FATMAP difficulty grade
The starting point of this route is Castelluccio di Norcia: a simple little Umbrian town in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy.
It is located in the heart of Valnerina, inside the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini (Mount Sibillini National Park) and at an altitude of 1,452m on the top of a hill in the middle of a large plateau.
It is this plateau that provides the splendour and magnificence for this route. The plateau area around the town is divided into three sections: Pian Grande, Pian Piccolo, and Pian Perduto, all dominated by Mount Vettore at 2,476m high.
This route is all about the "wow" factor in the incredible scenery, and not so much about the actual trail. Between the end of May and the beginning of July each year the plains transform and come alive with a triumph of multicoloured shades, thanks to the spectacle of nature called "Fiorita" or "Fioritura" (the Flowering) of Castelluccio di Norcia.
An incredible mosaic of colours breaks the chromatic monotony of the grazing lands—it is a magical sight to behold! Thousands of flowers bloom on the plateau, bursting with colors, with shades ranging from yellow ocher to red, from violet to white.
You can admire lentils (cultivated in Castelluccio, they are one of the most typical local products), gentianella, poppies, narcissuses, violets, asphodels, Eugeniae violet, clovers, oxalis and many more.
And if the flora is so wonderful, the fauna is not far behind: while you are riding in this "natural mosaic," maybe you will catch a glimpse of some gazelles or roe deers... The route will take you through the heart of this beautiful display, to each of the three areas, and around the outside perimeter of the town. It is not challenging or technical, and most of the route uses dusty or grassy double track, with some singletrack through the forested areas.
With the lack of technical features requiring your concentration, you can really focus on enjoying the 360-degree panoramas.