Orvieto, Italy, landscape and architecture then and now

Orvieto, in Umbria, Italy, shown about 80 years apart. The views are not quite the same, though the campanile provides a reference point. The 1930s photograph has a Claudian air. The 2006 photo has less of a town:country contrast and the landscape is being suburanised. When walled cities had to defend themselves the presence of trees in the immediate vicinity was undesirable – and I think I would get rid of them now (for about 250m from the cliff. Thomas Aquinas once taught her and Orvieto used to control the road from Florence to Rome. There is a labyrinth of tunnels in the rock below the town. In 1840, a travel guide noted that ‘For the traveller not having his own carriage the best mode of proceeding will be by the diligence, which leaves Rome on the mornings of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and arrives at Viterbo early in the afternoon. At daybreak on the following morning, a carriage that conveys the mail, not the cleanest or most comfortable of vehicles, starts for Orvieto, and arrives there about 11 o’clock, giving him sufficient time to vist that interesting city on the same day.’
(2006 photo courtesy pshanson)

One thought on “Orvieto, Italy, landscape and architecture then and now

  1. Urban Designer in Australia

    The landscape design has completely changed. This place is now fully covered with trees.


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