Ancient history

The places of the Grand Tour in the Terni area.

The places of the Gran Tour in the Terni area: from Marmore waterfalls to the Piediluco Lake, then passing through Terni, Narni and Otricoli.

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Tourist information and welcome office
Via Cassian Bon, 4 - 05100 Terni
Umbria was a fundamental part of the Italian journey of these lucky young men, who had the possibility to increase their cultural baggage 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 exactly in the Grand Tour phenomenon, which in Umbria concerned particularly the Terni and Narni areas, beyond the Orvieto territories. They say that the word 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 cover again 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 Cascata delle Marmore (Marmore Waterfall), among the highest in Europe, a true natural show. An imposing water mass, 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 immersed in green, 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 "town in a delightful location, which I admired with pleasure during a tour I did right now. 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 epoch Terni enjoyed a certain reputation as an area full of orange groves. It is hard to confirm, since some written records with rather ambivalent 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.