Big Dreams in Small Towns, Orvieto

Spring break is finally here! After stressing out all last weekend about an art history midterm that turned out to be just fine, I finally get two weeks to take a vacation from my vacation…wow, I am feeling spoiled right now. :) So far, my impression of springtime in Rome is that it can be very lovely with 65 degree weather and warm sunshine or it can be rainy and miserable all day long, which isn’t fun when I have to walk 45 minutes to class everyday. I’m just going to take being soaked as a cultural experience.

The first day of spring break, this past Friday, I left Rome for the day to go to a small town an hour north with a few friends. The town is called, Orvieto, and it is super quaint and cute! Wherever I go in Italy, I seem to have a hard time coming back to Rome. This was definitely true in Orvieto. I wish I could live in that sweet little town.

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The first thing that we did when we got to Orvieto was explore the giant well. We walked underground along the inside of the well, which was cool because when have I ever been in a giant well? While we were walking down the well, it started to rain a little, and we could see raindrops falling into the wall. It was really pretty like being behind a waterfall.

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Next, we went to the Orvieto Cathedral, which houses a famous Eucharistic Miracle from 1263. The miracle happened when a Catholic priest was struggling with doubts that the Eucharist may not be the true presence of Jesus. While celebrating mass, he barely spoke the words of consecration when the host started to bleed. The blood fell onto the priest’s hands and onto a white cloth. In the cloth, the blood made an image of Jesus’ face. To this day, the presence of the miracle can be felt in this town.

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Unfortunately, the miracle was covered up because of Lent, so we couldn’t see it. We were still able to be in the same room as the miracle and offer our prayers. This called to mind the bible passage when Jesus says, “Blessed are those who have not seen but still believe.” Even though it’s disappointing not to be able to see the miracle, I could still feel it’s presence and have faith.

There isn’t much else to see in Orvieto, so we had a great time simply exploring the town. We met some locals who correctly identified us as Minnesotans because we weren’t wearing jackets, we passed a lot of shops with beautiful hand painted pottery, and we saw an amazing view of the sunset. The town was so quiet–no honking, no sirens, no crazy Italians yelling in the metro. I felt the most at peace that I’ve felt since the silent retreat. It was a perfect day.

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Near, far, wherever you are! Titanic reenactment.

Spring Break Line Up:

03/27 Day in Orvieto

03/28 Day in Assisi

03/29 Palm Sunday with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square

03/30-04/02 Capri, Italy

04/03 Good Friday Service with Pope Francis in the Colosseum

04/05 Easter Sunday mass with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square

04/06-04/11 Krakow, Poland

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