History, art and a little bit of mystery meet in the belly of the town of Narni to offer its visitors a unique itinerary, full of wonders: we suggest a guided itinerary discovering underground Narni.
The route begins in the complesso conventuale di S. Domenico (a monastery) with the entrance in a charming hypogea-church with a single nave: the walls, partly dug out of the rock, are covered with frescoed plasterwork. The oldest of these fresco cycles date back to the 12th century, the period when the building was constructed. Inside the church you will find a brick passage way: cross it and you will arrive in a room which contains a Roman cistern which was used to collect rainwater. You will find yourself in what was probably a domus. Take the next tunnel along: you will arrive in a room of pink and white rock, beneath the apse of San Domenico, which was the site of the court of the Holy Inquisition. Look around, you will find a small cell whose walls shows graffiti of a devotional nature, others connected to judicial events, others with an esoteric meaning. Your visit continues in the underground area of the church of Santa Maria Impensole, above which a church was built in the eighth century. Later a Romanesque church was built over it. Your route ends inside Lacus, the great early medieval cistern located under the fountain of piazza Garibaldi, formerly piazza del Lago.
The route dedicated to underground Narni has come to an end, but you can enjoy another experience, which is of great interest from a speleological point of view: a visit to the acquedotto della Formina. This is a Roman aqueduct, probably built in 27 A.D. during the reign of Tiberius. The aqueduct is about 13 km long and it winds along the slopes of the Narni hills, through three mountains and even crosses some rivers. You can walk along a 700 metre long conduit, admiring the fantastic flowstones and then exit via a steep spiral staircase that is carved into the rock, from a well that is 18 metres deep. Visits to the aqueduct can only be made from May to October, and are subject to booking (you will find all the necessary information on the website (http://www.narnisotterranea.it/).
The visit to Narni Sotterranea lasts for about an hour and a half, whilst the one to the aqueduct lasts three hours: you'll have just enough time to visit beautiful Narni and try the delicious local pastries and cakes, famous for their ancient origins.