This summer I planned a long trip all over Italy, through some of the most fascinating towns and their most intriguing peculiarities. Then I suddenly ended up in Umbria, the only central region not showing on the sea. I thought I would stop for just a few days, as to spend a visit to the Marmore Waterfall near Terni, have a sleep and hit the road again. Instead I spent there over a week, hidden by the country’s stillness and the green Umbrian hills.
The season was still quite cold and there were but a few tourists around, so I got the opportunity to enjoy a farm shelter in the middle of a green countryside all by myself. I was in Alviano, a small village in the province of Terni. I discovered the bucolic beauty of this place and got stunned by the quiet of the fields, so much that I spent days roaming around and taking silly pictures to flowers, hills and landscapes.
I didn’t miss the chance to visit the medieval castle on the hilltop. Built in 995 and renovated from time to time, in 1490 the celebrated mercenary knight Bartolomeo d’Alviano moved here his residence. Poor Bart came to life through a difficult birth which costed his mother’s life. To pull him over, the midwife disfigured his face. To cut it short, he was really ugly. But he was a military genius, such a prodigious commander that both Venice and France often requested his services. Ironically, in the castle, amidst frescos and ancient armours, there is a representation of the only battle he ever lost.
Beside the castle, should you ever come across Alviano, there is the Oasis, a natural park located around the Alviano Lake. Instituted in 1978 over 800 hectares, the Oasis is part the Tiber Fluvial Park. Since 1990, WWF manages in this place an animal reserve comprising herons, swans, hawks, frogs, worms, ants and many other featherly, pawny and slimy beings. Sadly, last November a violent flood caused severe damages to the Oasis, endangering the delicate ecosystem, but public access has been restored and the necessary rebuilding works are in progress.
Where is Alviano?