Umbria was a fundamental part of the Italian journey of these fortunate young men, who had the possibility to enrich their cultural education by getting to know several different environments and experiencing them personally.
Art, literature, history, traditions, music, theatre and much more: the aim was to immerse oneself in a completely different culture from one's own to obtain a personal treasure.
We can claim that travelling for tourism has its roots in the Grand Tour phenomenon, which in Umbria concerned particularly the Terni and Narni areas, as well as the Orvieto territories. They say that the term Grand Tour was used for the first time by the Englishman Richard Lassels in his guide ‘The Voyage of Italy' in 1670.
By descending the peninsula from the North towards Rome, travelers crossed Umbria along the Flaminia Road, passing through the Apennines, heading to the Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Waterfall) and then towards the towns of Terni and Narni. We advise you to retrace this interesting itinerary to admire those wonders which attracted a lot of young men over those years, including many English, French and German people.
Start from the Marmore Waterfall, among the highest in Europe, a true natural spectacle. An imposing rush of foam, in which the waters of the Velino river fall 165 meters into the Nera river. It is possible to observe the waterfall either from below through a panoramic itinerary, or from above in the Belvedere area.
Then follow the Velino river flow to the Lago di Piediluco (Piediluco Lake), its mirror-like surface recalling an alpine lake surrounded by greenery, offering a beautiful panorama in a peaceful atmosphere. From the lake waters arise a cone-shaped mountain known as Eco mountain. The nickname is due to the exceptional phenomenon that can repeat up to two hendecasyllables.
Then head towards Terni, that has been defined by Goethe as a "town in a delightful location, which I admired with pleasure during a tour I just made. It is located at the beginning of a beautiful level ground, between mountains made of calcareous rock. As Bologna on the opposite side, so Terni over here lies down at the foot of a mountain chain". In the Grand Tour era, Terni enjoyed a certain reputation as an area full of orange groves. It is hard to confirm, since some written records with rather conflicting information on the matter survive.
Then continue on to wonderful Narni, above Narni Scalo, where you will be able to visit the Ponte Romano di Augusto (Roman Bridge of Augustus), a work that, like all Roman ruins, evokes the greatness of the eternal city. Take time to enjoy a walk in the historical center of Narni, with its churches and the Rocca Albornoziana (Albornoz Fortress). And if you have enough time, don't miss out a visit to the Narni Sotterranea (Narni Underground).
The last Umbrian stop on the Flaminia Road is Otricoli, where you will be able to visit the interesting Parco Archeologico (Archeological Park), a small gem for history buffs.
This itinerary will take you back in time, to relive all the atmosphere of discoveries made through travel, exactly as at the era of the Grand Tour.