Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011: University of South Carolina Choir, Family, and Friends explore Orvieto and Calvi dell'Umbria

After checking out of their hotel in Montecatini this morning, the University of South Carolina travelers depart for the Umbrian region where they will visit the cities of Orvieto and Calvi.


Orvieto, Italy, founded by the Etruscans in the ninth century B.C., is one of the most popular sights of Italy’s Umbrian region. Its location, perched high atop volcanic tufa cliffs, gives the city a very unique appearance. While touring Orvieto, the University of South Carolina travelers will visit the Orvieto Duomo, considered one of the most beautiful churches in the country.
Built in 1285 in Gothic style, the cathedral is ornately decorated with scenes from the Old and New Testaments, mosaics and statues of the Blessed Virgin, as well as depictions of the Prophets and Apostles. Artist Ugolino di Prete Ilario frescoed the choir loft with illustrations of the life of the Virgin Mary. Fra Angelico of Fiesole painted the right chapel with depictions of “Christ Glorified,” the “Last Judgement,” and “The Prophets.” Michelangelo took inspiration from these paintings for his illustration of the “Last Judgement” in the Sistine Chapel.
In addition to their Duomo, the city of Orvieto has also become well known for the discovery of their ancient underground city.
Orvieto has long kept the secret of it’s labyrinth of underground caves and tunnels, which originated in Etruscan times and were meant to provide an escape route for nobility.
Following their tour of Orvieto, the University of South Carolina tour continues to the town of Calvi dell’Umbria where they will enjoy a tour and tastings at a local cheese and olive oil production farm.
Calvi dell'Umbria is a commune municipality in the Province of Terni in the Italian region Umbria, located about forty miles south of Perugia and about 12 miles southwest of Terni. The area was inhabited in Roman times but failed to develop as an urban center until the High Middle Ages. Calvi was a fief of the Orsini and then of the Anguillara families. The main attractions are the church of Santa Maria, with an elegant Late Renaissance baptismal font, and the church of Sant'Antonio. The ruins of a convent erected by Saint Francis in the early 13th century can be found in the city.
After their tour of Calvi, the USC travelers will continue to Magliano Sabine, where they will have dinner before spending the night. The Choir will stay at Hotel Sabina, while the friends and family tour will be split between Hotel La Pergola and Hotel Sabina.
Click here for hotel information.

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