The villages of the Terni basin
From Cesi to Stroncone via Collescipoli: discovering the villages in the Terni basin, characterised by a timeless charm.
Your visit begins in the hamlet of Cesi, located to the north of Terni on the slopes of Monte Eolo and nicknamed ‘the natural balcony', in that it is able to offer a vast panorama over the Terni basin. Its dominating position over the surrounding valley and its defensive walls dating back to medieval times reveal its history as a strategic stronghold. Wandering around the village, you'll see many historical palaces including the Palazzi Contelori and Cittadini-Cesi, the Palazzi Stocchi and Eustachi as well as numerous churches, among which we advise you not to miss the church of San Michele Arcangelo (to whom the Cesani are very devoted), an Early-Christian church in a Romanesque style which is today deconsecrated and has been transformed into an auditorium and cultural centre.
Heading south for about 16 km, you'll arrive in Collescipoli, the second stop on your journey. This small village is very close to the city of Terni, on a small hill between the Flaminia and Salaria roads. Like Cesi, Collescipoli historically had an important role in keeping control over the territory. Nearing Collescipoli, you will immediately notice two bell towers which characterise its skyline, making it instantly recognisable, even from afar. Among the theories to explain its name, the most authoritative attributes its origins to the name ‘Collis Scipionis' with which in 1453 it became a Free Commune. Take a walk in the streets of this tiny village, making the opportunity to visit its architectural and cultural treasures: the Romanesque Church of Santo Stefano, the collegiate church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the church of San Nicola, the Palazzo comunale, the Church and Convent of Santa Cecilia and the other historic palaces (Ungari, Catucci, Genga, Giovagnoli).
Reprise your route, heading south for a further 7 and a half kilometres and you'll arrive in Stroncone, counted amongst the most beautiful villages in Italy and located 450 metres above sea level. You'll immediately notice the medieval nature of its historic centre, with its narrow and winding streets and the ruins of the fortified walls.
Enter the village through the medieval gate, you'll find yourself in front of the Church of San Giovanni which contains frescoes by the Zuccari school. Continue climbing the town's narrow streets and you'll reach the Church of San Nicolò, you'll be struck by the beauty of its Romanesque portal from 1171, adorned with a Byzantine bas-relief. Don't miss out on a visit to the Palazzo Comunale, which has a vast archive of parchments, illuminated manuscripts and coins.
Conclude your trip with a delicious meal in one of the local tavernas or restaurants. Try the unpretentious yet refined dishes which may include truffle, cheese, legumes, walnuts, meat, the famous pizza bianca cooked under embers, the renowned wood-baked bread, pasta and tasty soups. Your mouth's watering already, isn't it?