Considering changing our plans to skip flying into Venice and flying into Rome next month a couple days early. We are considering spending a couple nights in Orvieto. Any suggestions for what to do and see? Worth the trip? We will miss Venice, but do not feel comfortable flying there in light of the Coronavirus.
There's plenty to do in Orvieto to keep you busy for that long. Rick covers Orvieto in his guidebook to Italy. The Duomo is, to my mind, the most important sight.
I assume there is still bus service to Bagnoregio, but as of 2015 the schedule varied by the day of the week, so ask at the tourist office when you first arrive. There used to be a branch near the funicular. After arriving in Bagnoregio you can take a shuttle bus or taxi to the Bagnoregio end of the elevated causeway if you don't want to walk. The causeway (distinctly uphill) and the nearly depopulated village are pedestrianized.
There's a good museum just across the piazza from the Duomo. Great Etruscan artifacts.
My wife and I stayed 2 wonderful nights in Orvieto last summer. Trip report covering what we did is posted on the forum; scroll down to Part 4. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/italy-2019-sicily-sorrento-amalfi-pompeii-rome-orvieto-tuscany-siena-florence-cinque-terre-milan
If you are going to spend a few nights in Orvieto, the Unica card is a good investment http://www.cartaunica.it/?page_id=507
Orvieto would be a great place to spend a few days, and it's easy to get there from Rome. The guidebook has good suggestions on sightseeing there and in Civita di Bagnoregio, but a few suggestions to consider....
- Have a look at St. Patrick's Well. It was an engineering marvel in it's time, with a double helix design as I recall.
- I found the Orvieto Underground tour very interesting.
- The beautiful Duomo and the Signorelli Frescoes on the ceiling are not to be missed (IMHO).
There is probably still a Bus to Bagnoregio, and then a Shuttle to Civita, but I haven't checked the schedules in awhile. That makes a good day trip. One point to mention is that if you have any "mobility issues", you'll have to walk across a small footbridge to reach Civita, and the last part is uphill.
It's probably a very wise decision to skip Venice at the present time, given the COVID-19 problem. If I had a trip planned, I'd probably do the same thing and spend more time in Rome and the south.
Thank you for the great information. Hoping things will change and we will be feeling safe to go to Italy April 14th. Still on the fence but going to give it a couple more weeks before we make the decision.
This is from a friend who lives in Venice. Sounds less dire than one might imagine.