Narni, the Rocca Albornoz and the Roman ruins at Ocricolum
Road bike

ROUTE 20 - Narni, the Rocca Albornoz and the Roman ruins at Ocricolum

Total ascent
800 m
43 km
This route starts out from Narni, an ancient town dating back more mthan three thousand years, and conquered by the Romans in 299 BC under the name of Narnia. The town is situated among the quiet hills at the south-westernmost tip of Umbria, and the ride takes you to several other ancient towns and villages, such as Otricoli, Calvi dell’Umbria and Poggio.
Start Narni
Arrival Narni
Distance 43 km
Total ascent 800 m
Difficulty medium
Surface asphalt
Recommended bike road, hybrid
Places to visit in the area Narni, Otricoli, Calvi, Poggio, Narni Castle.

The starting point is the Rocca Albornoz, an ancient outpost built midway through the 14th century at the very highest part of the spur on which the town was constructed. From here, you descend towards the centre of Narni and then turn left towards Testaccio, a small village 2.5 km. further on. Carry on in the direction of Rome until you get to the junction with the SS3 (km. 6.5), and then turn left in the direction of Rome once again. Carry on along this undulating section of road until you get to km. 14, where you turn left towards the ancient town of Otricoli, famous for the archaeological zone of Ocricolum, the Roman town that arose along the Tiber in the vicinity of the Porto dell’Olio, the ruins of which mostly date from the Augustine age.

Once out of the town, turn left in the direction of Calvi dell’Umbria: after a descent involving a few hairpin bends you come to the beginning of the climb up to Calvi dell’Umbria (at km. 17) and after climbing for some 7.5 kilometres you finally reach the town, where you can stop for a rest and something to eat or drink. As well as numerous artistic works and historical buildings, the streets of Calvi also feature a number of murals depicting the Nativity, the work of famous Italian and foreign artists who, since 1982, come to the town to paint the walls of the old houses, hence its nickname as the “town of the Nativity”. Leaving Calvi, take the SP18 towards Narni, and you will find yourself cycling through an almost unreal landscape of woodland and silence. At km. 30 you come to the village of Poggio (see ‘photo above):carry straight on until you reach the junction with the SS3 (km. 37), and then turn right towards Narni, cycling along the same road you took at the beginning of the ride. Ride past Testaccio, and you will come to the gates of the town of Narni at km. 42: but before turning right and climbing back up the hill to the Rocca, you must ride into the town centre and visit the many beautiful buildings and works it boasts, including the exciting visit to subterranean Narni, consisting of a series of aqueducts, cisterns, tunnels, crypts and even the torture chambers of the town’s inquisitional tribunal, complete with cell featuring the graffiti of those prisoners awaiting their sentence.


You must visit the centre of Narni, with its 3000-year-old historical heritage. While here you should also visit the subterranean Narni: a series of aqueducts, cisterns, tunnels, crypts and even the torture chambers of the town’s Inquisitional Tribunal, which together constitute a mysterious underground landscape in the very heart of the town, an historical, artistic and cultural journey into the past.The Roman period is represented by the Augustus Bridge, the Cadona Bridge and the Formina Aqueduct. The Middle Ages, on the other hand, are well represented by a whole series of buildings and monuments, including the Cathedral of San Giovenale, the Church of San Domenico, and the Church of Santa Maria Inpensole. Piazza dei Priori is a magnificent square surrounded by the austere Palazzo del Podestà and the Loggia dei Priori, the latter featuring the delightful Loggia del Banditore. The town is crowned by the recently renovated Rocca Albornoz, originally constructed in the second half of the 14th century on orders from Cardinal Albornoz. The major attraction at Otricoli is the archaeological zone of Ocricolum, the Roman town that arose along the Tiber in the vicinity of the Porto dell’Olio, the ruins of which mostly date from the Augustine age: the Theatre, the Amphitheatre and an impressive series of arches which perhaps supported one of the most important of the Roman town’s monuments, the Capitolium. Calvi dell’Umbria is worth a visit to see the many murals representing the Nativity scene, painted on the walls of the old town houses.