Narni is an ancient hill town in central Italy that overhangs the Nera River. With history that dates back as far as 600BC, the town has many historic sites, and is almost entirely medieval in appearance. It is believed that C.S Lewis’s imaginary land of Narnia may well have been named after Narni, after the author came across it in an atlas. Narni offers some excellent and varied self-catering accommodation, which includes luxury villas with swimming pools, and charming country houses.
Narni is most famous for having the largest Roman Bridge ever built, and around half of the 30 metre high bridge still stands today. Other interesting sights around the town include the 13th century Communal Palace, and the Duomo (Cathedral). The Eroli Museum is a popular stop-off point for visitors, and Rocca Albornoziana (Albornoz’ Castle) also hosts temporary exhibitions.
For those who are interested in visiting churches, Narni has plenty to offer, with several offerings that date from the 13th century onwards, including the Church of Santa Maria Impensole, and the Romanesque church of Santa Pudenziana, which lies on the town’s outskirts.
An interesting walk takes you out of town through the surrounding woodlands, passing by a benchmark that represents the geographical centre of Italy – though there are at least two other places that lay stake to this claim (the others being Rieti and Monteluco). The end destination of this walk is the 1st century Ponte Cardona, which is part of the Roman Aqueduct Formina.
For a relatively small town Narni has a surprisingly large number of Restaurants and Trattorias, along with no less than ten Pizzerias. Pubs are clubs are somewhat limited, but offer a rustic Italian charm and a chance to brush up on your foreign language skills.
Narni is a commune of Umbria, and located almost centrally between Rome and Perugia, giving visitors the chance to visit a big city without driving for much more than an hour. Closer to home is Terni, capital of the Terni Province, which has some interesting sights that include a Roman amphitheatre. Orte also warrants a day visit.
Narni has a Mediterranean climate, with warm and dry summers and mild winters. Temperatures average out at around 25C in the summer and 9C in coldest months, with rain mostly concentrated into the autumn season.
A flight from the UK to Rome (FCO) can be found fairly cheaply through a budget airline, and the capital city is just over an hour’s drive from Narni. Public transport also runs on a fairly regular basis, though Narni station is out of town and a local connecting service will be required.