Orvieto sits on a bluff overlooking the Tiber River Valley, about an hour and a half north of Rome, making a perfect day trip from the capital. Its history dates back to the Etruscans, whose tombs below the city are a popular tourist attraction, and which are featured in the book. The town itself has a wonderful medieval feel, but its most famous building is the cathedral which boasts spectacular art inside and out. Some key scenes in Return to Orvieto are centered around the Duomo. For most tourists, however, a stop in one of the many ceramics stops is a must, and the city's century-old trade is also a feature in the book.
The facade of the Duomo is a giant triptych, covered with mosaics.
Orvieto ceramics artists have their own particular style.
The Pozzo di San Patrizio was dug centuries ago to provide water when the city was under siege. In the book it is the background for an exciting scene.
The Etruscan necropolis provides a mysterious setting for another exciting part of the book.
In one chapter Rick and the policeman drive to the nearby town of Bolsena and its tranquil lake.
He also makes a day trip to Todi, another delightful Umbrian hill town.
Two dishes Rick tastes on the pages of Return to Umbria are crostini di caccia, toasts spread with a kind of pate' made from game, an Umbrian specialty, and pappardelle alla lepre, thick strips of fresh pasta with a rich wild hare sauce.