Discover and rediscover ancient streets and forgotten villages, walk on the boundary line of the sky or through the dense and mysterious forests, on the track of a fox, or of one of the robbers of the past. Unplug the power cord from the everyday and indulge in a space to be out of time, to be masters of their own footsteps, and eat handfuls of indispensable sensations. The Sibillini Mountains and the Nera Valley, with their magnificent mountain scenery, deep valleys, forests and highlands, a real crossroads in the center of the Italian peninsula, are the backdrop of great journeys of the past. From the exploits of Guerin Meschino, the knight-errant, to the travels of the transhumant shepherds and to the great travelers and storytellers of the past, as Antoine De La Sale, and, who knows, maybe even of the legendary Sybil. There you can enjoy excursions to suit all tastes, just walking or hiking with climbing difficulties, conducted safely by qualified guides.
These are some routes:
-The Spoleto – Norcia Railway, a route between nature and history, on the route of the old train. Easy and affordable for everyone.
-The Castoriana Valley, a secondary and forgotten valley, jewel for its small rural and religious centers, among which we remember the St. Eutizio’s Abbey and the Campi Alto’s Castle.
-The Castelluccio di Norcia’s planes, beautiful landscape shaped by nature. Always impressive, especially in spring, for the famous flowers, and in winter, covered with snow.
-The Canatra Valley, spread behind the village of Castelluccio di Norcia, and covered by a beautiful beech forest, up to the summer pastures of the shepherds. -The Monte Coscerno and his district, one of the natural sanctuaries of Umbria, for the important presence of the eagle and wolf, as well as the wide variety of natural and rural environments that are represented there
-Marmore Waterfall and Piediluco Lake, where the force of the water, the beauty of nature and human brain come together in a just wonderful landscape.
-The Pontuglia Valley: a small valley, a small town, an abandoned village … an agricultural past who becomes a great present. Great snack at the end of the excursion.
-Norcia, the mill and the Water Meadows, the shepherds and cheese, the wonderful world of bees: a day dedicated to knowledge that is transformed in flavor. Between farms, beekeepers and ancient crafts.
Walking in the snow with snowshoes is easy and at the same time exciting. “Snow-shoes” require no special technical skills to its users, and allow you to explore non-solid surfaces, walking on fresh snow. For the inhabitants of the mountains and alpine’s valleys, snowshoes represented the oldest tool used for travel during the long days and nights of winter. Ancient snowshoes consisted of a wooden frame and a tangle of ropes and leather. Today they are almost all plastic and lightweight, and suitable for all uses, from a simple walk, to hiking and to trekking. They allow you to make wonderful excursions in the woods, a different way of approaching the mountains in their winter dress. On fresh snow you can observe and study the signs of the animal population: foxes, hares, wild boars, that leave indelible signs of their presence to our students. A wide range of courses offered. The Castelluccio di Norcia wide plains , in the National Park of Monti Sibillini, and Gavelli, in the Monte Coscerno, are the ideal breeding ground for students. Very interesting also are the beech woods of the Val di Canatra, always in the Sibillini mountains and the Campofoglio Valley . You can also do snow activities through the construction of temporary shelters, such as trune, or semi-permanent shelters, such as real igloo, using the snow on the ground and experimenting in this way, the old houses of the Inuit people: an experience unique and unforgettable.
Our rafting center is recommended for those who want to practice mountain biking, as it is adjacent to the old railway line Spoleto – Norcia, recently improved and made practicable for bicycles. It is an extremely suggestive easy route of 6 Km for mountain bikes, since it passes through a constantly changing landscape. In fact, in some places it is caught between the rock face of the mountain and the river Corno that runs alongside the water meadows of Norcia. In others it is open and surrounded by meadows. In others it’s hidden among the trees.
HIKING WITH DONKEY
The donkey is a great educator and a mediator between teens and the environment. For this reason, hiking with the donkey is very educational. First of all, the donkey is cute and brings joy to anyone who looks at him or anyone who approaches him. It doesn’t judge, doesn’t comment, doesn’t wear trendy clothes, no airs and graces, it is humble and friendly, but independent and strong. For this reason it is very easy to get in tune with it. The donkey is like a guitar, it aggregates, and unwittingly you are involved. It’s a slow animal, so it teaches you to “slow down”, giving you the chance to observe well, to appreciate the little things that, step by step, you find in your path.
It invites teens to prudence, being a prudent animal: if it senses danger, it stops and goes around the obstacle.
Moreover it’s stubborn but doesn’t give up, so it teaches tenacity, an excellent example and stimulus for boys and girls, who nowadays, are easily pliable. It is a great animal to strengthen self-esteem in troubled teens: it isn’t scary, it leaves you to brush and look after him with tranquility, it asks and gives you pampering, it is reassuring and transmits calm. The donkey doesn’t obey you if it is abused, but it cooperates if it is indulged and pampered. Therefore, it teaches sensitivity and respect for others. The donkey is a symbol of our recent history, of the agricultural past, when it replaced engines and tractors in almost all daily events. At donkey’s pace you can follow the ancient routes, the comfortable and shaded bridleways, for all ages and gaits.
Example of a typical day:
Morning: Approach with the donkey and walk with donkeys in Val Castoriana
Lunch with local products.
Afternoon: donkey outdoor games and visit to the farm near our center.
The places of visit: Val Castoriana between Ancarano and Campi Alto di Norcia
Insights: driven contact with animals, the donkey and its historical importance, the rural world of the Apennines, the traditional farming and agriculture, the environment of the Apennines (forest, river, meadow and pasture), the art centers of the Val Castoriana (S. Salvatore and Campi Alto), specific techniques of cultivation, the Benedictine movement.