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Rome day/overnight trip: would you choose Orvieto or Assisi? Why?

Rome day/overnight trip: would you choose Orvieto or Assisi? Why?

Nov 26th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Rome day/overnight trip: would you choose Orvieto or Assisi? Why?

We'll be in Rome for a week, December 24 - Dec 31 and I'm thinking we should take a day trip. This will be our 2 kids' first trip to Italy and I'd like them to have a look at Umbria.

But I can't decide! Would you choose Orvieto for a day trip? Or would you go to Assisi for either a day or overnight trip? And, very important, where would you eat lunch?

Our kids are 23 and 14 and my husband and I have been to Orvieto and Assisi. Happy to return to either place.
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Rose: Take a look at the very long thread about Rome side trips..you can find it easily here as it is recent and ongoing. There is a lot of information on Orvieto and particularly on where to eat in that town...

I am planning a visit to Orvieto during my stay in Rome in early January; based on what I read Orvieto is a very good eating town and there are several options named in the abovementioned thread...
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Thanks ekscrunchy,
I've read absolutely all of it and have followed with great interest. Based on that I'd decided Orvieto was the place. However, with a family of Italy lovers at my Thanksgiving table, they were shocked that I'd go to Orvieto and not Assisi, so now I'm undecided.

My question is really this: Assisi or Orvieto? If Orvieto I have great recommendations for shops and restaurants from your thread. For Assisi...there's not a lot of information.

If you have thoughts regarding Assisi v. Orvieto, that would be really helpful!
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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I've been to both earlier this year. While both are wonderful towns to visit, my personal preference is Assisi. I just loved meandering through the small alleys and streets of the town, and overall really enjoyed the ambiance of the town. I just felt that it was a little more enjoyable to walk through.

tcreath is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Hi Rose,

Since both you and your husband have already visited both Orvieto and Assisi, and since it is YOUR kids you are taking, honestly, I think you are the best one to make the decision.

Or, describe both towns, in your own words to the kids and let them choose. They are old enough to voice an opinon!
Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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Thanks Dayle and Tracy,

Tracy -for Assisi did you find a restaurant you liked there? And do you think a day trip is sufficient or do you need to stay the night to really experience it?

Dayle - I discussed it with the kids. The 14-year old has been longing to go to Rome since he started to read (all those great kids books on ancient rome) and doesn't want to leave Rome. Our daughter wants to go to both.

After 1,005 travel decisions, I'm looking for someone with an opinion as either place would be great.
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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rosetravels, I feel your pain, I am tiring of making all of these travel decisions too! Jut curious, if you go to Orvieto, are you driving, taking public transportation or going with a guide or tour? I'm toying with the idea of the day trip to Orvieto also...

BRR is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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I think we'll take the train - it seems fairly easy. I will check on car rental costs however, since there's 4 of us and my husband likes to drive in Italy. But I know if we did that we wouldn't end up in Orvieto, we'd wander through obscure areas...

How long are you in Rome?
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Hi Rosetravels, we are only in rome for three nights, then we're taking the train to venice.
BRR is offline  
Nov 26th, 2006, 08:09 PM
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OK Rose,

My opinion and having spent 3 nights in Orvieto (2000)and 1 night in Assisi (2005).

Orvieto is a shorter travel distance (1 hr by train) and just a bit easier to get to for either a day trip or 1 night. Orvieto also has some truly unique things about it: the underground tour, Etruscan tombs, the well, the art galleries. If you stayed overnight, you could maybe include Civita di Bagnoreggio, which I and my friends just loved.

Assisi is longer by train, then bus. Assisi has LOTS of churches to see, also LOTS of religious shops. It's a beautiful town and the Basilica is awesome and overwhelming. After spending an hour in the upper Basilica, I finally hit fresco overload, my eyes crossed and I staggered unseeing out of the lower Basilica into the sunlight!

Battle of the duomos/basilica's:

Personally, I like Orvieto's better. Love the zebra stripes and the incredible facade in the sunlight. Not to say I didn't like St. Francis's, I loved it too. Totally different. Enough that I went back the next morning to finish the lower Basilica.

When I visited Orvieto, it really wasn't heavily touristed, as I gather it is now. Either town will be wonderful at night when all the tour buses leave. Definately stay overnight whichever you choose.

I had a fabulous dinner at Paridiso de la Terme just outside the walls of Assisi. A locals place and excellent.

I also had a fabulous dinner in Orvieto at a ristorante in one of the caves. If you are interested, I'll have to pull out my notes.

My vote goes to Orvieto!

Dayle is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Thanks Dayle for the vote for Orvieto! I don't remember either place all that well. In Assisi we only saw the Basillica; in Orvieto our stay was entirely colored by a terrible hotel. So it does help hearing more opinions.
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 27th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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Just to add to the confusion, we were in Assisi at the end of October and found several streets torn up for some sort of water/sewer project. It didn't affect the whole town but certainly some of the more major roads. Lots of wooden gangplanks to walk on, fencing and narrowed walkways. I'm not sure whether this will all be finished by the time of your visit. Italians can be maddening slow or surprisingly quick when it comes to these things. If anyone has been to Assisi in November, perhaps they can comment.

If you do decide on Assisi, I highly recommend the Roman ruins tour that runs under what was the Temple to Minerva (now a church). The entrance is a block away from the temple/church in the direction of the basilica. Inside the entrance to the excavation is a framed drawing on the wall which depicts how the temple and piazza looked. After seeing the excavation, go back to the piazza in front of the temple. Painted on the road are lines where the various buildings and walls stood that you just saw below the present street level. Very interesting.
Jean is offline  

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