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So what do you think – when we take that turn to the left, through the arches by the lamppost, what will the cobblestoned road do then?
If you answered, “Take another twist, probably to the right,” then you, too, are probably right.
The streets of Orvieto, Italy seem, upon first arrival, confusing. Legend has it that the community was deliberately planned to be that way, with unexpected dead ends, and wending and winding streets, so that invaders – if they made it up to this seemingly impregnable, cliff-top city – would get disoriented and lost.
And indeed, many a tourist, turning off from Corso Cavour, the main street that traverses the town from east to west, does indeed get lost.
But it is a delightful experience of getting lost (as long as you’re not looking for a specific place) because the streets themselves are inviting, filled with potted plants and blooming flowers, set on and by the stairways to the various houses, each with its own, distinctive door.
Lamp posts between the many archways add a warm glow of light, especially in the late afternoon and evening, and sometimes you happenstance upon an outdoor restaurant, filled with tables and happily chatting people, and you think, “Well, yes, a glass of wine and a little dinner sounds quite nice right now.”
The artwork, An Italian Street, invites you to take a stroll through these fascinating streets. It’s possible you might even have a map in hand – they’re available at many shops along Corso Cavour – and with that map you can confidently explore the many passageways that open up before you. If you start to feel confused, head back to Corso Cavour and start over again.
But take your time before you do this, and explore. This isn’t a place to hurry through on your way someplace else; this is a place to simply enjoy being in.
November 13th, 2023
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