Castelluccio di Norcia for the Fiorita of Plateau
The tiny hamlet of Castelluccio di Norcia is situated on a small hill in the homonymous karst plateau at an altitude of 1,450 meters, enough to be one of the highest villages of all the Apennines. The “plain” that surround him is divided into three parts which are called Pian Grande, Pian Piccolo and Pian Perduto, the latter referring to the battle of 1522 against people of Visso who managed to conquer it and then have it in the Marche territory. The large “basin” enclosed on all sides by mountains was once a lake and now collects a huge amount of water that ends in Inghiottitoio dei Mergani, in the south west part where the water flow affected the land with several ditches in which live some amphibians.
The Plains of Castelluccio is an environmental scenario of the most impressive, especially during the period of Bloomthat typically occurs between late May and early July when the fields of Lentil fill with wild flowers such as poppies, daisies and cornflowers in addition buttercups, gentians, asphodel, violets, daffodils and many others. The entire plateau is colored like a “kaleidoscope” creating wonderful optical effects, both from observing that walking through the fields where you are surrounded by scents and colors. Here the Lentil, who got the Protected Geographical Indication, is the product on which it is based farming and sowing as soon as the last of the snow melts and usually is collected at the end of July.
Monte Vernale and XXII Palio of san Giovanni Battista in Fabriano
The Monte Vernale reaches an altitude of about 1000 meters in the Upper Esino and is accessed from Paterno, a small hamlet of Fabriano nestled in a valley between wooded slopes. The route follows the ancient mule tracks that with the rise of altitude became trails until you come out on the lawns in spring bloom coloring itself. The first part passes through the ancient hermitage of st. Verecondo of the year 1100 and supported by a monastery disappeared in 1364 in which there is a copy of the painting of the fourteenth century by the Master of st. Verecondo that influenced Gentile da Fabriano. The saint is celebrated on May 1, date preceded by the celebration of the ancient pagan rites of “Plant the May”.
Fabriano celebrates its patron saint John the Baptist on June 24th, date when takes place the eponymous Palio closing a number of pageants with the Historical Parade, the Tournament of Archers, Popular Games and Medieval Villages recreating scenes of life. There are also performances and exhibitions along with religious ceremonies including artistic floral decorations set up in churches or cloisters. The final event is the Challenge of the Mallet in which the blacksmiths of the four neighborhood must “forge” the appropriate key to activate the mechanism that raises the Banner in the shortest possible time. They represent the ancient craft from which Fabriano takes its name, depicted in the coat of arms.
Abbey of Valdicastro along the path of Ginocchielli of san Romualdo and XXVII Festival of Cheese Pecorino locale in Frontale
Departed on a pilgrimage from his native Classe of Ravenna, the Benedictine monk Romualdo arrived in the Marches at the beginning of the year one thousand with his mission of reform and founded the hermitage of Valdicastro near a water source, later expanded in Abbey with its church. Legend has it that he came to “the three castles valley” passing with his horse on the impervious path of the Costa del Pozzo when suddenly the animal stopped kneeling on a rock by impressing the shape of his knees, after a thousand years still visible, giving to the saint the holy inspiration for the choice of his hermitage. The local elders tell that for the “sacredness” of the place it is beneficial by kneeling over the same fingerprints.
Frontale is a small hamlet of the town of Apiro along the secluded valley connecting San Severino Marche to Serra San Quirico enclosed between the Mountains of Cingoli and the group of st. Vicino in an area full of quarries where outcrops “ancient geological sediments”. In 1943 in the country took place important guerrilla actions by different groups, not only Italian, that were relevant for the Marche Resistance widening influence to neighboring countries. The typical product of the area is the Pecorino cheese to which in June is dedicated the nice three-day festival in which is proposed together to Crescia handmade and cooked on the grill along with the lab with the demonstration of achievement of cheese starting from milk.
Grotte di Sant’Eustachio and XXXVII Palio dei Castelli in San Severino Marche
Along the river Potenza, opens a side valley said of the Grilli or of st. Eustace who was once a very popular communication route between the towns of san Severino Marche and Camerino. In the “narrow gorge” dug out by the same name ditch there was a Benedictine abbey dedicated to saint Eustace (and formerly to st. Michael) inhabited byMonks for centuries and which today is part of the church built near the large cavity in the rock with underground space. The area is now a Protected Floristry Area offering a dense and lush vegetation to the high reforestation of conifers that are reached by a path that passes even for the several limestone quarries used by the Romans for Septempeda.
