Day 34 was spend entirely playing in the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, a magnificent 700 square kilometer national park in the heart of Abruzzo and Umbria.
Essentially it was a case of going up and up from where we were staying at Santo Stefano di Sessanio onto a vast high plain which is completely snow covered in winter but in summer is the home of small pockets of grazing sheep and cows from the lower lands and also a vast horde of tourists, also from the lowlands – and some from Australia even 🙂
The vistas were magnificent.
We stopped to brew a coffee and were joined by a lovely young couple on the final week of their month long honeymoon. They’d spent the first 3 weeks in Australia and were spending the last week travelling through Italy’s southern national parks on their Triumph Tiger 1050.
You’ll notice a white dog sitting under the rear wheel of our bike. It was just there, no collar, no apparent owner, and certainly no concern. As we left this particular spot we came across a mob of sheep which were being loosely guarded by a couple of the same breed of dog and further up the road we came across a couple of others in the same mode and yet another one further on just wandering across the plain. They’re Maremma Sheepdogs, a breed of livestock guardian dog indigenous to central Italy.
We moved on to Corno Piccolo / Campo Imperatore which is the highest road point in the area with walking tracks up to the high ranges behind. There’s a motorway tunnel running directly under this place – tunnels as a road access solution certainly don’t seem to be a problem to the Italians, they’re everywhere. They need to be because there are mountains everywhere as well.
So then it was down down down. No twisties here boys, just endless switchbacks where I’m virtually looking over my shoulder going into them, and Norma’s hanging on for dear life and doing a magnificent job of spotting any vehicles coming the other way. Awesome lady.
Then it was up and up to the lovely Castelluccio basin. Interesting read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castelluccio_(Norcia)
At 1450m and with 150 inhabitants (and triple the tourists) the fields on the slopes below the village are cultivated and in springtime are famous for their colour – in summer they look like any other fields. The pic with all the colour is from Google Images.
Day 35 was a layday so we spent it wandering around town, which took about 20 minutes, and lazing around, which took all day.
Tomorrow it’s on to San Marino.
3 thoughts on “Days 34 & 35 – Castelluccio”
Simply stunning views mate. Riding through a picture book everyday …. just wow!
Must have been warm the dog found some shade not to many tree,s by the look of it. A wonderfull trip you look to have had. Lucky you must have taken some planning.
Actually if I recall it wasn’t too hot being up fairly high.
Yeah, it took a fair amount of planning. I had a hand from a book by Toby Ballentine called Motorcycle Journeys Through Western Europe which is basically 15 loops, I used a number of those but just one side of each loop if you get what I mean. Except through middle Italy and Croatia.