Itinerary: Sibillini Mountains National Park, Pilato Lake, Gola dell'Infernaccio, Visso, Castelluccio
The Sibillini Mountains in Central Italy, located between the Marches and Umbria, where legends, mystery and nature meet
Located in central Italy, between the Marches and Umbria, the Sibillini (or Sybilline) Mountains (pic n°1)(pic n°6) take their name from a legend. In fact, in these mountains, there are many places linked to the legend of fairies such as the "fountains of the Fairies", the "paths of the Fairies" or "the roads of Fairies", and, first of all, the cave called "Cave of the Apennine Sibyl".
The ancient Greeks called "sibyls" women believed oracles. According to legend, the Apennine Sibyl was a woman, a benevolent fairy and an ancient priestess, able to tell the future and read the past. Legends also tell the grotto named after her is the access to her underground kingdom. Other ancient legends tell about a virgin prophetess who lived surrounded by fairies in the depths of the mountain being punished by God and her cave was protected by dragons.
The area of Sibillini Mountains National Park covers 70,000 hectares on the slopes of the Apennines, and its appearance (pic n°2) is shaped by centuries of incessant work of glaciers, winds, rains, and other atmospheric agents. In this unique landscape, with wild and rugged peaks that can reach over 2000 meters above sea level, people have peacefully coexisted for centuries with the local fauna, including wolves, wild cats, and peregrine falcons. The highest peaks of this 40-kilometer mountain range are Monte Vettore, Pizzo della Regina, Monte Bove, and Monte Sibilla.
The best moment when to visit this amazing area is likely to be spring when nature shows off in its best appearance. Every year, from May to July, you can admire the beautiful show of flowering giving rise to an explosion of constantly-changing colors, which turn Sibillini Mountains into boundless carpets of flowers. It is a unique natural environment with magical and enchanting landscapes, it really looks like a fairytale comes true. The Sybil and her fairies are undoubtedly very pleased with it!
On these karst-origin mountains, visitors can enjoy trekking and hiking in nature, excursions and also combining them with more culture-oriented trips by visiting villages rich in art and history, as witnesses of ancient civilizations.
Among the not-to-be-missed natural attractions we advice visiting Pilato Lake (pic n°3) on Mount Vettore, 1.941 meters a.s.l. and surrounded by an aura of mystery: it is named after Pontius Pilate, as to another legend telling his body was thrown in this lake after he was sentenced to death by Tiberius. (it is not true but legend tells so), the beautiful natural gorges of Gole dell'Infernaccio (pic n°4) and in Fiastrone Valley (pic n°5): the Gorge of Fiastrone, the Cave of Frati .
Some pics of this area:
Sybilline Mountains (pic n°1); (pic n°2); (pic n°6); Pilato Lake on Mount Vettore (pic n°3); Gola dell'Infernaccio (pic n°4); Fiastrone valley (pic n°5);