I live in Texas, which has a lot of natural caverns, so I have been on a lot of cave tours. However, the ones in Orvieto are not natural. They are man-made. There are HUNDREDS of caves within the moutain of Orvieto, but the tour only visits three. These caves were dug, among other reasons, because of overcrowding on the surface. People had their businesses, but not their homes, in the caves. The soft volcanic rock was easy to carve. The dovecotes were ingenious, as were the water collection systems. Our particular tour guide was supposed to speak English, but her accent was heavy, and her ability to understand questions was not great. However, we understood enough to decide this tour was worth our time, and was very fascinating. I thought it particularly interesting that the caves are the property of the house above them, and are included in the sale of real estate. Anyone want to buy a house in Orvieto with its own cave?
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