Città Sotterranea - Parco Delle Grotte

Useful Information

Location: Orvieto. Piazza Duomo n.24.
Open: JAN daily 11, 12:15, 16, 17:15. (Italiano - Italian English)
FEB Sat, Sun 11, 12:15, 16, 17:15. (Italiano - Italian English)
MAR to JUL daily 11, 12:15, 16, 17:15. (Italiano - Italian English)
AUG daily 11-17:15, tours every 15 minutes. (Italiano - Italian Deutsch - German English)
SEP to DEC daily 11, 12:15, 16, 17:15. (Italiano - Italian English)
After appointment tours in: Français - French Español - Spanish Russian
Fee: Adults EUR 5.50, Students EUR 3.50. Groups (20+): Adults EUR 4.50. [2006]
Classification: SubterraneaCave House SubterraneaRock Mine SubterraneaCellar
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: approx 1,200 different caves.
Guided tours:
Address: Informazioni Turistiche, Piazza Duomo n.24, Orvieto. Orvieto Underground, Tel: +39-763-344891, Cell: 339-7332764
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


500 BC first caves excavated.


Orvieto has a second city beneath, the Città Sotterranea or Orvieto Underground. The cliff on which the city stands is riddled with an enormous number of artificial caves. The caves were used for almost all possible purposes, tunnels, galleries, cisterns, wells, quarries and cellars. The reason is the special rock, the cliff is formed of. It is both soft, which means easy to dig, and stable enough, not to cave in.

The guided tour shows numerous of the most interesting caves. The colombari (dove houses) are rooms with all walls covered with small rectangular holes. It very much resembles a dove house. The next stop are the Pozzolana Quarries, were rock for the buildings of the city above was quarried. There is even an underground oil-press.

The temperature and humidity in the caves made them extraordinary cellars. They were used for many kinds of food, olive oil and wine. Orvieto was known in antiquity as Oinarea (where wine flows).

The Parco Delle Grotte, located 100 m from Piazza Duomo, is a cultural center of the city. Beneath the broad landscaped terraces with the shade of tall pines, and the sweeping panorama over the countryside below, there is one extraordinary benefit. A large cave offers refuge in case of bad weather. It is a favourite location for concerts, performances, meetings, and ceremonies of various kinds.