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Piazza del Duomo – for the magnificent Orvieto Cathedral

  • Piazza del Duomo – for the magnificent Orvieto Cathedral

    A climb up serpentine curves is rewarded with the startling expanse of the Piazza del Duomo. The Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral (Duomo) is best-seen when the late-afternoon sun glints off the mosaics of the astonishing façade. On display are an array of mosaics, carved alabaster and bronze statuary, bolstered by striped horizontals of basalt and travertine stone. The Duomo, considered one of the loveliest in Italy, was commissioned in 1290 but only completed four centuries later. Creating this masterwork required the dedication of legions of architects, sculptors, painters and mosaicists.

    Inside the cathedral, the black-and-white stripes highlight the curvilinear arches. To the right of the altar is the frescoed Cappella Nuova, whose decoration was begun by Fra Angelico in 1447 and completed by Luca Signorelli at the turn of the next century. Whereas Fra Angelico focused on the glory of God, Signorelli put the human perspective centre-stage. The chapel supposedly inspired Michelangelo and his painting of the Sistine Chapel. On the left-hand side of the altar is the Cappella del Corporale, painted by Ugolino and his assistants and depicting The Miracle of Bolsena. The apse is decorated with scenes from the Life of the Virgin, completed by Pinturicchio.

    Address: 23 Piazza del Duomo, 05018 Orvieto
    Web: www.opsm.it

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