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Pozzo di San Patrizio (St. Patrick's Well)

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Historic sites, Sights & Landmarks
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Address: Orvieto, Italy
Activities: City walk sightseeing, Dining
Description: Designed in the 1530's, this uniquely engineered well was designed to...
Designed in the 1530's, this uniquely engineered well was designed to supply the city of Orvieto in times of war.
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Most recent review
Unique architectural wonder

Pope Clement VII had it built after his escape to Orvieto in 1527 following the "Sack of Rome." Although Clement was able to return to Rome before its completion, the "Well... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 18, 2015
DavidPerrySF
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617 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

Pope Clement VII had it built after his escape to Orvieto in 1527 following the "Sack of Rome." Although Clement was able to return to Rome before its completion, the "Well" continued to provide Orvieto with future generations of clean drinking water, an architectural embellishment that still fascinated (and confounds) and a tourist attraction worthy of a stop. NOTE: Do... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
41 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

Extraordinary when you think about how it works, the way you can see people going up as you are going down, but you never physically pass each other!! Wonderfully cool on a really hot day and able to take at your own pace with a stop or two to admire the view above and below along the way. Only 5... More 

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Kirkland, Washington
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
31 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2014

We had so much fun walking down to the bottom of the well and back. Apparently (according to the audio guide), there are two staircases (double helix), so when you go down one staircase or ramp, you go up a different one. Built between 1527 and 1537, this is an amazing architectural feat. It was fun to take pictures all... More 

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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
18 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2014

My husband and I knew what this attraction was all about before deciding to enter it, but, we left completely underwhelmed and 20 euro poorer. We had seen Rick Steves' special on Orvieto and knew about the well's history so we wanted to see it in person and maybe learn more about it. Engineering feat aside, there's not much else... More 

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Centennial, Colorado, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

Walk all the way down this well and than all the way up again. Amazing site. Entrance cost EURO10.00 per person. A little pricy but worth it.

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Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

Pretty much just a trip down to the bottom then back up. Though the depth and engineering feat itself make it work the trip

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
22 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2014

The Pozza di San Patrizio is very cool, both in temperature and in design. It was built in 1527, commissioned by the Pope to provide water to the town in the event of a siege. The double helix design is most impressive, as it ensured that the mules could move unimpeded in either direction. Although it's "only" 248 steps, we... More 

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Macedonia, Ohio
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

Took a day trip from Roma to Orvieto, and one of the things we wanted to do was descend the steps into the Pozzo di San Patrizio. Took the train into town, then went up the funicular to the walled city. The well is just to the left of the funicular station along a well marked pathway leading to entrance.... More 

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Toronto
Top Contributor
443 reviews 443 reviews
154 attraction reviews
251 helpful votes 251 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

Interesting how they designed a double helix circulation system for the mules that were bringing the water up. One path down, the other up. But it's a LOT of steps. While we usually rise to a challenge, once down maybe 20-% of the way we did a re-think. "OK, we get it. Got some great photos across the well -... More 

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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
23 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

While in Orvieto, it's worth the lovely walk down to St. Patrick's Well, a short stroll from the Funicular you take down to the train station. St. Patrick's Well is a long staircase down is there easy part, coming back is tough if you have trouble walking. But it's an interesting experience. As others have suggested, read about St. Patrick's... More 

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