Stampa

Todi - Sangemini - Carsulae - Narni

Leaving Spoleto follow the way to Acquasparta and reach the E45. Drive in the direction of Perugia, and reach Todi. This town was founded in 3rd-2nd century BC by Etruscan people, who built the oldest boundary walls. There are many remains of the Roman period, too, such as the grand cistern recently found below Piazza del Popolo.
In the Middle Ages Todi took the typical aspect of a castle, controlled by powerful feudatories and in the early 12th century it became a Comune. In 1236 Jacopone, a renowned lawyer, was born here of noble family. At the age of 32 he converted and begun to lead a poor and monastic life. The most known of his works is the Book of Laudi, in which he expresses the difference between the human condition and God.
Visit the Palazzo del Capitano, the Palazzo dei Priori, the Cathedral and the interesting church of San Fortunato: it is a gothic temple built in 15th century. The outside is incomplete, but the marble portal is very beautiful. The grave of Jacopone is in the crypt of this church.

Continuing southwards, on the E45, reach San Gemini (30 km away). The name of this town comes from a Syrian monk, Gemini, who, in 9th century, preached here.
San Gemini is a charming medieval town, built where an ancient Roman settlement was. Some remains of this period can still be seen in Porta Romana, the main gate. Walking on the alleys, reach the very heart of this town, Piazza San Francesco, with the church dedicated to the Saint. The 18th century Palazzo Comunale, the Gemine Astolfi Fountain (1884) and Palazzo Canova are magnificent traces left by Antonio Canova, during his long stay in this town.
Another interesting building is the Cathedral, where the relics of San Gemini are kept, and that was built in the late gothic period.

Near San Gemini a miss-not is Carsulae, a town of the Roman Empire, important for its position on the Via Flaminia, connecting Rome and the Adriatic Sea. The excavation of Carsulae was made between 1951 and 1972. Today this is a very important archaeological site extending over an area of 20 ha (49,42 acres).
Visit the ancient public buildings, the theatre, the amphitheatre, the monumental tombs, the remains of the thermae and a part of the ancient Via Flaminia, paved with big slabs of stone.

At this point of the tour it is possible to choose between driving back to Eggi or going southwards, and reach Narni.
The first historical data for Narni date back to 600 BC, but this area was already populated in Neolithic age.
In 299 BC it became a Roman Municipality and took the name Narnia; in 233 it became an important outpost during the building of Via Flaminia. The Rocca dell'Albornoz is the sign of the importance this town had in the Middle Ages. It stands over the town, and is still well-preserved.
Narni overlooks the deep gorges of river Nera and has many artistic beauties and archaeological remains, like the Ponte di Augusto, a renowned and monumental ancient Roman work. It was built in 27 BC as part of Via Flaminia: its grand structure is 19mt. wide. Another important work is the Aqueduct Della Formina, 13km long: it is still possible to visit the Monte Ippolito gallery of this ingenious hydraulic work, built in 1st century AD by Emperor Cocceio Nerva

The medieval part of the town still preserves an old atmosphere in its squares, alleys, churches and mansions. Piazza dei Priori is one of the most beautiful in Italy; in the Palazzo Comunale there is the gorgeous altarpiece painted by Ghirladaio; on the same square there is the Loggia dei Priori and the church of Santa Maria in Pensole, a real medieval jewel.
The underground of Narni, under the former church of San Domenico, is charming and mysterious, with a rupestrian church and the ancient Tribunale dell'Inquisizione.
Take SS3 Flaminia to come back to Eggi.