Table of contents
- Motorcycle trip to the Sibillini Mountains in Italy Italy like out of a picture book
- Sibillini Mountains
Grasses in the evening breeze: like the hair of young fairies (or Silvio’s playmates …)
Pilgrimage site: Sunday motorcycle meeting in Castelluccio.
It doesn’t always have to be Tuscany: Country road near San Ginesio.
Nightlife in Norcia on the Piazza San Benedetto, preferably with the queen of hearts, always with Benedict.
The tiger is about to jump: Serpentine near Bologna.
Mama cooks, Papa crouches: in front of the “Bar Vettore” in pretare.
Gorse rap: a sea of yellow flowers near Forsivo.
A mountain range up to 2500 meters high offers the greatest driving fun factor.
Not for climate membraneists: San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic Sea.
In the morning there is still shade: the old city wall of Norcia.
As if God had already practiced painting red Ducatis: Poppy fields on the Piano Grande.
Nice view: Visso city gate.
Full speed ahead…
It doesn’t always have to be the motorcycle.
Despite the heat, the trees show their green dress.
Driving is particularly fun in the mountains.
Sunset over the fields of Tuscany.
The poppy fields also look beautiful from a distance.
Churches wherever you look.
The Mediterranean charm is clearly reflected in the architecture.
An ice cream always goes in between.
… in the sunset.
Motorcycle trip to the Sibillini Mountains in Italy
Motorcycle trip to the Sibillini Mountains in Italy
Italy like out of a picture book
A mountain range up to 2500 meters high with the highest driving fun factor, only an hour to the palm-fringed beaches of the Adriatic and idyllic plateaus in between – almost a miracle that the Sibillini Mountains are not much better known to us.
Klaus H. Daams
Mamma mia! As if we had gotten into a training run for the Italian Superbike championship, local Ducs and Blades suddenly fly past in bulk and stab into the next secluded bend of Superstrada 396. The little tiger’s baggage-laden little tiger almost hissed in the muffler and it was time to finally free those ears, which are still plugged after a long journey to the motorway, from noise protection. In Norcia we move into quarters for the next few days – and immediately start again in the afternoon for an exploration round.
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Motorcycle trip to the Sibillini Mountains in Italy
Italy like out of a picture book
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Where? Actually it doesn’t matter, it’s nice everywhere here. So at the first junction, follow the signs to Forsivo and Cortigno. Italy like out of a picture book. A hilly patchwork quilt of fields and olive groves, in between large farmsteads and again and again, like buoys on the high seas, bright yellow gorse. In Forsivo, at the church portal, the times of church services are posted, old and young villagers are basking on the benches in front of the houses. The downside in the idyll: a lack of career prospects make the “Hotel Mamma” compulsory accommodation for many Ragazzi. Depending on how things look at Cortigno, the grasses blowing in the evening breeze are reminiscent of the hair of graceful fairies – or the playmates of Silvio B. Even if the road turns out to be a dead end, you can still romp off-road somewhere.
The center of Norcia, a small town with a population of 5,000, offers the climax of the Sibillini nightlife. An open-air living room for Italian enthusiasts. In the middle of the piazza, enclosed by the basilica, palazzo and castle, there is a figure of St. Benedict. The monk was born in Nursia (Latin for Norcia) in 480 and founded the order of the Benedictines. Nowadays, trattorias attract visitors with worldly delights. Norcia is a truffle stronghold, and the pork sausages produced by local butchers are sold in so-called Norcinerias across the country.
Instead of extending the procession of churchgoers on Sunday morning, we make an early pilgrimage to another “high altar”; it is the Piano Grande, the great plain around Castelluccio. “Across a steep mountain road, romantic and bitter, one of the highest and most inaccessible villages in the entire Apennines, cut off from the outside world, a sea of flowers” - that was how the travel guide had already whetted your appetite at home. Some books don’t lie. The asphalt ribbon, which winds boldly uphill, glitters seductively in the morning sun. At most there is a racing cyclist to overtake. After the Forca Canapine pass, the border between the provinces of Umbria and Marche, a rushing descent towards Arquata del Tronto, again lively storming skywards via Pretare and Forca di Presta – and then an astonished Ah and Oh at the Piano Grande, where nature meets the floral Klaviatur delivers a true master’s concert: a red orgy of poppy fields, as if God had already practiced painting all the Italian “belle macchine”. Those who prefer a different color can feed the retina with cornflower blue or the purple of lentil blossoms.
