After two regretful days at the chilly and drizzly beach in Porto Santo Stefano, we are finally back in Perugia. And it’s never looked so good. However, on the way home, we took a little detour to see the Duomo of Orvieto. Somewhere I read that this is one of the best cathedrals in Italy. Truly, we concluded, this church is magnificent. It took 30 years just to plan and another 300 to build. It’s giant, colorful and packed with frescos about doomsday. All of that is stunning, but the most inspiring aspect is The Magical, Miraculous Cloth of Blood that is kept under a sliver monument in the Duomo chapel. After we listened to the explanation with our audio guide, Ray said, “Wow! That makes me believe in Jesus and God even more.” The story goes like this: There was a priest near Orvieto who was having some doubts about his job, especially the Eucharist part. So he decided to take a pilgrimage to Rome. On the way, he stopped at a church and asked if he could say mass. While he was going through the motions of turning the bread into Christ, he noticed blood dripping from the host. He made the obvious conclusion that it was Jesus’ blood. The miracle obliterated his doubts. And the cloth on which the blood spilt was quickly gathered and soon taken to Orvieto, where it now rests (out of sight, unfortunately.)
On our way out of town, we climbed the famous tower called Torre del Moro. It’s in the center of town and promised a sweeping view of the city. We hiked up 243 steps to the top. Tom took one look and said, “Rewardless.” Matt, Ray and I disagreed; we hung out for a while as Tom began the descent.