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Cassa di Risparmio Palace
[Historic buildings]

  • The owners of Palazzo Montani-Leoni, in corso Tacito, today location of the Cassa di Risparmio di Terni e Narni Foundation, were furious, when around the year 1870 the Municipal decided to demolish part of the open gallery and the colonnade in order to build the "new road" in other words, Corso Tacito. Corso Tacito was built, in fact, by demolishing small houses and cutting the "superfluous" parts of the larger ones. Palazzo Montani-Leoni was to survive but would be distorted by the demolition of the inside courtyard and garden and- precisely- the open gallery and most of the colonnade. The owners put their foot down. They demanded that the Municipal should not limit itself to just expropriating what they needed but that they should purchase the entire building. And so they did, and some years later, the Municipal sold it all to the Cassa di Risparmio. The 16th century building was, however, by now irredeemably damaged in its appearance and now only a few elements remain of the original facade, first of all the portal, while the rest has all but disappeared due to various revamps. A few testimonies can be found on the inside, but, what is valuable today is the art collection belonging to the bank Foundation. Joined into one building with the Foundation location, next to Palazzo Leoni-Montani, stands the new construction which hosts the bank, the old Cassa di Risparmio, which moved into it when it was established in 1846, when on the same site there was noble tenement which became anonymous due to the amputation undergone for the construction of the new high street and in which the Charity Congregation had its offices This building was demolished and substituted with a more modern and functional one which was inaugurated in 1966 and built according to a project by the architect/engineer Cesare Pascoletti, an expert in the building of banks, having already designed, among others, the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro building in Bari and several other Cassa di Risparmio banks as well as the Terni one. It is a building which stands out from all those around it, in a combination of modernism and ancient buildings which had further, and mostly more fulgent, examples. It is a large cube, in Pascoletti's typical style, with abundant use of coloured glass windows and markers. The only typical reminder of Terni is the use of sponge stone for the outside coatings.
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Church of San Francesco
[Religious buildings]

  • Built in 1265, the church of San Francesco, today a sanctuary, was set against some medieval walls, in an alcove where tradition has it that the Saint from Assisi performed several miracles. A church of remarkable size for the Terni of those times, erected to preserve in a tabernacle a silver cross containing a relic of the cross on which Jesus died which was a gift from Pope Sisto lV to Alberico Camporeali who placed it in San Francesco which bordered with his family's estate. The Camporealis came to Terni with Federico Barbarossa and his henchmen in order to control the city as they owned, in fact, all the area that today includes piazza Tacito, and starting from the church of San Tommaso, bordered by the city walls, stretched as far as San Francesco. Among the works of art to be found inside, particularly relevant are the paintings which belong to the "Cappella Paradisi", precisely because they were commissioned from Bartolomeo di Tommaso, a painter from Foligno by Monaldo Paradisi a member of an illustrious family of lawyers who , in the 15th century, were among the most important in the city. The theme of the cycle of frescos is The Last Judgment. It is an artwork of considerable worth even if not in a perfect state of preservation. The historical background of the church can be read through its facade, as its subsequent and progressive extensions together with the addition of the aisles. It was born through the initiative of the friars if a minor order who obtained from the municipal in 1259, at the request of Pope Alessandro Vl, the area where the oratory, where Pope Gregorio lX used to retire, once stood. Meanwhile, the oratory had become a building that the same Pope Gregorio had had built. The Franciscan monks bought a house next to it and in its place the church was born. There have been many rearrangements and interventions of " extraordinary maintenance" as the church of San Francesco was declared dangerous and closed to the cult. Restoration work performed in1930, also taking advantage of friendly advice from Cesare Bazzani, freed the posterior of the church from a series of run-down houses which had been built practically on top of the apse. Unfortunately, the Chapel of San Bernardino, which stood on the left side of the temple, was destroyed in the bombings of World War ll. The bell-tower is of particular interest and on the belfry level presents a "spring course" a frieze in coloured ceramic then repeated in the buildings near San Francesco by the architect Mario Ridolfi.
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Church of Sant'Alò
[Religious buildings]

