Seleziona una pagina

The Explosion of Colors and White

In central Italy, between Marche and Umbria, there’s a charming plateau that’s beautiful in every season.
In the heart of the Sibillini Mountains, at the foot of Mount Vettore, this plateau covers about 13 square miles and is surrounded by gentle green hills, showcasing its beauty in both summer and winter.

At the beginning of summer, the plateau, also known as the “Tibet of Europe”, is colored like a painter’s palette: the red of poppies, the yellow of rapeseed and mustard, the blue of cornflowers, the white flowers of lentils and daisies.

This small village sits on a hill overlooking the entire valley, and in June and July, it transforms into a painter’s palette. Seen from the surrounding hills, the colorful stripes create a unique landscape. If you visit Castelluccio during the blooming season, please don’t walk through the lentil fields; stay on the edges to avoid damaging the farmers’ work.

In winter, everything changes: the summer colors give way to the pure white of the snow covering the plateau. The trees and vegetation are so covered in snow that it can feel like you’re losing your sense of direction.

One thing you must not miss, whether in summer or winter, is the sunrise. Take the road from the village up the mountain, passing by the cemetery. After about a mile, you’ll see a sea of clouds covering the plain, with the village standing out like an island.

In 2016, Castelluccio di Norcia was hit by a violent earthquake, but its tenacious and determined residents continued to live there, moving many homes and restaurants outside the old town center.

Castelluccio is not just a unique destination; it also offers the chance to discover the history of central Italy. Norcia, just 20 kilometers away, is famous for its skilled pork butchers. In Italy, those who specialize in this craft are called “Norcino”, named after Norcia.

If you love trekking, after a three-hour hike, you can admire Lake Pilato, located at an altitude of 1950 meters. Here lives an endemic crustacean called “Chirocephalus Marchesonii”, named after the entomologist who discovered it.
This prehistoric crustacean survives thanks to the magic of its eggs, which only hatch in clean water.

Also in the Sibillini Mountains, don’t miss the medieval towns of Amandola and Sarnano. Walking through their well-preserved ancient alleys, you’ll be immersed in history. Another town to visit is Visso, where you can see the museum of Giacomo Leopardi’s manuscripts, a famous Italian poet, and taste the characteristic “Ciauscolo”, a spreadable salami created in Visso.

It is possible to reach Castelluccio from Rome in about two and a half hours along the Salaria road (S.S.4). If you don’t want to spend a lot of time on this trip, you can go and return in one day. However, I recommend booking a hotel in Norcia for three or four days to fully enjoy the Sibillini Mountains area.