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Orvieto, Umbria
Can staring at 3,000 year-old sites make one feel eternally young? The Luxury Travel Bible doesn't seriously suggest you waste any time pondering such nonsense, but it does recommend a flit up the funicular to Orvieto where you can marvel at the mix of Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance masterpieces. Overbearingly majestic and powerful, and dominating any townscape picture you take, is Orvieto's duomo. Built in 1330, its exquisite façade implants mosaics and stained glass into carefully crafted stone. We could stand in one spot staring for hours, but then we would miss the surprise of the duomo's sides: bold grey basalt and white travertine stripes. Why so pretty? Lore has it that in the 1260s a priest carried a communion cloth stained with the blood that had dripped from wafers to the Pope who was staying in Orvieto as his newfound proof of Christ. The duomo was built to mark the miracle. Moving on...we also suggest a small scurry around the Etruscan and Medieval caves - fascinating - that have been dug into this spectacular volcanic plateau. Climb the spirals of St Patrick's Well - around 250 steps each way - or simply dip your head in from above. And for a dose of something more contemporary visit Museo Emilo Greco to see the Sicilian artists sculptures and sketches.
Photos: neil-chc

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Luca Signorelli's Apocalyptic frescoes in the Brizio Chapel. Beautiful nudes, soaring angels and writhing hell. The Luxury Travel Bible doesn't mind a good Gothic wallow. Pfff! Time to skip back outside for a lemon gelato.
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