Located in the south east of Umbria, Norcia is the ideal destination for food lovers. The village lies flat at the bottom of Mount Sibillini and is surrounded by beautifully, intact, 14th century walls. The old town is small enough to experience during a day trip but has enough activities to entertain visitors during longer periods.
Piazza San Benedetto, the heart of city, is dedicated to St. Benedict and it holds a gothic style basilica of the same name. The piazza works as a gathering spot for tourists and locals, where souvenir shops and restaurants can easily be found.
Although Norcia is one of Umbria’s most scenic villages, food is definitely its main attraction. The two main components of a typical meal are tartufo nero, or black truffles, and cinghiale, wild boar meat. Restaurants, from budget to Michelin starred, will serve a variation of dishes that creatively embody these ingredients. The town is also renowned for having perfected the craft of butchery, some much so that butchers are known in Italy as norciani.
Hotels and bed and breakfasts can easily be found, varying from luxurious to economical. Although the village is famous through out the country, it is still a hidden gem and unknown by many travellers. As a result it is an affordable and bearable location to visit even during high season, unlike othjer places in Umbria’s rival province of Tuscany.
After indulging in mouth-watering meals, Norcia’s great outdoors provide perfect activities to burn off those extra calories. In the summer, hiking trails are available in the Sibillini National Park, which is transformed in by snow in the winter and houses great spots for skiing.
As a classic Italian village, Norcia can deliver the idyllic romantic getaway for couples, fun and cultural outings for families, adventurous activities for the wild at heart or, better yet, a little of everything all together.