The current san Severino Marche originated in the Middle Ages after the Roman city of Septempeda (now one of the seven Archaeological Parks of Marche) fell into ruin and the oldest is on top of “Monte Nero” with remains of walls, doors and the imposing tower while the lower provides one of the most beautiful squares in the Region. In June there is the Feast of the patron who since 1972 is paired with Palio dei Castelli set in 1400, period of the reign of Onofrio Smeducci. Along with the Historical Parade, the Supper at Court, the Challenge of the Castles, the Palio of Children and Evenings Medieval dispute “Corsa delle Torri” among the five districts and nine castles with eight athletes who carry their wooden Tower.
2 June at 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Monti Sibillini National Park
The river Fiastrone, from its origin at the Source of Fargno towards the confluence in the Chienti, plows splendid interior valleys of the Sibillini, receives the important contribution of the Rio Sacro also giving life to the Lake of green waters Fiastra through the high dam. Further down the valley is deeply incised by the incessant work of the water that has generated the well known three Gorges of Fiastrone, a grossed and impressive unspoilt and wild environment, a real gorge visited “entering” into his water. But the valley also reserves other Gorges, much less known and definitely “secluded” but by the same incredible charm whose “aquatic” visit is a true experience of exploration in the deep rocky heart of the mountains.
Known as the “Balcony of the Sibillini” for the exceptional panoramic position towards the mountains, san Ginesio is one of the countries that obtained the recognition of Orange Flag and Most Beautiful Village of Italy. Among the various monuments that make it a center of considerable interest is the Collegiate, the only example of flamboyant Gothic in Marche with the rich interior. In 1552 there was born Alberico Gentili, among the greatest jurists of the Renaissance, author of “De Jure Belli” and founder of International Law. The event san Ginesio Segreta retraces the mysterious and intriguing Carolingian and Templar past through the visit of places and monuments, including the least known or generally closed.
Val d’Ambro and visit of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ambro
Saturday 4 June at 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Monti Sibillini National Park
Among the characteristics river valleys carved into the limestone of the Sibillini the one of Ambro offers in addition to a pristine natural environment with the riparian vegetation accompanying its ascent, even the evident manifestation of karst that sooner does “disappear” the water and then it closes in one of the most impressive and beautiful canyon in the Gorge of Roccacce: the Infernaccetto. The tour goes first the bubbly little waterfall and then repeatedly crosses the creek loops “jumping” from one bank to the other and then walk on the rocky dry bed of the second part when the sound of clear, cold water gives way to silence and deep sense of isolation until the narrow crack in the rock.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Ambro is among the oldest places of Marian devotion, whose ancient history is linked to the miracle of the shepherdess Santina that mute from birth acquired the gift of speech when, during his usual deposition of flowers in the trunk of a beech tree had the apparition of the Madonna. For the event occurring and the position in a rocky gorge crossed by pure mountain water the place is called the “little Lourdes of the Sibillini” and from hermitage of pilgrimage grew to the current convent of Capuchin friars. In the exact miraculous point is the statue of Our Lady whose environment is frescoed with stories of the Virgin and the 12 Sibyls painted by Martino Bonfini in 1610.
Sentiero Italia of Monte Catria and Festa del Maggio in Isola Fossara
Sunday 5 June at 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Monti Sibillini National Park
The Italian Path is a collection of hiking trails created in 1983 that includes the entire national territory including Sicily and Sardinia for a total of over 6,000 km divided into 368 steps. It develops in fact, between Trieste and st. Teresa di Gallura through existing hiking trails and related shelters and was completed the first time in 1995 by hikers who gave birth to Cammina Italia employing eight months. Indicated by the red-white-red flag and the initials “SI”, deliberately goes for the smaller towns of the mountain with the intent to exploit and preserve them. In the group of Mount Catria colleague the villages of Cantiano, Chiaserna, the Abbey of Fonte Avellana to Isola Fossara at the foot of Corno.
Isola Fossara is a small village at the base of Mount Catria where the rivers Sentino and Artino come together, known for Sitria Abbey founded in 1014 by st. Romuald and the miracle of the fish narrated by st. Peter Damian. Here is very participated and felt the ritual of the “Green Wedding” by May Festival which is held in two phases: the first announced by the sound of a horn consists of cutting on Catria of three trees called “Maggio”, “Giunta” and “Cima” and their transport in the country. The next takes place on the morning of June 13, the feast of st. Anthony of Padova, when they are united in one piece high about twenty meters, adorned and lifted up in front of the church where he remain until the 29th, day of st. Peter.
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