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Ferentillo (Terni province)

A town of SE Umbria: 42°37N, 12°47.5E. Altitude: 252 m. Population in 2003: 1900.

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Before a storm: the Rocca of Matterello and the lower area near the church of S. Maria.

You are facing roughly north: the narrow valley of the Nera squeezes behind the hill toward Scheggino and S. Felice di Narco. Precetto, the other half of Ferentillo, is on the E bank of the Nera, offscreen right.

Ferentillo is actually two towns, Precetto and Matterello, on crags on the E and W banks of the Nera river respectively, under the same administration, 19 km NE of Terni on the road northward to Scheggino (13 km) and S. Anatolia di Narco (17 km).

As one might expect, each town has its own medieval fortifications, which with the rugged landscape make Ferentillo a striking sight.

The church of S. Stefano, with a 16c upper story and a 13c lower story partly built into the live rock, is locally famous in a macabre sort of way: due to the characteristics of the soil, bodies buried there become mummified; among the bodies now removed to glass cases for the edification of visitors, those, implausibly, of two Chinese merchants who died here in the 17c.

The best known church in the comune is, however, the Romanesque abbey of S. Pietro in Valle, about 5 km N of the town, a beautiful building in an attractive natural setting and one of the most important medieval sites of Umbria.

You should not confuse Ferentillo, in Umbria, with Ferentino in the Lazio nor with a variety of places whose Latin name was Ferentinum, Ferentum, or similar variants: so many people do, though, that it seemed helpful to provide a page to untangle them all.

A proper website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Ferentillo and S. Pietro in Valle and walked some of the surrounding area. For now:

[image ALT: A very elegant stone rose window, formed of two concentric circles of almost circular arches: the inner of eight petals, the outer of sixteen. It is the rose window on the façade of the church of S. Felice di Narco in Umbria (central Italy). It serves here as the icon for my transcription of the book by Mariano Guardabassi, Indice-Guida dei Monumenti dell' Umbria.]

[ 1 page, 4 photos ]

If you read Italian, Mariano Guardabassi's Indice-Guida dei Monumenti dell' Umbria has some fairly detailed information on the sights and monuments of Ferentillo, which I've illustrated from my own stock of pictures.

You might also find it useful to read the Sept. 4, 2000 entry of my diary, with 3 additional photographs; but for further information, see the websites linked in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.


Like most of the comuni in Italy, Ferentillo includes in its territory 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 (singular: frazione, literally a "fraction"): a complete list of them follows. I've only been to Macenano, other links are to Guardabassi.

Ampognano • Castellonalto • Castellone Basso • Colle Olivo • Colli • Leazzano • Le Mura • Lorino • Macchialunga • Macelleto • Macenano • Terria • Monterivoso • Nicciano • Sambucheto • San Mamiliano

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Page updated: 27 Apr 20