On Sunday, 4th October, Julian Casey and I made the most of our day off from the General Chapter to travel by train to Orvieto, north of Rome in the region of Umbria. This city is perched on the top of a hill resulting from a volcanic eruption 100,000 years ago. It is accessed by a fenicular.
Once there, we visited the beautiful Duomo or Cathedral, St Patrick's Well and took a guided tour of the underground city. Once underground, our guide informed us there are 1200 man made caves in the area. Across the centuries, these caves have been used for people to hide from invasion, even as recenthly as during World War II. An Etruscan enclave from the Eighth Century BC, the town was destroyed by the Romans in 264BC. It became reinhabited in the Middle Ages when people began to work, but not live, in these numerous caves.