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New year’s Eve in Orvieto!

Enjoy the winter jazz music festival and much more

by Nicoletta Speltra.

The winter edition of famous Perugia Umbria Jazz Festival takes place in the old town of Orvieto, during a fascinating period, just after Christmas. Did you know it? This year dates: from December 27th, 2014 till January 1st, 2015. Five days of music under the artistic direction of Renzo Arbore, a rich program of shows in historical dwellings, theaters and museums, even on the street. A lot of extemporary concerts and two daily appointments with the marching band of the fifteen Funk Off, that cross the town dancing and playing trumpets, saxophones, cymbals and percussion, mixing funk, soul, jazz, latin and rock. In Piazza del Popolo, the evening of December 31st the music goes on until the dawn of the New Year. Celebrations continue the next afternoon with a concert in the name of peace with a gospel choir in the town Cathedral, one of the most popular examples of Italian Gothic building.

A corner of Orvieto, by Anna Maria Speltra

A corner of Orvieto, by Anna Maria Speltra

The jazz festival is also an excellent opportunity to rediscover Orvieto: descending deep underground following the spiral staircase of the St. Patrick’s Well, an engineering masterpiece signed by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane; climbing the Moro tower of the Palazzo dei Sette, to enjoy the view of at the town skyline and the surrounding area from above. If you don’t want to climb so high, you can settle the terrace of the Capitano del Popolo building, whith its five solid solemn arches and its Ghibelline battlements. Don’t forget to taste local specialties, like the legendary umbricelli, oil and wine, truffles, the soup of chickpeas and chestnuts.

Then, look for the bottega “Wizard of Oz” in Via del Magoni at number 4. A small place that enchants children and adults: every square inch of space, even the ceiling, is occupied by games of all types and from different ages and provenances. It is a magic bazaar of the imagination founded by Giuseppe Rosella, with his “big hands who create minute works”.

Always in the historical center, you can admire the evidence of an ancient tradition of Orvieto: fine wooden items made by the dynasty of Michelangeli. Look for their workshop in Via Michelangeli at 3, five generations of great artisans of carpentry, represented today by the three daughters of Gualverio, the great founder. With their creativity they were able to give a new and unique footprint to the production. Their laboratory is a striking space in the heart of the town: a great 19th century loft, where they create furniture, furnishings and also original and spectacular outdoor installations, used as street furniture in the historical center of Orvieto.


by Nicoletta Speltra

pic courtesy of Anna Maria Speltra


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