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.
  An old bridge over the waterway.
  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 seen from a nearby hill.
  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.
  Norcia was the home of St Benedict, and the Basilica is dedicated to him.
  The Basilica's cloister.
  The main square is a very pleasant area.
  There were flowers throughout the town.
  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.
  The village of Castelluccio, the only settlement on the Piano Grande.
  The Piano Grande is known for its scenery and flowers.
The second day in Norcia, we drove through the mountains 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.
  Scenery going through the mountains.
  A village in the mountains.
  The Basilica of St Anthony of Assisi as seen when approaching the town.
  Approaching the Basilica from the town centre.
  View from near the Basilica.
  Detail of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
  Fountain in Assisi.
  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.
  An Annunciation fresco in the Santuario de San Damiano.
  Detail from the fresco.

Then it was through the mountains to the east coast to reach Urbino.


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