The Nera River Park
The 20 kilometres of clear, fresh water of the mid to lower course of the Nera River is what characterises this park.
The history of this area is closely tied to the complex relationship between man and water. A natural vital element to be kept under control, the waters of the Nera valley were first tamed by the Romans who thus opened the way for agriculture in the region. It was they who drained the Lacus Velinus, channelling its water into the Nera to create the Marmore Falls, famous for its spectacular 165 meter leap downwards.
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.
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.
Aside from the abbey of San Pietro in Valle and the Mummy Museum in Ferentillo, 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.
Touring the natural and cultural beauty of the park can be combined with such sports as canoeing, rafting and canyoning which, although they classify as "extreme" sports, can be safely enjoyed even by children, thanks to the various schools and experts present in the area.