  • Apparently, in pagan times, the goddess Cybele was worshipped where stands the church of Sant' Alò. It is, however, the most important testimony of the Romanic period in Terni. The saint to whom it is dedicated is Aloysius, a French saint, protector of goldsmiths, whose name was shortened to Alò in popular speech. The church stands in front of a fountain, still in use today, which in olden times was used by those who lived outside the city walls, a few metres away from Sant'Alò. It is a building embellished inside by columns and frescos and outside, on what is now the facade, by a series of fragments of sculptures, mostly from the Roman period and seemingly coming from a burial monument. What is today the facade was originally the side of the church. The main prospectus has been cancelled as it was used as a side wall to the adjoining 1300 house built alongside of it, when the top part of the bell tower was also removed and the rest incorporated into the new structure. On realising the new facade and rebuilding the wall, numerous fragments of Roman times were used which had most probably come from funeral monuments, as has been established for the sculptured lions that enrichen the entrance to the temple. Inside the church, which is all decked in arches and columns, there are numerous frescos, some of which seriously damaged, the most ancient of which date back to the 12th century, while the rest date up to the 16th century. Sant'Alò belonged to the Augustinian monks, then to the Franciscan nuns, and perhaps to the Knights of Malta and it was, however, the commandry of Jerusalem knights, that means of the kingdom of Jerusalem of which both Templars and Hospitallars were part. The transfer to the latter took place during the 17th century, a period in which the entire inside of the church of Sant'Alò, including the columns had been covered with plaster on which frescos were painted. Fallen into a state of abandon, it was used as a store room and coal shed, and in many cases the paintings were ruined by the chiselling that was supposed to ensure the taking of a new and raw plastering. The apse collapsed. It was recovered towards the middle of the last century and re-consecrated in 1960. It is currently used as place of worship for the Copts in Umbria.
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[Religious buildings]

  • The Cathedral in Terni is dedicated to Maria Assunta and is said to have sprung from the hand of Bernini who oversaw the restoration requested by cardinal Rapaccioli in the middle of the 17th century. The original nucleus of the church dates back to the 6th century, the time of the bishopric of Sant'Anastasio who then was laid to rest in the pre-existing crypt, and who, until 1600, was protector of Terni together with San Procolo and San Valentino. Precisely, the church of San Valentino was the cathedral of Terni at that time until the Diocese of Terni was suppressed in the 8th century. Five hundred years later, after the reconstruction of the Diocese, the Municipal of Terni wanted to build a new cathedral, in a less decentralized area, and less exposed to Terni's enemies than San Valentino. The church desired by Sant'Anastasio became larger and wealthier, hosting important relics such as that of the Precious Blood of Jesus, and a splinter from the Cross. Terni had become a rich Municipal, so rich that the Pope had to intervene to curb luxury and the too liberal behaviour with a strong reference to the observance of Christian rules. Evidence remains on the jamb of the central Portal of the Cathedral where the exact shape - modest - of the shoes women were supposed to wear. The Cathedral, already rich with paintings and ornaments, has been embellished with contemporary artworks in recent years: from the doors to interior furnishings. If any doubts remain about the attribution to Bernini of the restoration of the facade, much more consistent is the hypothesis held that it was Bernini himself who intervened in the designing of some of the inside works, among these the pulpit, the main altar, both of which no longer exist, and the organs which can still be admired today. The bell tower was built, however, in the middle of the the 1700s, after an earthquake had destroyed the original one which had dated back to the 16th century. That was not the only damaged caused by the quake, because the cathedral was also seriously damaged at the beginning of the 1930s, resulting in the need for a substantial consolidation intervention, whose project was awarded to the architect Marcello Piacentini. At the same time the existing floor was made, in Levanto stone, and the facade, to which a balustrade was added, was badly retouched. Statues of San Valentino and another seven bishops of Terni, who became saints, were added. The inside furnishings have been lost almost completely and those found today date back to the early 1900s. The cathedral, already rich in paintings and ornaments, though few of them are antique, has been embellished with contemporary works of art over recent years, from the doors to interior furnishing. Next to the church, the bishopric (built on part of the amphitheatre) and the diocesan museum, rich in works of art.
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Church of Santa Maria del Carmine
[Religious buildings]

