The town is also famous for its colourful ceramics and its crisp white wine and you will have time to enjoy both.
This tour is also available starting in Florence and ending in Rome.
- Duomo of Orvieto
- Scenic countryside views
- Delightful local cuisine
Complete information including our phone numbers, meeting time and place are included in your confirmation voucher.
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- This tour includes a professional informative English-speaking driver. Due to strict Italian laws & regulations that protect officially licensed guides, our drivers cannot walk with you into any site but can answer any question you have from the vehicle. A professional licensed guide, where needed, can be hired on request at an extra cost.
- The tour sequence may be altered to avoid congestions but always covering mentioned sights.
-Pease dress respectfully when visiting churches
- Professional informative English-speaking driver
- Private vehicle with pick up and drop off at your hotel
- Flexible itinerary
- Admission fees
- Tips to driver and guide ( please read below for more information)
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Tel. (+39) 066244373 - US number (315) 544-0496 - Whatsapp: (0039)392 4468283