Welcome to the "Water Park", the Nera River Park which, among its many beautiful places, also includes the majestic Marmore Falls.
The 20 kilometres of clear, fresh water of the mid to lower course of the Nera River is what characterises this park. The area is dotted with small fortified hamlets and castles that arose in the Middle Ages. As you leave Terni, you'll come across Collestatte, Torre Orsina, Casteldilago, Arrone, Montefranco, Ferentillo, Macenano and Terria, all built to keep strategically important crossroads under control. When you're in Ferentillo, go see the crypt in the Church of Santo Stefano. The bodies buried here have become naturally mummified thanks to the specific environmental conditions and the chemistry of the soil.
To the east is Polino, Umbria's smallest town, perched on a mountain top along the old route herders used during their seasonal migrations with their livestock.
What makes this park so wonderful is its truly impressive vegetation: the foothills and a part of the mountain are covered with silvery green olive groves, particularly the area of the park closer to the Terni basin. The steep slopes of the mountains are covered in woods of broad-leaved trees insterpersed with magnificent rocky outcrops, making the area truly scenic.
Would you like to visit a mystical place that is also truly beautiful? The Valnerina has always been home to bustling religious activity and to ascetic hermits, and many abbeys, churches and hermitages were built here over the centuries. Stop in and see the lovely San Pietro in Valle abbey.
Hikers can walk over any of the many marked trails that crisscross the park, many follow old mule tracks and the roads that were once the main means of commerce and communication that connected the little hamlets. Observe the park's verdant fields and breathe the pure air of the Green Heart of Italy.
We suggest you visit some industrial archaeological sites as well: old and abandoned hydro-electric plants and factories that had been built to exploit the energy produced by the Nera and Velino rivers. The electro-chemical plant at Papignano is of particular interest as this is where Oscar-winning actor and director Roberto Benigni filmed much of Life is Beautiful.
One of the park's main attractions is the Marmore Falls, an ancient feat of Roman engineering which today is the ideal place for a family outing or a great hike.
If you love water sports, the Nera River Park is the place for you: the Nera River and its tributaries make this the perfect place for fishing, canyoning, rafting, caving and canoeing. But if climbing is your passion, don't miss the Ferentillo wall, one of the best equipped rock faces in all of Europe.
For your lunch you should taste the trout caught in the waters of the Nera: it's a white-fleshed fish with a delicate flavor to be boiled or cooked on the grill.