I live very close to Orvieto
Today's tour of Orvieto features Saint Patrick's Well (Pozzo di San Patrizio), a unique example of ingenious architecture and engineering. Magnificent in pictures, but even more impressive in person. Come see yourself and tell us what you enjoy most about Orvieto!
Durante il Sacco di Roma del 1527, papa Clemente VII, mentre si trovava al riparo ad Orvieto, ordinò ad Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane di costruire un grande pozzo all'interno della Rocca Albornoz. Il pozzo scavato a mano profondo 53 metri è stato progettato con due scale a chiocciola simili a DNA che non si incontrano mai. Questo concetto unico è stato ripreso dal Sangallo per la scalinata della Villa del Belvedere in Vaticano. Il pozzo, originariamente denominato "Pozzo della Rocca", fu poi ribattezzato "Purgatorio di San Patrizio", ed infine Pozzo di San Patrizio (Pozzo di San Patrizio). Tale nome, dato nell'Ottocento, si ispira alla leggenda del Santo irlandese, molto conosciuto tra i frati che in quegli anni abitavano ad Orvieto, nel vicino convento di Santa Maria dei Servi.
The Pozzo di San Patrizio, or St. Patrick's Well, is the second most important attraction in Orvieto, after the Duomo, and is located in the centre of Orvieto near gardens that include Etruscan remains.
The well was dug in the XVI century to guarantee a supply of water to its citizens all year round, in case of calamity or to survive prolonged sieges.
The area in which the well was dug is interesting for various reasons. We suggest you visit it first of all for the amazing views you can enjoy from here over the entire Orvieto valley, but also for its vicinity to the Etruscan Belvedere temple and the grand fortress, now used as city gardens. The entrance is conveniently located next to the uppermost station of the funicular, which was built to make it easier to travel between the upper and the lower parts of the city.
The Well of St. Patrick was dug at the behest of Pope Clement VII, who had taken refuge in Orvieto during the Sack of Rome in 1527. The project was entrusted to the Florentine Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. When he was absent, the work was supervised by Giovanni Battista da Cortona, while Simone Mosca did the decorations. In 1532, at a depth of two hundred ‘feet', they even found a pre-Etruscan grave.