Saint Patrick’s Well

There are not just wells named after Saint Patrick in Ireland – this Saint Patrick’s Well in Italy dives over fifty meters deep into the hypogea of the ancient town of Orvieto between Florence and Rome.

The well was built between 1527 and 1537 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger for pope Clement VII, who moved to the quiet city after the traumatic Sack of Rome, fearing new attacks and sieges. The well was named after the Irish saint, but it was the great Florentine architect that gave it its ingenious structure, with two independent spiral ramps that allowed mules to carry water up and go back down without crossing paths!