Circle Monte Cavallo in a wide arc
The large armada of motorcyclists who have meanwhile come to the Sunday meeting in Castelluccio and the nest – in winter only around a dozen people live here – flooded for a few hours. Two things are immediately noticeable: First – you not only ride GS, but also, for example, Morini Corsaro or Guzzi Stelvio. Second – the bottoms of the socias are usually narrower than the rear tires. And, oh yes, thirdly: instead of red and white French fries, there is ham, salami and cheese, all freshly sliced. So far, so delicious. But the queue is long, we continue and only treat ourselves to the calorie supply after Passo di Gualdo, Castelsantangelo and Frontignano in pretty Visso. As a thorough Teuton, of course, you don’t waste your time and stay in the “Bar Sibilla” forever; Instead, the Monte Cavallo is circled in a wide arc before we drive the horses back to Norcia via Preci for the final sprint. Perhaps two things remain to be noted: Not only in Capri, also in Campi the red sun sinks into the (hill) sea. And: It doesn’t always have to be Siena, Norcia also has a chance when it comes to choosing the most beautiful piazza in Italy. But a beer has to cost 5.20 euros?
The morning hour is pleasantly cool. So instead of a hotel breakfast this time at seven o’clock to the bar next to the Esso-Tanke, the second socio-cultural center of Norcia. Ape, Alfa, all-wheel drive – all workers and employees are already there and are served with peppers by Christina and Fabio. Two chocolate croissants, two caffè lattes and two Fanta are available here for a pleasant 7.10 euros.
Reminds of Tuscany, which is not so far away
Break at the roadside. “Say, are those lemon trees there?” – “I don’t know.” – “Well, maybe it’s figs too.” Which would at least prove that our interest is not completely monothematic in the local curves. Today they lead us via Montegallo and Montemonaco to a gravel road studded with serpentines and washed-out bumps up to Monte Sibilla. First the tigers’ rims, which were black until then, are given a dusty white coating, then we; on the bench in front of the “Rifugio Sibilla” a second breakfast and the panoramic view over the Monti Sibillini National Park. The highest mountain here is Monte Vettore at 2476 meters. Myths surround him: The sorceress Sibilla is said to have lived in a cave, in the nearby Lago di Pilato the body of Pontius Pilatus was sunk.
Approach to San Ginesio. The village is, typical for the area, on a hilly mountain ridge. Reminds of Tuscany, which is not so far away. Whatever: San Ginesio also pleases with a piazza and a magnetic ice cream parlor. The rulers of the refreshing creations from the “Bar Centrale” are Luca and his mother Florina.
And if you like it dusty, please:
Lago di Fiastra shimmers bluish like the curacao sauce from the penultimate sundae, quasi the valley station for the ascent to the ski area around Bolognola. The white 800 shines with a few nice weather clouds, even without snow it can be waved well and the tire tread melted a little. And if you like it dusty, please: At the “Rifugio La Capanna” in Pintura, a gravel road branches off towards Monte Amandola. The way back is on a ridge road to Arquacanina, always at eye level with the sun, and then, following the headlights, to Norcia.
In order to refuel man and machine early the next day, head back to the Esso-Bar, where Christina and Fabio greet us like old friends. And where the tank attendant’s daughter – with her thick horn-rimmed glasses still in the middle of the metamorphosis into a swan – helps dad during the school holidays and stealthily glanced after a promising biker. If you are traveling as such with Holden, who is interested in art history, we recommend a detour to Castel San Maria: a frescoed church ruin in a deep sleep among the brambles.
A visit by Ascoli Piceno is also a must: the Piazza del Popolo is praised as “probably the most beautiful square in Central Italy”. Well, when it feels like 40 degrees today, it is more opportune to relax than to take a touristic roundabout, scusi. We decide to cool off in the Adriatic.
