Yesterday I finally made the trip that I had planned for a long time: the Valnerina and the Monti Sibillini. I am not really keen on high mountains, not on any heights in fact, but after all it´s not like the Andes and besides, it´s not done to drive all the way to Norcia and leave all these nice little hamlets be.
The first choice I had to make was turn right to Monteleone di Spoleto and Leonessa, or turn left for Cerreto. My choices mostly tend to the left side and it gives me something to wish, so left it was and the first stop was Valle di Nera. The sign said it was one of the most beautiful, well kept Borghi in Umbria Italy World Universe. But: beautiful it was. Nice little spots, steep alleys and two churches, of which the first was closed, but at the second was an old, murmuring small man without any teeth left, who asked me if I wanted the doors opened. Luckily, I understood his dialect and said yes.
The interior dates from the 13th century, it was light and simple, there were some frescos and a gorgeous statue of Maria and the best of all, no signs saying `Silenzio`
After that we drove through Cerreto and Norcia to the Piano Grande. I left some pictures in novembre and march, when the scenery was rough and desolated. Now, in june, it was full of flowers, horses and sheep with shepherds and dog. Another good thing was that I had no kids with me, which spared me the discussion whether or not to take one of those walking fleefactories in the car. Castellucio was crowded with tourists, and I saw it ten times before, so I happily left it and went to Visso.
Visso, situates on the banks of the Ussita, is a nice village full of medieval balconies, palazzi, small squares, salumerie for it´s famous of its ham, very friendly people and a trattoria, doubtfully named `Wanted` that shall never acquire a Michelinstar, but serves a great dish of pappardelle al cinghiale (pasta with boar sauce). There was no one there, which always means a slight rsk, but right after we sat down, it got really crowded both inside and outside, so someone had to rush to the butchers´ and the bakers´ for they obviously didn´t count on it.
After this lunch we drove to Colfiorito, taking a little sidestep to the Santuario di Macereto (closed) and Appenino, having the most splendid views of the Monti Sibillini. Finally we reached the Colfiorito plains and bought red potatoes and lentils from a friendly farmer, one of the many that try to sell their things at the side of the road.
It was a great day... that will make me feel worse when having to leave Umbria.