It is here that lovers meet every 14 February, sealing their love at the Basilica of San Valentino, erected for the first bishop of Terni patron saint. Perhaps it is also because of such sweetness that the city boasts a very high level of confectionery art, with workshops scattered throughout the streets of the centre and the historic "Pazzaglia", once the exclusive supplier of the House of Savoy. Romanticism and concreteness: this is the combination that best defines the capital of Umbria’s southern province. Terni is in fact an unmissable stop for those interested in the recent history of Italy and its industrial development. At the end of the 19th century the foundations of the country’s future industrial appearance were laid here: on the outskirts of the historic centre, the first major Italian steel industry was founded.
Massive industrialisation prompted the administrators of the time to radically rethink the appearance of the small town with its narrow streets, turning it into a large, elegant, modern city with wide and straight avenues. The opening of Corso Tacito, which is still the main street for strolling and shopping, also dates back to that time. The importance of Terni’s industry for the economy of the entire nation during World War II conditioned the destiny of Terni, which was heavily bombed, but was able to rise from its ashes. Though the city’s look is mainly twentieth-century, its ancient origins will be easily be revealed to the eyes of the most attentive tourist, reserving more than one surprise: beautiful ancient churches, majestic palaces, Roman remains and rich museums.