Narni, the geographic centre of Italy, is situated in the region of Umbria. It’s a typical Umbrian town, built on a hill 240 metres above sea level with a strong medieval heritage.
The town has outstanding views over the River Nera and its valley. Although Neolithic people lived in this region, the first historical document mentioning the town is dated 600 B.C., when Nequinum and its inhabitants are mentioned by Livio. In 299 B.C., Narni was a Latin Colony under the name of Narnia, a name that comes from the Nahar river, today know as the Nera. In 220 B.C.the Flaminia road permitted economic development in the area . In 369 AD,Christians in Narni elected the Carthaginian Giovenale as their first bishop , who, when he died, was buried near the city’s wall, where, in the 12th century the Cathedral was erected in that same place.
Narni was occupied by both the Longobards and the Byzantines. During these occupations the city lived the richest period of its history. In 1371, the pope reformed the statutes and Narni became part of the Papal state. On the 27th of July 1527, the Lanzichenecchi (Northen mercenaries) stopped on their way back from the sacking of Rome and destroyed Narni completely.
After rebuilding, many important artists returned to Narni :Vignola, Zuccari, Sangallo and Scalza. Many famous people have been born in Narni : the emperor Nerva, the leader of the medieval mercenary troops Erasmo also known as ” Gattamelata”, the Beata Lucia and the humanist Galeotto Marzio.
The charm and beauty of Narni struck the writer C.S. Lewis, who was inspired by the beautiful landscapes and medieval structures in the city to create the compelling story: “THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA”.
The book inspired the film produced by Disney and directed by Andrew Adamson where you can recognize the natural wonders that characterize the town as well as see the similarity between the home of the Wicked Witch of Narnia and the various castles that rise on the hills surrounding Narni
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