  • A picture of the Madonna painted on the wall of the Fausto amphitheatre, at that time downgraded to bishopry garden wall, and the religious feeling of numerous citizens of Terni, were put together and resulted in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, built around 1600. In order to protect that sacred painting from the elements, at first, a porch was built which thereafter became a twenty foot by eighteen foot chapel, thanks to donations from the faithful. Tiny if you consider the fact that the "Terni foot" measured 335 millimeters therefore the church was about seven metres by seven metres. Something more was required, especially after the establishment of a Confraternity which took its name from the image of the Madonna, and which became so numerous in such a short time that the little church was insufficient. It is still possible today to admire the church subsequently built inside the gardens of the Passeggiata park. The plaster of the amphitheatre wall, on which the Madonna had been painted, was removed and taken to the main altar of the new structure In the meantime, the Confraternity increased its number of members and its financial consistency, in such a way that - at a certain point- among its tasks was that of lending money. In substance it became provider of mortgage loans guaranteeing by means of applying its coat of arms on the buildings erected in the town. However, the new temple was built with calm seeing as it took over a century. This was embellished with works of a certain value: the dome was frescoed by Ludovico Carosi, the ceiling clad in a large canvas which for years was believed to be by Girolamo Troppa and now attributed to Paolo Barla and Pietro Taloni. The church has witnessed countless vicissitudes: first it was a camp for the French soldiers in 1799; then the cancellation of the Confraternity by the Kingdom of Italy, which led it into total abandonment. while the ceiling was covered with a large canvas measuring about 150 square metres, depicting the Assumption, for years attributed to Girolamo Troppa. An attribution which was afflicted by many doubts, however, due to the advanced degradation of the canvas. A document found by the Cathedral priest, don Carlo Romani, subsequently shed major light not only on the scene depicted (Elia who ascended to heaven on a fiery chariot) but also the artists who were possibily Paolo Barla and Pietro Taloni. The church witnessed many events which put a strain on its state of conservation: first the cantonment of French soldiers during the 1799 Roman Republic; then the cancelling of the Confraternity by the united state after 1870 and subsequently the total abandonment by the Diocese which considered it as a surplus seeing as there were other large churches in the area, fir st of all the Cathedral. Towards the end of the last century the de-consacrated church of Santa Maria del Carmine became the property of the Terni municipal. It has been recuperated and restored to be used as an auditorium.
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Church of San Salvatore
[Religious buildings]

  • Originally, where the church of San Salvatore stands today, there was a Roman house with attached baths. Probably, it was an offshoot of the larger baths, which according to the testimony of the historian Francesco Angeloni, were to be found precisely in that area. However, other suppositions surround the place in mystery: there are those who believe it was mausoleum to start with , who a baptistery, who an oratory, and then - lastly- who a pagan temple dedicated to the sun. In fact, art historians are particularly attracted by the mystery constituted by the unusual architectural construction system, which combines a rectangular apse with a round presbytery. A combination which makes the date uncertain as well as the original function of the building.Fewer doubts, even if substantiated by some uncertanties in historical documents of the period, about the fact that in the 8th century it was the oratory connected to the church of San Pietro, and, according to some interpretations of original sources, it was precisely at San Salvatore that a peace treaty was signed between Pope Zaccaria and the Lumbard King Liutprando. The only doubt that remains is that concerning the existence of a church dedicated to San Pietro in a place so different from the city centre. It stood close to the castle of Perticara, and also in the San Valentino area where Pope Zaccaria and Liutprando met. The church of Perticara also had as outbuilding an oratory called San Salvatore. The fact that it may or may not have been the site where the contract was signed, however, does not change the importance of the little Romanic style church which stands in the heart of the old town centre, which contains several significant Umbrian Romanic elements and which was extended in 1100 with the addition of a small nave. On the inside some interesting finds together with frescos of indoubted attraction.
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Church of San Lorenzo
[Religious buildings]

