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Otricoli (Terni province)

A town of southern Umbria: 42°25N, 12°28.5E. Altitude: 209 m. Population in 2003: 1800.

[image ALT: A fragmentary ancient Roman inscription, with about 80% of the stone in two pieces. It is a tombstone, reading '. . LLAE PRIMAE VXORI CARISSIMAE BENE MERENTI ET LIBERTIS LIBERTABVS POSTERISQVE EORUM'.]

Roman tombstone in the staircase of the town hall.

For its tiny size Otricoli is an extraordinarily urban sort of place, perched on a hill in the last few southern miles of Umbria, 10 km northwest of Calvi dell' Umbria, and (along the ancient Via Flaminia) 16 km south of Narni and 9 km north of Magliano Sabina across the border in the Lazio. It is essentially built of Roman stone from its Roman predecessor, Ocriculum; as the Roman empire decayed into the Dark Ages, it was safer to move the town from the plain of the Tiber to the top of a hill a couple of miles north. The spoils of Ocriculum call attention to themselves thruout the town, with as many as a thousand individual stones readily visible, often carved or inscribed, and surely many more inside walls and in basements: Otricoli is thus a sort of open-air museum.

On two separate occasions I had the good fortune of spending half an afternoon in Otricoli; I haven't exhausted the sights by any means. A proper website will be trickling onsite, in addition to my diary entries (Oct. 22, 1997 May 1, 2004), which include several more photos, among them some of Ocriculum; and for fuller information, see the websites in the navigation bar at the foot of this page, of course.

As a first instalment on that formal site:

[image ALT: missingALT. It is zzz in Otricoli in Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 4/4/08: 3 churches, 5 pages, 24 photos ]

The churches of Otricoli are represented onsite by all those I've seen. One is loaded with Roman history, the second commemorates a man who worked here, living a saintly life, in the 16c; and the third is a beautiful little chapel about which I have absolutely no information at all.


Most of the comuni in Umbria include in their territories some smaller towns and hamlets, of a few hundred inhabitants if that, with a certain administrative identity of their own: as elsewhere in Italy, these are referred to as the frazioni of the comune. In the case of Otricoli, there is just one frazione, and I haven't been there. Any link is therefore offsite:

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Page updated: 3 Nov 17