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The town of Narni occupies the crest of a hill approximately seven miles south-west of Terni, and fifty miles north of Rome. As was often the case during Turner’s travels, his mode of travelling did not give him much opportunity to stop and explore the centre of the town. The carriage simply followed a predetermined course in an anti-clockwise direction from east to south-west around the walled perimeter. Consequently Turner’s sketches of Narni only relate to views or subjects visible from the road such as the edges of the town and the Bridge of Augustus in the gorge below.
This sketch depicts a view from a point just outside the walls at the northern tip of the town, near the Porta Pollela, looking up towards the Porta della Fiera. The panorama, which continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 60 verso (D14770), looks east across the valley with the River Nera snaking across the plain and the hills surrounding Terni beyond. Today the picturesque beauty of the view has been completely transformed by the industrialisation of the area around the new town of Narni Scalo. The road from the Porta Pollela led down towards Narni’s most famous landmark, the Roman Bridge of Augustus, see folio 61 verso (D14772). A related sketch can be found on folio 63 verso (D14776).