An excursion to Norcia, the great plain and Castellucio is a commitment of at least a full day. Well worth it but it involves more time on the bus and passage through some of the most beautiful and ancient places in Umbria.
From the resort in the morning, we leave the spoleto valley and enter the valnerina, where the river Nera, or black river, has carved a deep forested channel that cradles the ancient energy of the Umbri people. This is another excursion in itself, but the views passing through are spectacular.
First stop is the city of norcia. famous for its sausages, it is not a city well suited for the vegetarian sensibilities. it is also the birthplace of saint benedict, a very important figure in umbrian history, who along with his sister saint scolastica, formed the benectine order. This monastic order played a huge role in the history of Umbria. The city of Norcia is a sweet mediaeval town, with piazzas and alleys perfect for a nice stroll.
An abundance of local products again will fill the shopping bags, famous not only for wondeful sausage, but also cheese, trout and lentils grown in the nearby great plain.
Moving on from Norcia, the next stop after climbing even higher in the umbrian mountains, we arrive in the “Grande Piano”, the great plain where there is the quaint and isolated city of Castellucio. Entering the valley, is entering another world. The high treeless plain where the micro climate creates a fertile carpet for growing a specific type of lentil, and many beautiful fields of flowers. in late june the colorful tapestry is stunning.
A lunch of local cuisine in Castellucio and a walk through the town and surrounding fields, perhaps even a short, outdoor meditation or asana practice after lunch in preparation for the scenic ride back to the resort. A perfect day, full of the rich umbrian environment.