Italy 2006

Norcia, Umbria: 13-15 June

  Travelling from Scanno to Norcia, we went along minor roads. At Fontecchio, we found a minimarket open even though it was lunch time. We bought some bread and ham, and turned down a side road that went down to a river. We had lunch in this lovely isolated spot, next to this old mill race.
  This fountain was in Fontecchio village.
  A little further along the road, near L'Aquila, we had magnificent views of the Gran Sasso mountains.

Norcia is another walled town but, unlike most that we visited, it is not at the top of a hill. Traffic is banned from its main streets and square, so it is an easy pleasure to walk around.
  Norcia is renowned for its pork meat shops, known as "Norceria". This is a typical array of hams, sausages, and other goodies.
  Shop sign at a Norceria.
  Loggia in the main square, with the Cathedral in the background.
  Beccofino restaurant, on the main square, where we had an excellent meal.

The first day in Norcia, we went to visit the Piano Grande (Big Plain), which is a flat area high in the mountains and very scenic.
  On the way, we stopped at the Abbey of San Eutizio, tucked away in seclusion down a side road off a minor road.
  One of the Abbey's windows.
  View of the Piano Grande and mountains from the village of Castelluccio.
  More views of the Piano Grande.

The second day in Norcia, we drove to Assisi. We followed a guide book's advice about where to park, which resulted in our doing much walking along steep roads. Never trust a guide book.
  The basilica of Assist as seen when approaching the town
  Roadside shrine in Assisi.
  Fountain and washing basins in Assisi.
  Detail of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
  View of the Umbrian countryside from the town.
  Just outside the town is the Santuario di San Damiano, which is where a crucifix spoke to St Francis, where he wrote the Canticle of the Creatures, and where St Clare lived.
  A fresco in the Santuario de San Damiano.

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  Copyright © 2006 by Lynn Booth. Click here to contact us or to request a full-size photo