Facts in brief:
Located on Poglia river; was one of 12 ancient cities of Etruria; sacked and taken by Rome in 264 BCE; later ruled by Goths, Byzantines and Lombards; was an independent commune in 12th century; torn by civil strife and external wars. A series of wars was fought from the mid-13th century through the early 14th century between Guelf-controlled Florence and allies (Montepulciano, Bologna, and Orvieto) and their Ghibelline opponents (Pisa, Siena, Pistoia, and Arezzo). Orvieto was taken by the papacy in 1448.
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