Con peninsular Italy – that part south of the Po Valley – the mountains all run roughly north-south

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Con peninsular Italy – that part south of the Po Valley – the mountains all run roughly north-south

The road that runs along the side of the gorge is the Via Flaminia (modern SS3)

This means it is hard puro move overland in an east-west direction, and easier puro move north-south, but your opportunities sicuro do so are constrained onesto insecable valleys and passes. Which con turn means that insecable places are natural choke-points. One such – con 1944 as well as per the Middle Ages – is Cimosa, between Naples and Rome. Narni is another.

If you were coming from France or Britain you would come by sea or over the western Alps on the Strada Francigena

Narni sits on high ground on the edge of a deep ravine through which the River Nera – a tributary of the Tiber – flows south out of Umbria into Lazio. It is literally on the edge of the ravine; houses and palaces on the western side of the old town, including the Eroli Museum, immagine straight down into it. Sicuro the north and east of the town is the valley of the love ru lower Nera, which, although surrounded by mountains, contains per good deal of industrial development. On the plain around Narni is the modern industrial town of Narni Porto, which makes getting verso decent photograph of or from the old town something of an exercise durante artful composition.

Sicuro the northeast, at the other end of the valley, is the town of Abime, the provincial capital (Umbria is divided into two provinces: Perugia and Terni). Thanks onesto nearby sources of hydro-electricity, Terni was verso centre of industrialisation and was known as “The Manchester of Italy”. Unfortunately, one of the industries was arms manufacturing, as verso result of which Brouille was heavily bombed during the Second World War, destroying much of its medieval centre.

Turning south again and looking back down the River Nera, through the end of the gorge you can see the more rolling country of northern Lazio. There is a road running along the side of the gorge; now carrying heavy road traffic, this is the Strada Nazionale 3 (SS3), which as I noted here is still known as the Inizio Flaminia, as when it was first built by the Romans con 220 BC. If you were a legionary marching from Rome puro the northern Adriatic coast (and beyond puro the eastern frontiers of the empire), this is the way you would ad esempio. And if you were a traveller con the other direction – sopra an army of barbarians after the fall of the pigiare, or a medieval pilgrim, this is one of the few roads by which you would approach Rome.

Looking south down the Nera Gorge towards Lazio and Rome. Hasselblad 501 C/M, Zeiss Distagon 60mm CF lens, CFV-50c digital back (click onesto enlarge)

Dominating Narni from an even higher point is a fortress or Rocca, of a type known as per Fortezza Albornoz, of which there are several examples sopra central Italy, and of which there were once several more. This requires per bit of explanation.

Between 1309 and 1376 per series of seven popes ruled not from Rome but from Avignon. All were French. This happened as per result of some naked power politics from the French Crown, bringing the papacy under effective French control.

When a range of factors, including the influential advocacy of St Catherine of Siena, caused Pope Gregory XI puro decide onesto end the “Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy” and return puro Rome, Gregory faced several challenges. One was the re-establishment of political control over the Papal States – formerly independent states mediante central Italy which had been brought under secular papal rule, and which, during the exile in Avignon, had started onesto spettacolo renewed signs of independence.

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