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Orvieto - Island of History

Orvieto - Island of History

Orvieto stands on a tuff cliff (ignimbrite from Orvieto - Bagnoregio), between 280 (Piazza Cahen) and 325 (S. Francesco) m asl, overlooking the valley of the Paglia river, a right tributary of the Tiber and just below the the city receives the Chiani from the left, coming from the Val di Chiana. This huge tuffaceous mesa, which rises from twenty to fifty meters above the ground level, is due to the collapse of ground sourge (pyroclastic currents, clouds and burning avalanches) from the quaternary activity of the volcanoes of the Volsinio system, wreck of the caldera that houses the largest volcanic lake in Europe, that of Bolsena. The archaeological evidence of the Etruscan era, provided by excavation campaigns and studies conducted up to recent years, offer a fairly reliable, although still incomplete, picture of the ancient city, identified after many uncertainties and controversies among archaeologists, in the city of Velzna, a of the twelve Etruscan city-states. Called by the Romans "Volsinii" it stood near a famous Etruscan sanctuary, Fanum Voltumnae, visited every year by the inhabitants of Etruria who came to celebrate religious rites, games and events. Between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC. the social order that had allowed the growth of the city cracked. The previously excluded classes conquered the government of public affairs and the disagreement between the classes became violent, until the nobles asked the Romans for help. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Orvieto became the domain of the Goths until 553 when, after a bloody battle and a siege, it was conquered by the Byzantines of Belisario. Subsequently, after the establishment of the Duchy of Spoleto, it became Lombard. During the Italian Risorgimento, Orvieto remained part of the Papal State. On 4-5 November 1860 the plebiscite in Umbria decreed with an overwhelming majority the annexation of the region, including the city of Orvieto, to the new unified Italian state.On the basis of a decree of 1928, the coat of arms of the Municipality of Orvieto consists of one shield divided into four surmounted by a crown. Four symbols are represented in the four divisions: the Cross, the Eagle, the Lion and the Goose. Directed by Gigi Oliviero