Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finding history and a pork sandwich.

Monday we started out driving to another large lake just southwest of Todi called Lago di Bolsena and the towns of Bolsena and Marta.  Both cities are at the waters edge and looked intriguing.  Going there, we pass through the town of Orvieto, one of many hill towns in Central Italy and Umbria district.  Having decided not to use TomTom, I was navigating perfectly in our Fiat Punto and mysteriously ended up on the road to the center of town and at the foot of the Duomo di Orvieto.  So, turn around or go visit the Duomo?  We stayed and paid Le meraviglie del Duomo di Orvieto a visit.  Seems most churches or cathedrals are founded on miracles or such and this one is no exception.  In 1263, a skeptical priest named Peter of Prague, was traveling to Rome and passed through Orvieto.  He had doubts that communion bread could really be transformed into the body of Christ.  During mass he held up the bread to bless it and it started to bleed, dripping onto a small linen cloth on the altar.  The cloth is called a Corporale and is still encased there.  Your miracle has now happened.  Begun in 1290, it wasn’t completed until the 1400’s.  The sculptures, mosaics and frescos classic baroque in style, but there is a gothic look about the cathedral.   
The relic incased in a silver frame.

Duomo di Orvieto

I'm currently reading a novel by Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth.  About the building of cathedrals in England in the 12th Century.  This one looks strikingly similar to the one in that book.

Organ added in the 16th Century has 5,000 pipes.

Sculpted Marble and inlaid mosaics.

The crypt with the skeleton intrigued me.  Amazing hand carved figures.

One more interesting fact about Orvieto is its location.  Build on top of a volcanic formation, it was a stronghold never captured except by one person, Julius Caesar.  I just love the history of Italy.

We never made it to Lago di Bolsena that day.  We did get a sandwich at this local deli.  Porchetta, roasted pig on fresh made bread.  One more item I love about Italy.

The place was packed.  Notice boar's head on the right.

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