Terni and Narni: a journey through tradition and taste
Following great wine and quality olive oil: an itinerary exploring Terni and Narni
Ph Thomas Alan
Genuine flavours and peasant tradition: a dream? No, it’s all real, and it has a name: Terni. Let us take you to discover this ancient land between the rivers Nera and Serra. The town was the birthplace of Emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus, and of the writer Cornelius Tacitus.
Always ahead of its time, this was one of the first places in Italy to develop modern industry, to the point of earning the nickname of la Manchester nostrale – ‘our very own Manchester’. Sadly, following the second world war, many of its monuments were destroyed and its architecture underwent deep modifications.
It is however still possible to visit the Duomo, built in the 17th century, and the church of San Salvatore, erected over the pre-existing roman age Temple of the Sun, as well as the Palazzo della Spada, and the Obelisco Lancia di Luce. But the true attraction of the area, located only 6 kilometres from Terni’s historic centre, is constituted by the Marmore Waterfall, a true paradise for nature lovers and extreme sports enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a more flavour-oriented break, you can try the delicious local savoury cheese cake, accompanied by the local capocollo, a kind of cured ham similar to prosciutto, which can be tasted also with an herb omelette or roast lamb. If you’re in Terni during Christmas, you will find more delicacies to sample: pasta with chickpeas, cauliflower fritters, sweet tagliatelle, and cappelletti.
This area also produces some of the Colli Amerini D.O.C. wines in the environs of the towns of Calvi dell’Umbria, Otricoli, Montecastrilli, Narni, Terni, and Sangemini. The Terni area in particular is also famous for the leccarda guinea fowl, which draws its name from the container located beneath the animal as it is spit-roasted.
We thus head to Nerni, another gem of the region’s culinary offer. Quality food lovers will be able to taste unique cheese products, mushrooms, wild asparagus, and truffles. But the truly unmissable delicacies here are the manfricoli (skewers loaded with game), pancetta, roast thrushes.
The king of condiments around here is without doubt extra-virgin olive oil, whilst in terms of drinks, we recommend the following wines: Ciliegiolo, Verdetto, Carsulae white, and Castello di Albornoz.