Hill surfing between Monsampolo and Acquaviva Picenca
Only 30 kilometers as the crow flies from Ascoli is San Benedetto del Tronto, the most prominent seaside resort in the Marche region. On the way there, a little hill surfing between Monsampolo and Acquaviva Picenca, through a landscape in which farmers harvest both wine and electricity thanks to numerous solar collector fields. And then there it is, the sea. Behind a not particularly picturesque belt of houses an Adriatic Sea like from the catalog: palm-lined promenade, sunshades, deck chairs, sandy beach – the whole program. In the midst of the fleet of scooter drivers dressed in shorts and slippers, as long-distance travelers in armored protective clothing, we feel a bit out of place and want to retreat to more species-appropriate terrain soon.
Quickly via the motorway and expressway from the sea to Arquata del Tronto to the farewell gala: one last time up to Forca di Presta, en passant the obligatory greeting to the old gentlemen in front of the bar in Pretare, ciao Castelluccio and Piano Grande and then finally in Norcia since Days longed for a free table on the terrace in front of the “Ristorante Beccofino” with a view of the hustle and bustle around St. Benedict. But if you order beer again to go with the “free interpretations of typical Umbrian cuisine”, it’s your own fault. Because he receives an indefinable mix of spring white and wheat beer, the fat bottle with a Sibylline smile served in a champagne bucket – and as expensive as a whole one at home
Box of barley juice. Mamma mia.
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Sibillini Mountains: best view: Montemonaco; most beautiful place: Castelluccio; Main town: Norcia; highest mountain: Vettore; Duration of the trip: 4 days; Distance driven: 900 kilometers.
The limestone massif of the Sibillini Mountains lies between Tuscany, Abruzzo and the Adriatic Sea. Around 20 two-thousand-meter peaks and an intricate network of roads make it an insider tip for motorcyclists. Various easy gravel stretches are also attractive.
From Frankfurt am Main, for example, it is a good 1200 kilometers to Norcia via the toll highways in Switzerland and Italy; The alternative route through Austria is 40 kilometers longer. Kommoder’s take the car train (www.dbautozug.de) to Verona, from there only 470 kilometers remain to drive yourself.
The area of the Sibillini Mountains is just the right size to explore it from a fixed location in daily stages without luggage. Norcia is particularly ideal for evening après-moto. Outside the medieval city wall is the “Hotel Salicone”, Viale Umbria snc, 06046 Norcia (PG), Tel. 00 39/7 43/81 65 13, www.hotelsalicone.com, double rooms from 92 euros. In the historic center you will find the “Albergo Benito”, Via Marconi 4, 06046 Norcia (PG), Tel. 00 39/7 43/81 66 70, www.hotelbenito.it, double rooms from 68 euros. The “Albergo Sibilla”, Via Pianogrande 2, 06046 Castelluccio (PG), Tel. 00 39/7 43/82 11 13, www.sibillacastelluccio.com, double rooms from 65 euros sits enthroned above the poppy and lentil fields of the Piano Grande. The “Rifugio Sibilla”, 63088 Montemonaco (AP), Tel. 00 39/7 36/85 64 22, prices on request, attracts with the charm of a hiking hut, www.rifugiosibilla1540.com. The “Rifugio La Capanna”, Contrada Pintura 5, Bolognola (MC), Tel. 00 39/7 37/52 01 34, www.capannabolognola.it, double room 50 euros is similarly rustic. The “Azienda Agricola Il Collaccio”, Castelvecchio di Preci, 06047 Preci (PG), Tel. 00 39/7 43/66 51 08, www.ilcollaccio.com offers a choice of hotel or campsite. Double room in the “Hotel Locanda del Porcellino” from 70 euros, tent and motorcycle from 19.50 euros.
There is a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and snowy winters in the mountains. Spring and autumn are therefore recommended, once again, as the best travel time. July and August require heat resistance.
In addition to motorcycling, the area is ideal for hiking, climbing, cycling and paragliding. In addition, many museums beckon.
Literature and Maps:
There is no travel guide specifically on the subject of the Sibillini Mountains. But the volume “Mittelitalien” from Michael Muller Verlag provides detailed information about the region for 24.90 euros. A suitable road map is “Italy 8, Umbria – Marche” by Marco Polo on a scale of 1: 200,000 for 8.50 euros.
Italian Headquarters for Tourism ENIT, Barckhausstrasse 10, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Tel. 0 69/23 74 34, www.enit-italia.de. Also www.sibillini.net – the official website (only in Italian and English) of the Sibillini Mountains National Park
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