On our eighth day, we woke up and ate an 8 a.m. breakfast in the hostel. The daily breakfast assortment was made up of espresso or juice, pastries, and fresh fruit. My favorite was the chocolate croissant; I looked forward to it every morning.
After breakfast, we walked towards the bus where we would drive to Ponte d’Augusto, an ancient arch bridge in Narni. Half of it is collapsed which, I learned, happened as a result of natural disasters. We didn’t spend much time here, but I took a couple of photos. We were really close, however, so I couldn’t get any great ones. Here’s a faraway shot I found online for you to get a better sense of its size.
After visiting the bridge, we headed to Covestro… a plastic factory.
Yup, on this trip I toured both a steel and a plastic factory. I certainly never thought I’d witness either in my lifetime, but here we are. I enjoyed Covestro a lot more than the steel factory, mainly because I wasn’t jet-lagged and sweaty the whole time. We sat in a fancy conference room (with A.C.!) for the first hour or so, learning about the factory and watching informational videos. Then, we got on fancy goggles, shoes, and hard-hats and began the tour.
After eating lunch in the employee’s cafeteria and getting a loaded goodie bag from them, we headed back to the town. We got off the bus and decided to have some gelato at the gelateria in the main piazza.
After gelato, we went to another concert. This was a student piano player we watched in one of the churches. The one thing I will forever remember about this concert was the bat that flew around throughout the entirety of it. We saw lots of bats, especially on the hostel’s balcony, but this one was inside the church and it flew around a lot. I was pretty nervous watching it swoop constantly, and I kept thinking of this scene from The Office.
We had dinner at 7:30 and then began walking to our final destination of the day: Narni Sotterranea. This had to have been the coolest tour ever, and I’ll explain more in the captions below. Before coming here, I had no idea it existed, and it just makes me wonder how many other hidden gems there are all around the world.
In the 1970s, a group of young men discovered this underground, twelfth-century church filled with frescoes on the wall. After uncovering the church, they found additional rooms that were all connected. Narni Sotteranea is the museum that it was turned into, and it is such a well-done and fascinating tour.
I didn’t take any photos, but we went into a torture chamber that was just next door where they would, well… torture people who were convicted of witchcraft, heresy, bigamy, etc.
The next few photos are from my favorite part of the tour. After the torture room, we were led into a small cell. A man named Lombardini was imprisoned here, and during the time he spent there, he drew symbols and characters on all the walls. This article states that he was imprisoned because of his interest in “Masonic rituals” and he was “convicted as [a] heretic.” I recommend checking out that article I linked to if you’re curious to read more about it since I can’t explain every detail myself.
After seeing the cell, we walked upstairs and were surprised to be inside the San Domenico church which is where the tour ended. We were just there the day before for the gala concert, so it was crazy to know that there was so much history right underneath us we didn’t even know existed until that moment. Here’s a sixth-century mosaic they found in the church. There’s glass over it, so you can see right into it as you walk by:
Here’s the link to Narni Sotterranea’s website. If you ever find yourself in there — or even in Umbria — I highly suggest visiting this place and taking a tour. I genuinely had no idea this existed until we walked into the underground church, so it was a thrilling experience for me. Surprisingly, there isn’t as much info online as I would think. But regardless, it was one of the coolest things ever, and it is well worth your time.
The next day was pretty uneventful, and I don’t have too many photos to share anyway. To sum it up, we went to three different concerts and ate gelato. By the final concert, we were all exhausted and concert-ed out. We all sat in the back row of a huge church, making little puppets from the pamphlets we got and giggling at the worst times. So while we were all so tired and bored, we made the best of it. I have so many great memories from that night.
tomorrow we go to ROME!