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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.
Updated Nov 2, 2007
Address: Via Dietro la Torre 8-Castelluccio
Phone: tel +39.0743.821158
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)].
Updated Jan 24, 2009
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.
Updated Jan 24, 2009
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.
Written Jan 24, 2009
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.
Updated Jan 24, 2009