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Orvieto

Orvieto (ōrvyĕ´tō), city (1991 pop. 21,419), in Umbria, central Italy, on the Poglia River. Situated at the top of a rocky hill, it is a tourist and pilgrimage center. Orvieto is probably located on the site of the Etruscan town of Volsinii (sacked by the Romans in 280 BC), which was later rebuilt as Urbs Vetus. It became a free commune by the 12th cent. but was later at the mercy of indigenous and foreign tyrants until it passed to the popes in 1448. There are notable Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance buildings in Orvieto, but the fame of the city is due mainly to its beautiful cathedral (begun in 1290). The cathedral's white and black marble facade is decorated with delicate sculptures and colorful mosaics, and the Chapel of San Brizio, inside, has frescoes by Fra Angelico and by Luca Signorelli, whose powerful scenes of the Apocalypse inspired Michelangelo. The city also has a well (200 ft/61 m deep) dug in rock (completed 1537).

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Orvieto

Orvietobateau, chateau, gateau, gelato, mulatto, plateau •de facto, ipso facto •alto •canto, Esperanto, manteau, panto, portmanteau •antipasto, impasto - •agitato, Ambato, castrato, esparto, inamorato, legato, moderato, obbligato (US obligato), ostinato, pizzicato, rubato, staccato, tomato, vibrato, Waikato •contralto •allegretto, amaretto, amoretto, Canaletto, cornetto, falsetto, ghetto, larghetto, libretto, Loreto, Orvieto, Soweto, stiletto, Tintoretto, vaporetto, zucchetto •perfecto, recto •cento, cinquecento, divertimento, lento, memento, pimiento, portamento, Risorgimento, Sacramento, Sorrento, Trento •manifesto, pesto, presto •concerto •Cato, Plato, potato •Benito, bonito, burrito, coquito, graffito, Hirohito, incognito, Ito, magneto, Miskito, mosquito, Quito, Tito, veto •ditto • in flagrante delicto • mistletoe •pinto, Shinto •tiptoe •Callisto, fritto misto •cogito • Felixstowe • Sillitoe

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Orvieto

ORVIETO

ORVIETO, town in Umbria, central Italy. Jewish loan bankers appeared there as early as 1297, being given citizenship rights and permitted to carry weapons. In 1334 one of them was sent as envoy to a neighboring town. The prosperity of the Jewish community induced many families from outside to settle there, as did a group of Jews from Viterbo in 1396. The anti-Jewish sermons of the *Franciscan friars later caused the position of Jews to deteriorate. However, Jewish moneylending activities continued until a monte di pietá was established in 1464. After Orvieto came under the rule of the Church in the second half of the 16th century, anti-Jewish legislation was strictly enforced. When in 1569 Pius v decreed the expulsion of the Jews from the Papal States, the Jewish community effectively ceased to exist, although some families came back for a short time under Sixtus v (1585–90). The name of the church of St. Gregorio nella Sinagoga in Orvieto still commemorates the former Jewish settlement.

bibliography:

Roth, in: rmi, 17 (1951), 430ff.; Milano, Italia, index.

[Ariel Toaff]

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