A trip to the eastern part of the Sibillini Mountains to Castelluccio, an old farming town in an evocative valley, and then onto Norcia, following the ancient crossroads in these mountains. You can discover ancient scenery, thin air and flavoursome food. We suggest lunch in Castelluccio and then spending the afternoon in Norcia.
Castelluccio is located above the great plain (Piano Grande) of the Sibillini Mountains, which comes to life in May thanks to a spectacular blaze of red poppies and yellow rapeseed. The famous Castelluccio lentils, small, red-brown in colour, tender, delicate and of superior quality are grown here.
It is a place where you can enjoy the best mountain food, simple and genuine.
Norcia is located on a vast plain to the western side of the Sibillini Mountains. It was founded in the Neolithic period and the Sabines arrived in the 5th century B.C., while in 205 B.C. Norcia became an ally of Rome as Hannibal was ravaging Italy’s farmlands. San Benedetto was born here in 480 A.D. Norcia was conquered by the Lombards in the 6th century, was subjected to Saracen invasions in the 9th century (apparently followed by a period of heavy decadence) and ended up under papal ownership.
Main points of interest
The city walls have survived numerous earthquakes over the centuries. Several Roman remains can be admired within the walls of San Lorenzo. The remains of the house where Benedict and his sister Santa Scolastica were born in the 5th century can be found under the main Basilica of San Benedetto.
The museum in the imposing Castellina has an extraordinary collection of jewellery, pottery and ceremonial burial artefacts from the Picenes era to Roman times, as well as treasures from later periods.
What to buy
Norcia is an outdoor emporium for meat, wild boar salami, pork and lentils.
How to get there
Upon leaving the Borgo, head down the hill into town, turn right on the main road, then turn left under the bridge and follow the signs to highway SS4 (green) until you get to that road in the direction of Ascoli Piceno (on the right).
Once you have gone past Ascoli Piceno, continue along the SS4 for about 40 Km, then exit right towards Castelluccio and follow the signs (if you are going directly to Norcia, continue on the SS4 and exit in the direction of Norcia on the SS685).
From Castelluccio follow the signs for Norcia along the valley, the hills and along a bend through the plain. At Norcia, follow the signs to the ‘Centro Storico’ and the park on the wide street with the old city walls / houses on your left.
Borgo di Castelluccio 70 km, 75 minutes.
Castelluccio di Norcia 30 km, 45 minutes.
Norcia Borgo 70 km, 75 minutes.