We arrive in Orveito, mid afternoon jet lagged. Including our arrival day, we have 2 1/2 days in Orvieto. We are interested in visiting Civita di Bagnoregio but understand all can be seen within an hour. Will our time be better spent entirely in Orvieto or some other side trip? We have no car and would rely on public transportation.
I would definitely take the bus to Civita. I don't know why anyone would only want to spend an hour there, walk around, eat lunch, have a glass of vino. Relax.
We stayed in Orvieto for a week in June and, even as a second visit, Civita remains a highlight and our favorite side trip. Give yourself a few hours to take it all in, walk across the bridge, poke in all the nooks and crannies, enjoy the vistas and lovely gardens. Then have lunch in one of the charming restaurants. You will enjoy Orvieto at night when the day visitors leave.
I agree it's a nice visit for a few hours. Make sure you understand the bus schedule well, as I think it is set mostly to meet the needs of students, so the schedule may not be consistent throughout the day. Also, I believe there are no busses on Sundays. It takes quite some time, maybe 10 to 15 minutes, to walk across the lengthy pedestrian bridge, much of which slopes up to the town, and then back again, so count that into your planning.
I agree with the others - Civita is worth more than an hour, especially as you'll be travelling more than an hour each way to and from Orvieto. There are a couple of small restaurants there, and I quite enjoyed Antico Forno.
I also agree with the comment about understanding the Bus schedules. On my last visit there, I discovered that the small Shuttle that runs from the Civita bridge back to Bagnoregio, stops for a "siesta" for several hours in the afternoon. I'm not sure if this is still the case? If you're planning on using the last Bus of the day back to Orvieto, be sure you don't miss it!
If you're looking for a good restaurant in Orvieto, I really liked Ristorante L' Antica Rupe (Vicolo S. Antonio, 2).
Thanks so much and to PM for reminding me why I am returning to Italy for the fourth time. Didn't take time to process the review that said in and out in 35 minutes. Note: not a Rick Steves contributor!