The flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia is an indescribable spectacle of nature: an explosion of colors and scents that leaves you speechless. It’s hard to explain the feeling it conveys, you have to experience it in person.
Castelluccio di Norcia is a small village that rises to 1452 meters above the sea level, about 30 kilometers from Norcia.
And right here, on the plain at the foot of the village, every year one of the most beautiful and particular flowerings in the world takes place, namely the flowering of the lentil: a riot of colors that varies from white to violet, passing through yellow and the red.
In this article you will find all the information to assist the flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia in total autonomy.
Flowering Castelluccio di Norcia: where it is
Castelluccio di Norcia, also known as the ‘Roof of the Sibillini’, is located in a panoramic position on the top of a hill, within the Monti Sibillini National Park, in the Valnerina area.
The National Park is a destination for hikers who come to practice trekking in a wonderful natural environment, among alpine lakes, caves and mountains; Monte Vettore, the highest peak, is the watershed between Umbria and Marche.
But what attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year is certainly the Pian Grande or the Karst plateau where the majestic flowering takes place.
Pian Grande, together with Pian Piccolo and Pian Perduto, constitutes the so-called Piana di Castelluccio, an area of 15 square kilometers which was formed about one million years ago following the drying up of a lake.
It is precisely in the Pian Grande that the famous PGI lentil is grown.
The lentil is the symbol of Castelluccio and it is thanks to its cultivation that the farmers of the area managed to recover following the 2016 earthquake.
Lentil but not only
The famous flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia is not actually due only to the lentil but is made up of its flowering together with that of other species of wild flowers and the result is a palette of colors that vary from week to week thanks to the fact that each species blooms at different times.
Blooming Castelluccio di Norcia: when to go
Thanks to the staggered flowering of the various flowers, the Pian Grande di Castelluccio offers a different scenario every week, in the period between mid-May and mid-July.
In May, wild mustard (yellow) and poppies (red) begin to flower, as well as lentil flowers which are white. But the color boom takes place between the last days of June and the first week of July when the mirror of Venus (purple) and the cornflower (violet) also bloom.
This is therefore the best time to admire the flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia at its peak.
If possible, avoid the weekend crowds. If you really can’t do without it, try to arrive at dawn or in the evening, when the traffic has slowly cleared up.
What is important to know is that, unfortunately, from one year to the next it is not possible to predict with certainty the exact moment of flowering as it is strongly influenced by climatic factors.
For example, this year – 2023 – it rained a lot in both May and June and flowering took a long time to appear.
The advice could be to monitor its status with the webcam of Castelluccio di Norcia.
Monitor the state of flowering with the webcam of Castelluccio di Norcia
Before departure, it could be useful to monitor the state of flowering through the webcam of Castelluccio di Norcia.
Positioned on top of the village, with an exceptional view of the plain, the webcam takes a picture of the plateau every 5 minutes so you can see the flowering in real time.
Access the plain of Castelluccio di Norcia
The rules for accessing the plain change from year to year, therefore the advice is to look at the provisions in force on the Valnerina website.
We, for example, were able to access with our car (it was a weekday) and park it almost everywhere, always taking care not to obstruct the road system and above all not to invade the hard-cultivated fields by the farmers.
On the other hand, at the weekend, it is necessary to leave the car in the designated car parks and reach the plain with a nice walk or using the shuttle service.
Where to admire the flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia: panoramic points
The flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia can be admired throughout the area around the Pian Grande, from various points and paths.
The advice is not to be in a hurry and to walk along the special paths that pass between the crops in order to totally “immerse” yourself in the experience. Subsequently, the flowering can be observed from above in order to have a 360° view of the plain.
Although the advice is to walk and wander according to your feelings, it may be useful to know that the most beautiful viewpoints are:
❖ Bosco Italia and Poggio di Croce, where the view ranges from the plain to the small village of Castelluccio.
❖ The fields on the opposite side of Bosco Italia. Here too there are paths that cross the blooms.
❖ Enter via Monte Valletta (on foot) heading towards the webcam. From there there is a nice view over the plain.
The Bosco Italia
Bosco Italia is one of the most famous panoramas of the Pian Grande di Castelluccio. Built on the occasion of the Mountain Festival in 1961 to celebrate the first centenary of the nation’s unity, it can be viewed on the slopes of Poggio di Croce. It is a boot-shaped forest made up of several coniferous seedlings.
Fly over Castelluccio di Norcia with the drone
Castelluccio di Norcia is located within a National Park therefore, to fly over the plain with a drone, you need the authorization of the Park Authority. You will have to send an authorization request indicating the reason for the overflight, the type of drone used, and the date of the flight, and wait for the authorization confirmation letter.
Where to sleep in Norcia
It can be useful to know that the structures are few and, in the flowering period, they fill up quickly. Below you will find two very valid proposals, one familiar and the other more refined.
❒ B&B Fonte Vena – One minute from Norcia, this B&B offers family rooms in a very welcoming environment. The breakfast cakes are outstanding! Parking included and free cot on request – Book here.
❒ Relais & Chateaux Palazzo Seneca – Structure of the highest level inside a real noble palace, recently restored. At guests’ disposal, a small wellness center with Jacuzzi, Turkish bath and sauna. Massages and babysitting service at an additional cost. Really good quality buffet breakfast included. The building also houses the starred Vespasia restaurant – Book here.