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Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

Level Contributor
56 posts
13 reviews
Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

I will be travelling with my husband from Siena to the Spoleto area by car. It is a fairly short drive on its own (2-3 hours) so I thought perhaps we could stop somewhere for lunch and some sightseeing.

Both Orvieto and Civita Bagnoregio are somewhat along the way. Would you recommend one over the other? Also, any pretty driving routes along the way?

Thanks in advance!


Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
1,388 posts
50 reviews
1. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

Civita was different to anything we had seen in Italy and was fascinating.

Orvieta was also wonderful and possibly better for eating.

We visited both on a day trip from Cortona but used the motorway to give us more time in both towns which are quite close together.

We had one of those days. In Orvieto meant to park in the lot by the train station and take the funicular up. Instead didn`t see the lot and found ourselves climbing the hill and eventually pulling into the parking area at the top next to the funicular exit and St Patrick`s well.

At Civita instead of facing the back of the parking and turning left we went right, taking the non scenic route around the town, and back to the carpark then finally climbing the hill to Civita. It was a horrible wet day and we were about the only visitors.

Maybe it was too wet to see the signs:)

Level Contributor
56 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

Wow, note to self - triple check directions and look at EVERY sign! Sounds like it was quite a day!:-) I am sure it is easy to have happen with windy roads and everything in Italian!

The two days prior we are doing wine tours and will be going to cities like Greve, Pienza, etc. so perhaps something TOTALLY different like Civita is a new twist. I have just heard such wonderful things about Orvieto and know they are so close, so was having a hard time picking.

Is there anywhere to eat in Civita for a lunch?

Thanks again!


Le Marche, Italy
Level Contributor
37,738 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

I would greatly prefer Orvieto, where there is a lot to do and see: a beautiful duomo, the "underground" grottoes carved out of the soft tufa rock over the centuries, the Well of Saint Patrick, with its intricate double helix staircase, used in past centuries by mules descending and ascending with a load of water. Also great views, a charming town, local ceramics, and good restaurants.

Civita is just a tourist curiosity in my opinion; it might have been picturesque when there was just a narrow path connecting the village with the outside world. Now there's a wide pedestrian bridge and a big car park full of tour buses down below, and the postcard vendors outnumber the residents. I've been there twice. The second time, I wouldn't have bothered returning, but we were with friends who had never seen it. I elected to stay down below outside a gelateria playing with the bar owner's cute little kid.

Assisi, Italy
Level Contributor
508 posts
25 reviews
4. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

I also would prefer splendid Orvieto, however please note that it is really not on your way, it is quite a large detour in fact.

On your way you find other beautful hilltowns: Perugia, Assisi, Bevagna, Montefalco, Spello. Pleanty to do and see before getting to your destination.

Level Contributor
56 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

Wow, this is great perspective! We are definately travellers who like to avoid huge touristy places if we can, so that is good to know. Sounds like we will have lunch and a fun stop at Orvieto on our way to the villa outside of Spoleto! Thanks so much for your helpful advice (and tips of things to do in Orvieto). I really appreciate it!



Level Contributor
43 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio


I read your post just before leaving for Europe. I planned a visit to Bagno Regio with a side trip to Orvieto - not at all what is recommended! I am very glad I did it this way.

I arrived in Orvieto by train, took the bus to Bagno Regio, stayed there to visit Civita (I could not get enough of it!) and used it as a base to visit Orvieto and some smaller towns in the area (Lubriano is drop dead gorgeous and if you like to walk there is a beautiful trail between the two!).

I was very glad I did not base myself in Orvieto - a bit too busy for me - but perfect to spend the day visiting and shopping. The villages between these two points are incredibly bautiful and VERY tiny.

I would never drive those roads...the bus drivers are incredibly skilled and the bus service is efficient and inexpensive.

7. Re: Orvieto vs. Civita Bagnoregio

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