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Terni, Province of Terni, Umbria Region, Italy

The ancient Latin "Interamna Nahars", capital of the Terni province in southern Umbria, in the plain of the Nera river.

The city is an important stop on the rail line Rome-Ancona, and is the point of departure for the branch line to Rieti and L'Aquila. It is the seat of a university, and is one of the most important industrial towns in Umbria. In 1927 Terni became capital of its newly established province.
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Info

Altitude: 130 m a.s.l -- Population: about 100,000 inhabitants Zip/postal code: 05100 -- Phone Area Code: 0744

History

The city was probably founded in the 7th century BC by the Sabini. In the 3rd century BC it was conquered by the Romans and soon become an important municipium on the Via Flaminia. The Roman name was Interamna, meaning "between rivers".

After the Lombard conquest in 755 Terni lost prominence and was reduced to a secondary town in the Duchy of Spoleto. In 1174 it was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa's army. In the following century Terni was one of the favourite seat of St. Francis' preaching.

In the 14th century Terni issued a constitution of its own and was the theater of inner disputes between Guelphs and Ghibellines, and later between the two parties of Nobili and Banderari, until it was included in the Church State.

In 1580 an ironwork, the Ferriera, was established to work the iron ore mined in Monteleone di Spoleto, starting the industrial tradition of the city. In the 19th century Terni took advantage of the Industrial Revolution and of the large presence of water sources in the area. New industries included a steelwork, a foundry, as well as weapons, jute and wool factories.

The presence of a strong industries concentration made it a favourite target for the Allied bombardments in World War II, totalling 108 raids.

What to see

  • The Roman amphitheater, once capable of 10,000 spectators, built in 32 BC.
  • The small Roman gate of Porta Sant'Angelo, one of the four ancient entrances to the city.
  • The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (17th century). Built over one of the most ancient Christian temples of the city, it has today Baroque lines. In the interior is one organ designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The façade has two medieval gates, one with the profile of a sabot once used to measure the citizen's shoes so that they would not exceed a fixed limit of decency.

Where to stay

Province of Terni