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Fornole (Terni province)

A town of SW Umbria, a frazione of Amelia: 42°32.5N, 12°27.3E. Altitude: 345 m. Population in 2003: 1300.

[image ALT: A small town, the houses of which are mostly three stories tall and stuccoed, occupying the gently sloping summit of a low ridge. In the foreground, vineyards and olive trees. It is a view of Fornole, Umbria (central Italy).]

Approaching Fornole from Narni: you are looking west.

The peaceful town of Fornole sits on a southward-looking spur off a ridge between the lower town of Narni, 6 km E, and Amelia, 5 km W. With well over 1000 inhabitants, it is larger than not a few full-fledged Umbrian comuni, but is part of the comune of Amelia, whose fortunes it has shared for many centuries, with a few exciting moments in the first half of the 15c including the capture of the town by the condottiere Braccio da Montone during his invasion of the Papal States in 1412.

The immediate countryside is best known as a wine-growing area; Fornole is the official home of the leading wine coöperative, the Cantina Colli Amerini, which produces various DOC and IGT wines, the best of which is probably Carbio, a red that ages well — but that I unfortunately keep on drinking way too young!

For my brief personal experience of this attractive place, see the Sept. 17, 1998 entry of my diary. I can hardly say I know the town well, so I leave you with a sort of scrapbook.

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The Romanesque church is near the road to Amelia and thus greets the traveller first.

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The interior of the church has been pleasantly modernized.
It does house some older paintings, although no dragons, alas: see page 2.

A walk of maybe a hundred yards, and I'd crossed most of old town, the centro storico to use the Italian phrase that visitors will find helpful to know; and emerged at the S gate, beyond which the houses are much newer. Heavily restored, the gate still rewards those who look more carefully: there was some fighting here once!

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Looking back thru the town towards the church — say, what's that in the wall to our left? A slit for firing arrows from (more properly, a loophole), and maybe the seat of a latrine that was once up in a tower; at any rate, these stones started out somewhere else.

Dragons to find, frescoes to see, walls to look at more closely, wine to drink: obviously, I will have to go back.

For more detailed information offsite (in Italian) and some more photos, see the sites listed in the navigation bar below.

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Site updated: 21 Mar 17