Opposite of Palazzo Comunale is a small and cute building, which looks more like a fort that should sit on a peninsula to defend the country. And yes, a fort is it, called Castellina. It was built according to the plans of Vignola, one of Italy’s 16th century master builders, who also had Il Gesù in Roma built. Inside is a nice little courtyard and...more
Ever since I’ve read Simone’s page about Piano Grande I wanted to go there even if I didn’t have a clue of where it is exactly located or what a fantastic sight it must be in late spring. But when I prepared my trip I realised that it is just north of Norcia (which I wanted to visit). Furthermore I read about and saw photos of fioritura which gave...more
I love Medieval measuring devices. And I was happy that a very special one survived in Norcia as well. On the right hand side of Chiesa San Benedetto there is a porticus, used as a kind of covered market and inside is an old kind of tub or vat where grain was measured. This was installed around 1570 (ok, so not exactly Medieval anymore) and some of...more
Quite a bit off from the town centre, in the north of the city, I came across this little strange looking building. It looked like a mixture of ancient Roman temple and votiv shrine. But it is of “newer” date (and not Roman), as it has inscriptions of 1354. Later I’ve read that it was built by Vanni Tulie, a Norcia local, who redeemed a vow with...more
Next to Palazzo Comunale is the holiest church of Norcia: Chiesa San benedetto. Legend says that the church was erected above the house where San Benedetto and his twi sister Santa Scolastica were born mid 5th century. Part of the fundament can be seen in the crypt. The church itself is of 14th century and has this wonderful almost archaic and...more
Norcia’s heart is the big and spacious Piazza San Benedetto with Palazzo Comunale, Chiesa San Benedetto and the small Castelline grouped around a statue of Norcia’s famous inhabitant, San benedetto. Already when I saw photos of the piazza before my trip, I loved the place. It looked so peaceful, so cosy, so innocent. Palazzo Comunale is an...more
Via Cesare Battisti, 12, Norcia, 06046, Italy
Good for: Business
333 Vocabolo Quarantotti, Loc. Madonna Del Casciolino, Norcia, 06046, Italy
Good for: Business
Via Montedoro, Norcia, 06046, Italy
Good for: Business
In such a spectural place you'll find Beppe, a very nice owner of this typical "trattoria". Lenses, a D.O.P. of Castelluccio (Italians know what I mean. For others: it's a sort of protected type of regional product) everywhere, togheter with "polenta" or wildboar. Everything is very genuine, the ambience is simple but nice (it can be very crowded and noisy) and waiters very helpful. Reasonable prices.
Favorite Dish: Talk to the owner Beppe and ask for suggestions. He will advise you the best thing of the day. I don't know if he speaks English but a bit of Spanish surely, as he lives in South America in winter.
The nearest airport is maybe Ancona or Perugia, but it seems to be quite difficult to get to Norcia from there via public transport. Norcia does not have a train station, so this leaves the bus as the only options, if you don’t have a car.
As far as I could see, there are busses to/from Spoleto (Umbria) 6x on weekdays and 4x on weekends and one bus per day to/from Ascoli (Marche).
By car it is easy to reach from Spoleto (SS 865) through Valnerina (SR/SS 209 and SR 320 and SS 396) or from the Ascoli in Marche (SS 4 and then SP 230).
[The squares in the map are for Spoleto (left) and Ascoli (right)].
Norcia is the world capital of the best sausages. This, as the oak forests around Norcia provide excellent food for pigs and wild boars. It is even so famous that you might run across the name “Norcineria” throughout Italy, which means butcher. Norcia locals were travelling thoughout Italy in the past and were soon recognised to have the best...more
The other very much delicious shop I found in Norcia was Cioccolateria Vetusta Nursia (photo 3), just off main piazza (or opposite of the Loggia dei Mercanti at San Benedetto to be precise), where they had the most marvellous chocolate products. As it was only briefly past Easter, they still had their chocolate Easter eggs (main photo), huge and...more
If you go to Norcia, home town of the famous saint S. Benedetto, you cannot miss to visit one or more "norcineria" (plural: norcinerie). Norcino is a very ancient word which means a person able to make ham, salami and sausages. Norcia is very well known for its own ham, very tasty and very different from Parma ham, although they are basically the...more
Except at Piazza San Benedetto, Norcia has very narrow streets and also cobblestone in the northern part of town, so it is better to leave the car outside the city wall and let the locals use the inside parking. Don’t worry, Norcia is rather small and it is easy to walk around. There are taxis as well, in case you want to stay overnight. Parking space is enough outside, the biggest one is near the bus station at Piazza Massari (outside the southeastern part of the city). And, there is no parking fee.
Luggage and bags:
If you want to stay in Norcia and might need to park “outisde” or walk from train/bus stations to your accommodation, I would recomment that you bring luggage on wheels or backpacks, they are easier to carry on the often cobblestoned roads.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Definitely bring shoes with which you are comfortable for walking. Norcia, although small, has a lot of cobblestones. Your feet will be grateful in the evening. Bring warm clothes, even in summer, as the temperature might drop in evenings. Umbrella or raincoat might be a good idea, depending on the season. I needed good rainprotection in April (2008). If you want to visit churches, bring something to cover arms and legs, as you might not be let in with unappropriate clothes.
If you want to hike in Piano Grande and its surroundings, bring hiking boots (ankle protection).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There are enough pharmacies where you can get medical supply. Bring translation for prescriptions. You might like to bring first aid kits with band-aid, as you might have blisters from walking. Foot cream is a good idea, too. My feet were happy in the evening with this
Photo Equipment: The most magic impressions throughout whole Umbria and Norcia of course are the churches and other buildings. Many of them have ornaments, sculptures and other details where you would need a good tele lens.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: % If you plan to hike, bring all your equipment, as it is most unlikely to find places where you can rent tents and the other stuff.
Miscellaneous: Binoculars are a good idea, for wildlife watching or looking at the building details. Maybe a torch as well, as depending where you go, streets might not be lit appropriately. Italian dictionary is also a good idea.
North of Norcia is Castelluccio and Piano Grande which are at the edge of Monti Sibillini National Park, a most marvellous hiking area. Monte Sibilla is 2175 m and the mountains around here have almost alpine-like character. The name derives from the famous Sibylle (the Roman/Etruscan one) who is said to have her cave here. The website I’ve linked here is fascinating, by the way. But she is not the only one who is a source for legends in this region. At the foot of Monte Vettore is a little lake, called Lago di Pilato, where legend says that Pontius Pilate’s dead body was drowned here.
The park’s website at Sibillini is quite good and gives many interesting side information as well as trails descriptions (and it provides better information about Norcia’s sights than Norcia’s website). Watch the short video they display here, it is really mouthwatering!
During April, hiking is very much limited due to the unpredictable weather. When I was in Piano Grande, it was very foggy, but in summer and autumn it must be paradise. I will certainly come back, but with my proper hiking equipment.
The region in eastern Umbria (and western Marche) is very much affected by earthquakes from time to time. The most severe was the one September 27, 1997, which destroyed many parts of villages and towns (you might have heard of the destruction of parts of Chiesa San Francesco in Assisi). Norcia was no exception, but here the municipality has...more
San Francesco of Assisi is not the only famous Umbrian saint who founded an order. San Benedetto di Nursia lived even earlier and and is considered to have founded the Benedictine order, at least the principle of monk community. He and his twin sister Santa Scolastica were born in Nursia, today’s Norcia, end of 5th century. After having lived in...more
10 Reviews and Opinions