  • Hit by bombs during the second world war, of the church of San Lorenzo remained, more or less, a phantasm. A recovery intervention, performed years later, returned it to the cult and the city. A Romanic church, which over the centuries has undergone restoration works which have had more disastrous effects than the bombings, with the frescos on the ceiling painted over white, and a part of the floor tiled. A few parts of the columns with Roman features were saved, some of which are still partially visible, especially that which was used during one of the restoration works, as a base for the remains of an attican altar. It is, however, a very ancient site on which a Roman building once stood (according to the historian Angeloni, a temple dedicated to Mars) and underground Capuchin burials have been found which seem to date back to the early Middle Ages. The church of San Lorenzo, on the other hand, looked out onto the city stretch of the consular Flaminia road, and therefore in a position of primary importance. In the underground part it held- and probably still holds- important evidence, if it is true - as the famous historian Francesco Angeloni sustained in the XVll century, that during the excavation work carried out to eliminate damp from the sacristy, a marble column estimated to be approximately four metres high, was brought to light. It ran into the ground under the altar, therefore the parish priest blocked the works so as not to ruin it, and had the column cut to use just a small block of it measuring about a metre. Evidence, that column, that the worshipping of Marte (Mars) the god of war was particularly felt and demonstrated by the construction of a somewhat magnificent temple. The small original church was joined by a second aisle in the 17th century, so that a single environment was obtained but set upon two different levels. The original part and the added section are particular also for the two entrances, one of which, -the original one- boasts a beautiful portal. Also of interest is the small, sail- shaped bell-tower, which has also undergone restoration works. In the 19th century San Lorenzo was the seat of city charity congregation.
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Church of San Pietro
[Religious buildings]

  • In 1287, Tommaso, the Bishop of Terni, called his brethren Augustinian monks to take an interest in the church of San Pietro in Tirio and the connected oratory of San Salvatore. If the official founding date of the church today is set at 1287, it is certain that the original nucleus already existed regardless of whether or not it is true, as some people say, peace between the Lombard King Liutprando and Pope Zaccaria was signed in the San Salvatore oratory of the Parish of San Pietro in 741 The Augustinian monks were authorized to build a new church and it is precisely that which still stands today, albeit of the building erected in the 13th century only a part of the bell tower, the apse and the left wing remain.These were transfered to San Pietro from the convent they occupied at Rocca San Zenone, a short way from the consular Flaminia along the stretch that goes from Terni to Spoleto. The church has undergone several extensions and restoration works starting from 1315 when the adjoining convent was built. Today it is used as a school, but once upon a time it had a certain importance, if only for the fact that it accommodated the Pope twice: in 1450 Pope Nicolò V stopped over for a night with all the members of his court, and in 1646 Pio ll. A later extension was financed in the 15th century by Stefano Manassei, a Terni nobleman who was mayor of Florence, who had his residence nearby. His action ensured his burial inside the church: the tombstone, on which he is sculptured on his deathbed, was originally set in the floor. Following the changes the construction has undergone, it was removed and is now walled on the left wing of the church (therefore in a vertical position) next to the presbytery. Damaged in 1703 by an earthquake and then by the bombings in World War 11, San Pietro has undergone a series of consolidation interventions and reconstruction work. The damage to the walls had at least the advantage of bringing to light precious frescos dating back to the 14th century among which shines the painting by the anonymous Umbrian artist, who, due to its subject is now known as "Maestro della Dormitio Virginis". But other frescos, often painted by unknown Umbrian artists, are worthy of notice although in some cases they are severely damaged: from the Incoronazione della Vergine, to a Madonna con Bambino.
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Church of San Cristoforo
[Religious buildings]

