It is in the banks and cradles of great rivers that the great civilisations of the world were born. In the East, it is the Tigris and the Euphrates that gave birth to the Mesopotamians, while it is the Nile that nourished the Egyptians. In the West, key cities and landmarks of historical events and trades occurred in riverbanks. England’s River Thames and America’s Mississippi made their way into the annals of history. In Italy, it is the great river Tiber, and along its trail, you will be able to find remains of villages, historical centres, and nature reserves.
Tiber River’s Elusive Park
This park covers 50 kilometres of the lower-middle part of the river’s passage from Umbria. All around its vicinity, tourists and archaeology scholars would be able to explore ruins from the Umbrian, Roman and Etruscan times. These remnants could be found surrounded in lush vegetation and trees such as holly oaks, poplars, and alders.
Inside the park, you will also be able to find a manmade river named Lake Corbara. It was made during the construction of the Tiber-Dam in 1963. Surrounding the lake is 500 hectares of wetlands, swamp-lands and marsh-lands which are home to over a hundred and fifty species of migratory and aquatic birds such as grey herons, tufted ducks and mallards. In order to protect the microclimate around the lake, the Oasi of Alviano by the WWF was created.
Civitella del Lago
Just above Lake Corbara, is the Umbrian village of Civitella del Lago. This picturesque village is situated in one of the highest points of the Tiber River Park area which is 470 meters above sea level. Because of its height, the village is exposed to the four winds passing by the area, making it known as the windy town. Aside from the chilly winds that pass by, Civitella del Lago is a popular tourist location because of the stunning views of the Tiber Valley and the neighbouring provinces from its high vantage point.
Along the trails of the Tiber River, you can also find a stunning natural landscape in the Forello Gorge. Known as the heart of the Tiber River Park, the Forello Gorges is an Umbrian Valley located between Todi and Orvieto. This steep and scarcely populated area was formed after the Tiber crossed the ridge Peglia – Monti Amerini. Aside from the view, the gorges are also home to a series of complex caves which were carved by the waters of the river in the limestone rocks of the walls. The longest cave is the Cave of the Plain which extends for 2,500 meters where tools and artifacts from the Neolithic period where excavated.
One of the natural zones protected by the WWF in Umbria for its flora and fauna in the area surrounding the Alviano Oasis. It was entrusted to their management in 1990 after it was classified as a naturalistic oasis. The Oasis is 9 square kilometres of shallow water of about 20 to 30 centimetres. It is home to several very rare species of birds. The flora surrounding the waters is mainly composed of cane fields.