Castelluccio is not exactly a huge tourist magnet, and I hope it stays that way. Some of the locals seem to think differently, and there has been an explosion of new albergos and b&b's since we last visited a few years ago. One can understand the impulse to find new sources of income, since this is clearly a poor region - but they might end up destroying the very quiet and tranquility which makes the adjacent Piano Grande such an alluring and other-worldly place.
Having said all that, if you appreciate natural scenery in its most wild and beautiful state, then the Piano Grande is a must-see, and the place to stay is the Taverna Castelluccio (an established, family-run hotel, not one of the new hopefuls!) There is a choice of rooms either in the main building, or an annexe (the 'Cascina delle Fate'), a hundred meters or so up the hill. We opted for a room in the annexe and loved it. The room was a good size, quiet, comfortable, and stylishly modern in the way the Italians do so well.
However, the room is only half the reason for staying here - the Taverna makes a big deal of their restaurant specialising in local produce. And the two nights we ate here, the chef did not disappoint. Delicious food, excellent wine, and wonderfully friendly and helpful owners running the place. Taverna Castelluccio certainly ticks all my boxes!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- CASTELLUCCIO DI NORCIACastelluccio di Norcia ( 1452m ) is also known as the Italian Mongolia due to its mountains. Situated in Umbria in the centre of Italy, it is one of the most precious jewels of the National Park of the Monti Sibillini. Famous for the great conditions to fly, it's also a great choise for those who love to walk, to ride in bicicle or in moto. Who loves horses will find on the Big Plane a ranch. Photographers, from the end of May until ( more or less ) the end of June/beggining of July, invade Castelluccio to see the natural and the infestant flowering ( +1000 species ). Another curiosity of this paradise is the Mergani, a depression in the end of the Big Plane. This depression had been in the past the scenary of scientific studies to know where the water depositated in its interior finishes. The answer is still unknown.One of the most popular destination is Monte Vettore ( 2476m ), the third highest mountain of the Appennini. The top is occupied by the Lake of Pilato ( called this way as the legend teaches that the body of Pilato may be found in the bottom of the lake ), permanent and the only house of Chirocefalo, a tiny red fish that exists only here.Our Hotel is divided in two structures. The Oldest is Taverna Castelluccio ( 1986 ), placed in front of the Lost Plane ( Marche/Umbria ). This structure is composed of 7 rooms ( 4 with panoramic view ), all ... more less