THE UMBRIA REGION
Umbria is a supremely unspoiled province, known as the "green heart of Italy." Ideally located between Tuscany (Florence) and Lazio (Rome), it is known for its picturesque villages, charming medieval hill towns, wide vistas of rolling, vineyards and olive grove covered hills. There is much beautiful countryside in Umbria and scenic attractions such as lakes Trasimeno and Pediluco, and the spectacular Marmora falls. Agriturismi and wineries abound in the area. Florence can be reached in 2 hours by car. Umbria is world renowned for its music and art festivals, which include the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds).
The town of Narni is delightful with charming streets and attractive buildings with activities like a medieval festival, music festivals, and many food fairs. It is said to be the inspiration for the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis.
English travelers of C.S.Lewis’s era would have seen Narni on the "Grand Tour" of Italy and traveling artists found the ruins of the huge Roman bridge one of the most evocative scenes in Italy. The area is well situated for excursions to Rome, all Umbrian towns such as Orvieto, Spoleto, Orte and Viterbo, Assisi, the sights of upper Lazio, such as Lake Bolsena, Caprarola, Tuscania, or Tarquinia, and parts of lower Tuscany, all within an hour’s drive.
The region is known for its food and wine (grape varietal Ciliegiolo di Narni is a specialty of the area) and Narni’s convivial restaurants and cafes are very good and reasonable, featuring such regional specialities as wild boar, salumi, ciriole pasta, lake trout, mushrooms and truffles. Nearby towns also offer a great variety of excellent restaurants and farmer’s markets brimming with seasonal delicacies. For home cooks, the town has an excellent butcher, baker, gelaterie, fresh pasta shops, wine shops and artisanal gourmet shops. Well stocked supermarkets are a few minutes’ drive. During special festivals medieval style taverns are opened where you can have a good and inexpensive meal served by waiters in period costumes.