Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio
For many centuries Rome has been the capital of a large country called the Papal State. No other place more than Orvieto embodies the royal ambitions of the Popes outside Rome. Most of its medieval palaces were in fact built by the Popes or families close to them.
The Duomo is one of the most ambitious architectures of all Europe in the later Middle Ages. Built to celebrate a miracle, the holy host bleeding on the altar cloth during a mass in 1263, it soon became a place of art thanks to painters such as Gentile da Fabriano, Fra Angelico, Luca Signorelli. A lot more is in Orvieto, from its mysterious underground tunnels to Etruscan cemeteries and ceramic collections. A few miles away is Civita di Bagnoregio. Built on a high cliff of sand stones it has progressively shrunk because of wind, rain and landslides. Tourism is now helping the locals to go back and make it lively again. Its dreamy appearance has attracted film directors and photographers.