Introductions to various aspects of the history, languages and peoples of Tuscany in Italy
Visitors to Orvieto should not miss the two small museums located on the Piazza del Duomo. These are the National Archaeological Museum which holds the most recently found archaeological materials from the city and surrounding area, and the Museum of the Faina Foundation, located on the opposite side of piazza which holds a number of older finds plus items bought on the antiquarian market. Of special interest are the Etruscan artefacts, since Orvieto is a good candidate to be the site of Etruscan Volsinii (Velzna or Velusna) which was known to stand on a steep height and was the location of the Fanum Voltumnae, the most important sanctuary of the Etruscans.
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Many Roman ruin and Roman history enthusiasts visiting Italy might be unaware that, in addition to Pompeii and Herculaneum, there are many splendid Roman remains to be found outside of Rome and its environs. A great many of these are located in Umbria, in part because some important Roman roads, notably the Via Flaminia, ran through what is now Umbria.
Orvieto, Italy is situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff, one of the most dramatic townscapes in Europe, rising above the vertical cliffs that are extended by defensive walls of the same stone. The facade of theDuomo of Orvieto, a masterpiece of Italian gothic art, is equally spectacular, consisting of bands of black and white stone decorated with bronze dragons, gold mosaics and marble bas-reliefs by Lorenzo Maitani.
Pintoricchio was born in Perugia in 1481, worked mostly in Sienna, but also in Rome and Perugia, and died in Sienna in 1513. According to Vasari, Pinturicchio was a paid assistant of Perugino. The Baglioni Chapel is a chapel in the Collegiate church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Spello in Umbria and is famous for the frescoes executed by Pinturicchio from ca. 1500 to 1501.
Perugino was the foremost painter of the Umbrian Renaissance. He was famous for his fiery temperament and lack of religious belief and yet he painted the tranquil and exquisite Madonnas against finely detailed backgrounds.
Deruta is a major centre for the production of painted ceramics in Italy and this is the main reason to visit this attractive town in the Province of Perugia. Nevertheless, in Deruta there are a fine gothic church and an art museum housing a fresco by Perugino.