Flower Power – Umbria’s Wildflower Hiking Expedition

Umbria is known as the medieval region of Italy. In its towns and cities, connections to the roots of history and Italian culture could be found. Along the way when traveling to this region, tourists can witness the beautiful countryside filled with myriads of natural beauty. It is not only vineyards and plantations that occupy the vast countryside of Italy. The land is rich with beautiful flora and fauna that is waiting to greet you when you walk among them during hikes or daily walks. A hiking expedition to see wildflowers in Umbria during the summer in the Sibillini mountains can be the highlight of a visit in this Italian region.

Castellucio di Norcia

For hiking and wildflower viewing, the small town of Castellucio de Norcia is one of the best hills towns to visit. The farming village is actually 1,452 meters above sea level. It is located in one of the hilltops of Valnerina in the middle of a vast plateau inside the Mount Sibillini National Park. The small town has a rustic charm, and because of its height is a very windy and cold town. Within the town, there a number of local bars and stores that sell the town’s artisan products such as cheeses, lentils, cured pork, mountain honey, and black truffles. While staying in the town, you can view monochromes of color that are formed from fields of wildflowers. They are divided into three sections: Pian Grande, Pian Piccolo, and Pian Perduto. Although there is no best or worst time of the year to view the wildflowers, they are typically in bloom during the spring and summer seasons.

Pian Grande and Fioritura

The highlight of the Castellucio di Norcia is the Pian Grande, a 16 square kilometer plain surrounded by the barren mountains of the Sibillini. The plains were formerly a glacial lake but are now a home to thousands of wildflowers from several species such as clovers, poppies, violets, asphodels, narcissus, and many more. The flowering spectacle in the fields of Castellucio is called the “Fiorita” or “Fioritura” or the flowering. This spectacular event transforms the green fields into a mosaic of colors during the weeks between May and July of each year.  The Pian Grande is also the area where Umbria’s famous lentils are grown which are called Lenticchie di Castelluchio, named after the nearby farming town.

Hiking and Trekking Activities

Driving to the town may take quite some time, but the scenic route would be worth it. The vast plains are dotted with color, and occasionally, a flock of sheep and some shepherds can be seen passing by. Viewing the plains and the mountainsides are not the only activities that you can do while staying in Castellucio di Norcia. The town also prides itself in the availability and popularity of outdoor sports. Tourists can go walking or hiking to view the fields of wildflowers. Other than this, they also offer mountain biking, archery, trekking, horseback riding, and a unique trekking opportunity with donkeys and mules.