Arriving in Orvieto via funicular, you pop out adjacent to one of the top attractions in town, Pozzo di San Patrizio, or, St. Patrick’s Well. Before heading inside, head over to the edge and take in the spectacular view of the Orvieto Valley.
The well was built in the 16th century at the request of Pope Clement VII, who had taken refuge in Orvieto. Cleverly designed with two ramps of 248 steps each, the ramps were built one over the other creating a double helix. The ramps are wide enough for man and mule to walk down one and up the other, so traffic flows smoothly. A bridge at the bottom connects the two ramps.
Meant to provide water year-round and if Orvieto was under siege, the water still flows today from a natural spring, aided by a nearby stream that drains off any excess water. This way the bridge is always accessible.
St. Patrick’s Well is 62 metres deep and is naturally lit from 72 windows and a skylight.
If you like to climb, a visit to St. Patrick’s Well is the perfect spot!
If you’d like to learn more about Orvieto, check out these other posts:
Michelle Logue leads cultural and creative adventures in Orvieto, Italy. With a mandate to provide "travel that transforms", Adventures in Italy gives guests an immersive experience. After more than 15 years of return trips, Orvieto has become a welcoming home base surpassing the typical Italian vacation.
Adventures in Italy operates trips in May and September, with two options: Artistic Enrichment nurtures creative expression, while Discover Orvieto invites visitors to focus on the history and culture of Orvieto and live as locals. Find out more about tours and special offers by following Adventures in Italy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and visit www.adventuresinitaly.ca
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.