Thursday, January 2, 2014


December 24, 2013

We spent Christmas in the little hilltop town of Narni located about an hour north of Rome.  Our group consisted of three senior missionary couples and a couple who are here working on the temple.

On Christmas Eve day we traveled to Narni.  This small town in southern Umbria can truly be called the heart of Italy as it is the closest town to the geographic center of Italy.  Narnia is not a top tourist destination, but it is an enchanting little town that sits on top of a mountain.

It is believed that C.S. Lewis used Narni, once called Narnia, as the inspiration for his book The Chronicles of Narnia.  It contains stories of talking beasts, speaking streams and Asian the lion who try to restore the kingdom of Narnia.  Narni, Italy is where the last defense of Roma on the Flaminia Road occurred.

The greatest draw to the town is the Narni Sotterranea or underground.  This area was discovered in 1979 and had remained hidden until then.  It contains an underground church with lovely frescoes that have survived over time.  Beneath that is a torture chamber where the Dominican monks used to keep their prisoners during the inquisition.  Adjacent to the torture chamber is a cell where prisoners were held.  The walls are covered with carved graffiti.  Of particular interest is a section of wall carved by Giuseppe Antrea Lombarini, who was imprisoned between 1759 and 1760.  This carving is a depiction of the Tree of Life. 

Funiculare up to Narni


Abby-of-San-Cassiano - the abby was occupied until just recently when the monks all left and went to South America and left the abby vacant

Chapel in the underground

This instrument was called a "groma" and was used by the Romans for measuring.

We had to climb down a huge set of stairs just to get to the entrance of the underground.

It was Christmas Eve and most places were closed, but this shop was still open.  The owner had some bean soup left so he divided it up between us.  It was so cold outside and we were frozen so it tasted wonderful.

Cup of hot chocolate - it's more like a melted candy bar

Random couple walking down the street who agreed to have their picture taken with us.

Guess which one is the knight in shining armour.