Explore the Region of Terni, Italy
The Histories of Terni
Whenever you think of places to visit in Italy you think of all the wonderful landmarks and regions. Rome has so many to offer: the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and of course Vatican City. The north of Italy is home to Pisa and it's famous leaning tower and Venice known for Gondolas. The south has the beautiful Amalfi Coast in the picturesque mountains, with nearby Capri and historic Pompei.
Italy has so much to offer that the smaller towns and cities away from the tourist attractions often get overlooked.
Terni is situated in the center of Italy, 104 km north of Rome. It is in the Umbria region and sits on the Nera river in a valley surrounded by mountains, woods and olive groves.
Although it lies in a romantic setting, it is known for manufacturing iron, textiles and machinery. It also harbours it's steelworks which was built up from the late 1800's due to an industrial revolution. The water sources in the surrounding areas provided excellent conditions to build up ironworks and the Terni steel-plant. In 1886 the factory began it's success bringing in workers to the city and neighboring towns. This in turn started to build up to accommodate and also create new businesses to thrive which remains to this day.
The City of Lovers
Terni is famous for it's association of Saint Valentine. Known in Italy as San Valentino, he is the patron saint of lovers which is celebrated nationwide on February 14th each year (known as Valentine's Day).
Although history considers there were many martyred saints in ancient Rome, the facts remain unclear. There are many different legends surrounding St. Valentine.
One belief was that a Bishop Valentine (born into a patrician family) had converted into Christianity. Three hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Romans still heavily believed in the Roman Gods and demanded everyone to follow suit. But Valentine was found out after he married Christian couples and helped Christians who were under persecution.
The Bishop was imprisoned for his crimes and was executed on February 14th after trying to convert the Emperor into Christianity.
Another legend of a Saint Valentine involved a Christian Priest who was jailed. It was alledged he performed a miracle and cured the jailer's daughter of her blindness. The night before his execution (on February 14th), he wrote a letter to her, signing it 'from your Valentine'.
The way we celebrate Valentine's Day today come from the stories and legends from Saint Valentine. This includes sending anonymous cards and signing them 'from your Valentine', and using an image of the ancient Roman God of love, Cupid.
As Terni has a connection with San Valentino, each year it celebrates with a festival of love. It is celebrated on February 14th and the town offers chocolate and cake stalls and marquees, as well as music and performances all to do with love and romance.
The areas of Terni are unspoiled with rivers, mountains and waterfalls. There are attractions along the River Tiber in the forms of nature reserves, castles and towers.
7km away from the city are the Marmore Waterfalls. They are a spectacular sight in a natural setting, although in fact they were artificially created by the Romans. The Velino river came enlarged and stagnant, so a canal was dug towards the Marmore cliff to create a 165 meter fall into the Nera River.
The falls were an inspiration to poets and artists such as Byron, and were known for their 'Horrid Beauty'.
The waterfalls have been used to fuel the hydroelectric power plant, Galleto and are still used to this day. Because of the energy the waters create, they were able to establish the industries of Terni.
They are used as tourist attractions, charging visitors to view the spectacular sight when they are switched on. Remarkably, Marmore Waterfalls are turned off overnight which is hard to believe when they are seen in action.
Near to the Marmore Waterfalls (and 13km from Terni) sets Piediluco Lake which is a beauty spot in the village of Piediluco (meaning at the 'foot of the mountain').
Opposite situates Mount Caperno shielding the lake from winds. Because of this climate it is an excellent lake for rowers from all nations. The Italian Rowing Federation uses Piediluco as the National Rowing Center, where training regularly takes place and competitions held. The lake is also a great location for windsurfers, canoeing, sailing and fishing.
There are so many surrounding attractions in the district of Terni such as the Nera Valley, Narni, Amelia and Orvieto districts. The Orvieto Cathedral is a symbolic attraction in It's town. There are rivers and waterfalls across the district and the Appenine mountain woods and plentiful lush green lands. It is worth while to take a look at the three thousand year history full of art, culture, buildings and sculptures in such a breathtaking environment.