Narnia in Italy
Get into the real and original Narnia, the millenary town
I was spending my holiday time in Italy – in Umbria to be clear – and I decided to look for some underground caves to explore. Google told me something about “Narni sotterranea” (i.e. underground Narni) and I asked myself: Narni? That should be a mistake, it has to be Narnia! I checked carefully and I found a website narniainitaly.com. Guess what I discovered: in the southern Umbria there is a small ancient town, 2700 years old, known as Narnia for 2000 years! And it was a significant place for both Roman and Medieval history. I had to be there. I decided to visit both the interesting “Narni sotterranea” and the town called Narnia.
What a great choice! I felt just like I was strolling in the “real” Narnia described in the novels and movies. The history all around. Coming from Rome I found on my way some huge canyon that (I discovered) are the gorges made by Nera River. Nera old name was Nahar, then Narnia during the Roman times. The gorges are huge and green, all along the river’s twists, when suddenly Narnia came to my eyes! I looked above and I spotted the great Castle (Rocca Alboronziana, IX century). The nature behind, I was standing in front of a painting! An actual painting, you know: I checked and discovered that the fallen bridge named to Augusto (27 b.C.) inspired a lot of artists from all over the world.
I climbed from Nera river up to Narnia, perched on a high hill. The view on top is stunning: a great valley by one side, the gorges by the other, Rome in the background (just 90 km far from here). I took a panoramic lift in the main parking place leading directly on the main square. In a while my visit of “Narni sotterranea” began. Just inside I found myself in a beautiful church, the light suddenly got off and started a visual tour. I jumped 800 years back in time! How the church used to be and how was it unearthed in 1979. Then the guides walked us in the dungeon, lighted up here and there with some natural light, till we found the room where the heretics used to be tortured during the Inquisition time. The most impressive place is a room where a famous guy used to be imprisoned… but I don’t want to spoil your next tour, so I let you discover this story directly from the voice of your guides (the ones that disocovered those underground paths). The atmosphere is really fascinating.
Then I strolled around Narnia, visiting the Castle and some very old churches, spotting the mythological figures of the lion and the griffin. I came back home feeling good, as I spent a day inside the history here in Narnia. But you know southern Umbria is full of small Medieval hamlets and beautiful green hills, I will be back for sure. I didn’t mention the local food & wine, but I can assure you it is full of high quality farms producing excellent delicacies. I just picked the one of my next visit on narniainitaly.com! Hope soon.
Based on a interview to Kay Olsen, from New Zealand and other tourists’ sentiment collected by Narniaitaly.com