Orvieto

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Orvieto

(ōrvyĕ`tō), city (1991 pop. 21,419), in Umbria, central Italy, on the Poglia River. Situated at the top of a rocky hill, it is a tourist and pilgrimage center. Orvieto is probably located on the site of the Etruscan town of VolsiniiVolsinii
, ancient city of Etruria, Italy, on the site of modern Orvieto. It was a powerful member of the Etruscan League, and the spirit of the league was broken when Romans conquered and thoroughly sacked Volsinii in 264 B.C.
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 (sacked by the Romans in 280 B.C.), which was later rebuilt as Urbs Vetus. It became a free commune by the 12th cent. but was later at the mercy of indigenous and foreign tyrants until it passed to the popes in 1448. There are notable Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance buildings in Orvieto, but the fame of the city is due mainly to its beautiful cathedral (begun in 1290). The cathedral's white and black marble facade is decorated with delicate sculptures and colorful mosaics, and the Chapel of San Brizio, inside, has frescoes by Fra Angelico and by Luca Signorelli, whose powerful scenes of the Apocalypse inspired Michelangelo. The city also has a well (200 ft/61 m deep) dug in rock (completed 1537).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orvieto

 

a city in Terni Province, in Umbria, central Italy. Population, 24,200 (1968). Orvieto is known for its ceramics and wines. The city is a popular tourist site. Landmarks include the Gothic cathedral (1290–1569; architects Maitani, Andrea Pisano, Orcagna, M. Sammichele, and others) and the adjoining Palazzo dei Papi (now the cathedral museum, 13th century). Also in Orvieto is the Church of San Domenico (13th century; Petrucci Chapel 1518–23, architect M. Sammichele) and the Faina Museum, which houses ancient Greek vases. Near Orvieto are situated Etruscan tombs with wall paintings (sixth century B. C.).

REFERENCE

Tordi, M. Orvieto. Rome, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Orvieto

1. a market town in central Italy, in Umbria: Etruscan remains. Pop.: 20 705 (2001)
2. a light white wine from this region
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005