A Visit to Amelia

March 14, 2016 / Places
Amelia, Umbria

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During an action-packed weekend on our recent visit to the Terni region of Umbria – courtesy of GAL Ternano (for Gruppo di Azione Locale, a local community development non-profit) – we were given a brief introduction to the town of Amelia.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (5)

With a population of just over 10,000, Amelia is one of the oldest towns in Umbria. About half an hour’s drive from the large industrial city of Terni, it sits high on a hill in the south western corner of the province, apparently surveying the beautiful Umbrian countryside which surrounds it.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (4)

Amelia is a centre of historical interest being entirely surrounded by famously superb walls which date from the seventh century BC.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (1)

Arriving just outside the remarkable city walls I was immediately struck by the cyclopean masonry. Cyclopean stonework is comprised of large irregularly-shaped rocks fitted tightly together without the use of mortar. These fantastic walls are broken by four gates and are approximately 700 metres long and 3.5 metres thick.

The Romans also constructed underground cisterns to collect water for the Roman baths.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (8)

Entering the pretty medieval town via Porta Romana, we strolled uphill along a narrow street.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (2)

Pausing to marvel at the preserved Roman road which was visible beneath us, we progressed upwards in the direction of the Duomo and Torre Civica.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (3)

A visit to the archaeology museum revealed a bronze statue of Germanicus, aka Nero Claudius Drusus, unearthed just outside the walls of Amelia in 1963. More than two metres tall, this statue of the young Roman hero was restored and put on display in the archaeological museum, which is located in Palazzo Bocarini.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (9)

For me, personally, the highlight of our stroll through Amelia was our visit to the theatre. Built in 1783, it was designed by the architect, Conte Stefano Cansacchi. Its elliptical interior, which is made completely from wood, apparently influenced the design of famous La Fenice in Venice (1790).  The stalls are arranged on the sloping floor, while boxes fill the walls.

Amelia Orna O Reilly (7)
Amelia Orna O Reilly (6)

Enjoy your stroll with us through the narrow streets of pretty Amelia.

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by Orna O’Reilly

Orna is a former interior designer who practised in South Africa, Mozambique and Ireland. Now writing full time, she moved from Ireland to the Veneto area of Italy in 2013.

She writes her way around Italy by blogging about it (at Ornasite) and is currently writing a novel set in Venice. You can follow her tweets @OrnaOR, and her Travel & Design page on FB.

5 Responses to “A Visit to Amelia”

  1. Peggy Ann Nicora

    I am new to Notebook.com! Enjoyed Amelia. Cannot wait to see more of Bella Italia!

  2. Gian Banchero

    Having lived in towns as such for long periods I can verify the peace of mind and soul from living in such an environment!

  3. I first visited Amelia in 1976- a very picturesque walled village on a hill. At that time it had a sizable population of senior citizens. Over the years the suburbs
    increased greatly. Over three visits over the years the historic center now has
    a very small permanent population. However it is kept in good condition
    and is well worth a visit.


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