Key to Umbria: Narni

Walk II: Medieval Extension of the City

Umbria:  Home   Cities    History    Art    Hagiography    Contact 


Narni:  Home    History    Art    Saints    Walks   Monuments    Museums

This walk around the medieval extension of Narni begins in Piazza Garibaldi.  At some time in the Middle Ages, perhaps after the sack of Narni in 878, the cemetery that had existed on this site outside the Roman walls fell into disuse.  A suburb that subsequently developed here, extending southwards, was subsequently enclosed by new city walls.

The fountain at the centre of the piazza was rebuilt after the sack of Narni in 1527.  It stands on the site of a Roman cistern that still survives under the piazza.  This cistern is some 200 square meters and was probably originally open to the sky.  The present vaults apparently date to the Middle Ages, when the piazza was called Piazza del Lago.  Steps to the right of the fountain lead down to it, but I have never managed to arrange a visit.

Leave Piazza Garibaldi along Via XX Settembre, on the right in the photograph above.  This street, which follows the line of the ancient Via Flaminia, is named for the day in 1870 when the soldiers of King Victor Emmanuel II finally entered Rome to complete the unification of Italy. 

However, the walk starts with a short detour.  With Via XX Settembre ahead, turn right and walk across the side of San Giovenale, to leave Piazza Garibaldi by Via Vittorio Emanuele.    Pope Pius VI built this road, originally called Via Flaminia Nuova in 1790.  There is a fine view of the Nera valley on the right.  Turn right along Via Porta Pietra, to the side of the Post Office, to see the now-unused Porta Pietra (13th century).   Imperial forces passed through this gate in 1527, after the sack of Rome, intent upon doing the same to Narni.

Return to and cross Via Vittorio Emanuele and continue ahead to Via XX Settembre.  Turn right along it, past:

  1. the ex-church of San Francesco delle Stimmate (18th century) at number 36, recognisable by the monogram “IHS” above the portal;

  1. the ex-church of SS Filippo e Giacomo (14th century) at number 75, which has a fresco of the Madonna and Child in the niche above the portal;

  1. the church of Sant’ Agnese (17th century), further along on the right; and

  1. the ex-Ospedale degli Innocenti,just beyond it.

Continue to the end of the street, where it rejoins Via Vittorio Emanuele.  This was the site of Porta Romana until 1857, when it was moved to its present location (see below) in preparation for the visit to Narni of Pope Pius IX.

Turn left along Via Vittorio Emanuele, past the inscription that records its construction.

Continue to Porta Romana (1545), which was moved from its original location (see above) in 1857, in preparation for the visit to Narni of Pope Pius IX.  The inscription "FELICE FASTIQUE, ADVENTU PIO IX" records this visit.  The gate was then briefly known as Porta Pia, but it resumed its original name after the unification of Italy in 1861.

Walk through the gate and very sharp left, along Via Feronia, which follows a large loop.  As you approach the Rocca, the Sorgente di Feronia is on the right. 

Continue to the Rocca

Retrace your steps along Via Feronia and continue down the stepped Via del Monte to the junction with Via Nerva.  The Fontana di Bucci is on the right: water from the Roman aqueduct reached this point in an open culvert and was distributed from here into various city locations in lead pipes.

Turn right along Via Nerva, which is named for the Emperor Marcus Cocceius Nerva to Santa Margherita.  

Continue along the road as it swings to the left to join Via Roma opposite the War Memorial. 

Turn right to Porta Ternana (1486).  Pope Sixtus IV commissioned this gate as part of a project to strengthen the defences of Narni (see the page on the Rocca).  It is also known as Porta della Arvolte [meaning ??]. 

Continue along Via Roma and take the 1st turning on the left, through the park to the Convento di San Girolamo

The detour to Ponte Cardona starts and ends here (see below).

Return along Via Roma to Piazza Garibaldi, where the walk ends. 

Detour to Ponte Cardona

[Describe the route to the Roman bridge.  Another possibility is to visit it by car en route for the Sacro Speco - see Around Narni.]

Return to the Walks in Narni. 
Return to the home page on Narni.