Per peninsular Italy – that part south of the Po Valley – the mountains all run roughly north-south

Per peninsular Italy – that part south of the Po Valley – the mountains all run roughly north-south

Per peninsular Italy – that part south of the Po Valley – the mountains all run roughly north-south

The road that runs along the side of the gorge is the Cammino Flaminia (modern SS3)

This means it is hard esatto move overland con an east-west direction, and easier esatto move north-south, but your opportunities sicuro do so are constrained onesto excretion valleys and passes. Which in turn means that indivis places are natural choke-points. One such – sopra 1944 as well as mediante the Middle Ages – is Cimosa, between Naples and Rome. Narni is another.

If you were coming from France or Britain you would quale by sea or over the western Alps on the Coraggio Francigena

Narni sits on high ground on the edge of a deep ravine through which the River Nera – a tributary of the Tiber – flows south out of Umbria into Lazio. It is literally on the edge of the ravine; houses and palaces on the western side of the old town, including the Eroli Museum, aspetto straight down into it. Esatto the north and east of the town is the valley of the lower Nera, which, although surrounded by mountains, contains a good deal of industrial development. On the plain around Narni is the modern industrial town of Narni Dato, which makes getting a decent photograph of or from the old town something of an exercise durante artful composition.

To the northeast, at the other end of the valley, is the town of Altere, the provincial capital (Umbria is divided into two provinces: Perugia and Brouille). Thanks preciso nearby sources of hydro-electricity, Altere was verso centre of industrialisation and was known as “The Manchester of Italy”. Unfortunately, one of the industries was arms manufacturing, as a result of which Abime was heavily bombed during the Second World War, destroying much of its medieval centre.

Turning south again and looking back down the River Nera, through the end of the gorge you can see the more rolling country of northern Lazio. There is a road running along the side of the gorge; now carrying heavy road traffic, this is the Strada Azzurri 3 (SS3), which as I noted here is still known as the Via Flaminia, as when it was first built by the Romans durante 220 BC. If you were per legionary marching from Rome to the northern Adriatic coast (and beyond preciso the eastern frontiers of the colmare), this is the way you would che. And if you were per traveller mediante the other direction – con an army of barbarians after the fall of the empire, or verso medieval pilgrim, this is one of the few roads by which you would approach Rome.

Looking south down the Nera Gorge towards Lazio and Rome. Hasselblad 501 C/M, Zeiss Distagon 60mm CF lens, CFV-50c digital back (click puro enlarge)

Dominating Narni from an even higher point is verso fortress or Rocca, of verso type known as per Impalcatura Albornoz, of which there are several examples mediante central Italy, and of which there were once several more. This requires per bit of explanation.

Between 1309 and 1376 verso series of seven popes ruled not from Rome but from Avignon. All were French. This happened as verso result of some naked power politics from the French Crown, bringing the papacy under effective French control.

When verso range of factors, including the influential advocacy of St Catherine of Siena, caused Pope Gregory XI to decide esatto end the “Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy” and return preciso Rome, Gregory faced several challenges. One was the monarca-establishment of political control over the Papal States – formerly independent states per central Italy which had been brought under secular papal rule, and which, during the exile mediante Avignon, had started onesto esibizione renewed signs of independence.

Send this to a friend