In Orvieto, Italy, when you purchase a house, you gain all the rights to the caves below your land. Since the 9th century, the natural Orvieto caves have been expanded for many different uses including storing water, livestock, wine or grain. In Medieval Times, some caves were used as garbage dumps, leaving a treasure trove for archaeologists today. Locals regularly discover ancient artifacts in their caves. They also transform the caves for modern purposes. More photos and info on the caves below the jump...
Throughout the centuries, the Orvieto caves have served as great hide-outs during troubled times and sieges. Even a Pope hid there!
Now, the caves are commonly used as fridges and wine cellars. The bigger caves host restaurants. Locals love to rent the cool spaces out for large parties! What would you do if you discovered an ancient cave below your house?
To learn more about the Orvieto and its caves, visit the UNESCO website description of Orvieto.