The fascination of the Blue Mountains
The Sibillini Mountains rise in the heart of Italy, between the Marche and Umbria regions, with over twenty summits exceeding 2,000 metres up to 2,476 metres (Vettore Mountain). Established in 1993, the park covers an area of over 70,000 hectares. The park is forged by natural beauties and enriched with millenniums of history and local culture. Today it is possible to perceive the magic presence of the mythical Sibilla and traditional rituals and evocative legends are preserved. The natural landscape is characterised by a great variety of landscapes and natural places: the valley bottoms of rivers form narrow and impressive clefts, such as the Gole dell’Infernaccio. On the blooming slopes of the park, Ragnolo meadows stand out for its floristic value and in summer you can admire wonderful orchids, liliaceae and other species such as the fritillaria Orsiniana, the narcissus or the alpine aster; what stands out from the point of view of landscape is the Fiastrone valley, a gorge carved out of the waters where stands the Grotta dei Frati, an old and impressive hermitage of the Clareni monks dating back to the first millennium. The western slopes gently go down to Umbria region with its Piani di Castelluccio, which are famous all around the world for the colourful flowering of lentils offering every year an impressive and unique view. Pilate’s lake, one of the few glacial alpine lakes in the Apennines and the only natural lake in the Marche region, is situated among the rocky sides and under the summit of Vettore Mountain. According to tradition, the mountain takes its name from the legend which says that Tiberio sentenced to death Pontius Pilate and threw his body in the lake.
Even during the Middle Age the Sibillini mountains were known in all Europe as the reign of demons, necromancers and fairies. Among the various legends the most famous is that of Sibilla, a renowned prophetess living in a cave on the homonym mountain. The legend says that in the cave of the Sibilla lived the “renowned prophetess who rarely reveals her secrets to others”. Necromancers and errant knights came here from all Europe, after exhausting trips hoping to get an oracle from the Sibilla. The magic of that time, now can be seen in the enchanting places which make the natural park of Sibillini mountains a wonderful place.
The “Big ring of the Sibillini” is an hiking trail of 120 km extending throughout the park, which is accessible both on foot and by mountain bike. The most common activities to enjoy the park include hiking trails, horse rides and mountain bike trails, hang-gliding or paragliding, rock or ice climbing, ski resorts, trips to town centres and museums scattered in the municipalities of the park. It is also possible to follow some paths to taste the local food of the park.
Don’t miss the other beauties of the territory