NARNI claims to be the geographical centre of Italy, with a hilltop site jutting into the Nera Valley on a majestic spur and crowned by another of Cardinal Albornoz’s formidable papal fortresses. Commanding one end of a steep gorge (about ten minutes of fairly spectacular train travel), it was once the gateway into Umbria, the last post before the Tiber Valley and the undefended road to Rome. However, while the town retains a fine medieval character, the views from its heights are marred by steel and chemical works around Narni Scalo, the new town in the valley below.

The heart of the old town has all the standard fittings: the medieval piazzas, the warren of streets, a modest art gallery, the usual crop of Romanesque churches and a huge rocca, open for occasional events. There’s a Roman bridge on the outskirts, the subject of considerable local hype; when Goethe arrived in Narni in the middle of the night he was peeved not to have seen it but he was only missing a solitary arch in the middle of the river – just as easily viewed from the train.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

From secluded coves to lively seafronts, there are plenty of places to sun worship in Italy. But with an increasing number of hotels charging for access to the …

20 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Italy has long been one of Europe's most popular destinations. From the magnificent remnants of ancient Rome to the coolest in contemporary culture, secret beac…

08 Jun 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Why Turin should be your next foodie break

Why Turin should be your next foodie break

Not so long ago, Turin (Torino) – Italy’s great northern powerhouse – was largely ignored by tourists, unfairly dismissed as little more than a giant Fiat…

26 May 2017 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month