From Narni to Orvieto along the Etruscan Roman wine trail
From Narni to Orvieto along the Etruscan Roman wine trail: a winemaking tradition dating back to Roman times
Amelia's roots date back to before the foundation of Rome. The town features polygonal walls, a unique defense system against the neighbouring Etruscans' incursions. Visit the Archeological museum and the Roman cisterns.
This trail sees a succession of roads and vineyards; vines have always been a part of the Amerini Hills. Grechetto, malvasia, ciliegiolo and sangiovese are the most cultivated varietals in one area, noted for its historical production of Vin Santo.
Narni can be spotted from far away, a splendid city rich in history, perched on a limestone spur above the Nera river. A trove of Roman, Etruscan and medieval treasures is the San Cassiano Abbey and the Albornoz fortress; explore subterranean Narni before heading towards the Augustus Bridge.
The prince of these lands is the ciliegiolo, a local varietal and essential component of the Amerini Hills wines, offering fresh and flavourful wines.
When hunger strikes, try the cottora broad bean, a Slow Food presidium, and of course the manfricoli, a handmade pasta, with pacio sauce or with wild asparagus. To follow try baccalà with prunes or another traditional mainstay, Amerina style wood pigeon with a typical medieval sauce. The end of the meal is also a sweet reminder of the past, with Amelia figs stuffed with dry fruit.
The view of the Corbara lake means you have arrived in Civitella del Lago, with its unique museo-Ovoteca but don't miss the archeological site of Scoppieto. Italian and international varietals such as chardonnay, sauvignon, vermentino, cabernet, merlot and pinot noir are now cultivated alongside traditional Umbrian varietals.
The former are typical of the Lago di Corbara PDO, a ruby red, austere and elegant wine. The view of Orvieto, resting on its tuff cliff and famous for its white wine, will astonish you. Among the sights are the cathedral, the San Patrizio well, and Orvieto Underground.
Since the Romans, wine has played a central role in the economy of the area. It was loved by the popes and supported the cost of building the cathedral. At least as old as the city is the Orvieto grechetto, a straw-coloured white wine, slightly fruity and floral but of a good level of alcohol and acidity, used here also traditionally mixed with trebbiano.