  • The church of San Cristoforo may be small but it is linked to a great saint, San Francesco (Saint Francis), because it was here that he found 'room for the night' during his stay in Terni in January 1213, as guest of the Dean of the church. There is a tablet to remember Francesco's sermon to the people of Terni, and, just outside the church, the stone upon which he leant during his preachings. A small building, Romanic, built using the materials found around the site. Probably there was once a pagan temple. Archeological remains were found during the repair works performed on the damage caused by the World War ll bombings: these were friezes, a jellyfish, a stele and a tombstone walled onto the front. All this material dates back to the first centuries after Christ, therefore one thousand years before the church was built. This is said to be the location of a miracle performed by San Francesco, where he turned vinegar into wine when he was invited to dine in the house of a gentleman who had gone to see him. Next to the old church a larger, more modern church has been built, using typical building material to be found in Terni, sponge stone. On one side San Cristoforo had vegetable gardens to separate it from the church and on the other side the large Camporeali estate opened (owners of the vegetable gardens as well) which ran around all the north west side of the city up to the church of San Francesco. All the area has been named after the family, and is still used in Terni today to refer to the area which includes piazza Tacito, and the square of the Camera di Commercio building. Camporeale was a piece of farmland which was inside the medieval city walls, with a stream which fed mills and irrigated the crops of a land planted with trees and ploughed. The little church of San Cristoforo, therefore, was on the land of the Camporeale's, who had descended into Italy in the wake of Federico Barbarossa, who held the ius presentandi, that is the right to choose the parish priest who was then presented to the Bishop who then officially decreed the official nomination.
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Basilica of San Valentino
[Religious buildings]

  • There was once a vast necropolis on the hill of San Valentino, at that time a mile away from Terni. The first Bishop of Terni was buried in that necropolis after his martyrdom, and for this reason, as tradition holds, when the Christian religion was firmly established, a large five aisled basilica was built on that spot. It was destroyed several times by hords of barbarians passing through and by neglect, so that by around 1600 nothing but ruins remained. The testimony resisted that in a crypt under the main altar of that large basilica lay the body of San Valentino, protector of the city. Excavations promoted by the Diocese enabled the crypt to be found (it is still open to visitors) and to recover the relic of the saint. It was decided to rebuild the basilica, charging the barefooted Carmelite monks to watch over the relic of the saint. A convent was therefore built joined on to the church. The work began in 1606 and ended some years later. It was Archduke Leopold of Austria, who after visiting the basilica, had the main altar built in marble, which he wanted to be worthy of a saint as important as he considered Valentino to be and that contained his relic inside a reliquary.The basilica was restored in 1854 (as is evident from the inscription on the facade). Among the artworks on the inside are some paintings by Lucas de la Haye, a Flemish painter, and a Madonna with Child and Saints by Andrea Polinori. The remains of San Valentino, the patron saint of lovers, were placed in a gilded crystal and bronze urn under the main altar in 1699, when, following a wave of donations from the Archduke of Austria, the whole chutch was"revisited" and embellished. Of the same period are the funeral monuments of the Marchesi Sciamanna family and the large silver cross donated by the Municipal of Terni. The convent next to the church was built in the same 17th century and financed by the Municipal as it was to host the guardian friars of the remains of the city's patron, the barefoot Carmelitans lived there continuously up to 1861, when the advent of the new Kingdom of Italy enforced the fact that the owner of the walls was the Municipal albeit together with the bishop. In more recent times the convent has been Used for lodgings for low-income families, then after rennovation, it became the location of the University Faculty of Political Science and subsequently, Economics. A tablet placed over the entrance to the ex-convent remembers Garibaldi's stopover, with a feverish Anita suffering from the illness that would cause her death a few days later, and the garibaldini fleeing from Rome after the end of the Roman Republic of 1849.
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Timetables September

Opening of
the Area
Opening of
the Water
Working days 10.00am - 10.00pm from 11.00am to 1.00pm
from 3.00pm to 4.00pm
from 8.00pm to 9.00pm
Saturday and Sunday 9.00am - 10.00pm from 10.00am to 1.00pm
from 3.00pm to 6.00pm
from 8.00pm to 9.00pm

Choose your guided tour

September 2018

Belvedere Inferiore
P.le F. Fatati 6

Belvedere Superiore
Voc. Cascata 30

Tel. 0744 62982
Fax 0744 362231
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