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WALKING TRIPS / Piani di Ragnolo e Sassotetto / Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini / Monte Castel Manardo o Monte Amandola / Lame Rosse / Castelluccio di Norcia

Walking tour in the Marche region: through The Sibillini Mountains

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The Monti Sibillini National Park is without doubt one of the most famous and fascinating areas of the Apennines. 

An area where stories, landscapes, faces and tastes meet each other.
This 8-day trip will pass through places and trails which are symbols of the National Park, such as: Monte Vettore, the Lame Rosse,  Fiastra Lake and Castelluccio di Norcia.
This trip is not only about walking. You will have the time to enjoy with no hurry the natural beauties of the area. You will also have the opportunity to meet local people and organisations committed to environmental protection and territorial development.
A trip through landscapes and stories of the mountains known as Monti Azzurri (Blue Mountains).

Day 1
In the afternoon you will meet ViaggieMiraggi local contacts near the accommodation where there will be the presentation of the guides and the trip plan. During the afternoon and after dinner, the facility owners will talk about their story and their adventure began after the earthquake in 2016/2017.
Dinner and free time.
The facility is a mountain lodge and provides accommodation in multiple rooms with a bathroom.
The accommodation for the first three days is located next to Monte Vettore, which is the highest summit of the Monti Sibillini with its 2476 m. 
This is the south-east side of the National Park and near the facility you find The Sibillini Great Ring. It is a long hiking route which “circumnavigate” all the area of the Park. 
Despite the earthquake of 2016/2017, the owners of the mountain lodge decided to stay in this area and invested their time and put their heart in providing a different tourist hospitality giving travellers the suggestions of those magic territories.

Day 2
The departure towards Monte Vettore is planned after breakfast. The departure point is near the accommodation but a short transfer by car is recommended. 
This first hike of the tour is one of the most famous of the Sibillini: the climb to Monte Vettore, the highest summit of the National Park. 
The trail is quite challenging but it offers unique views along all the trail: from the massif of Gran Sasso to the Adriatic coast. 
On the top of the mountain the “Croce Piegata” indicating the mountain peak, from there you can admire the Pilato Lake below, surrounded by the highest summits of the Sibillini. 
Once back in the accommodation, dinner and free time.

DISTANCE: 10 Km round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: 930 m total uphill
ALTITUDE: minimum 1546 m, maximum 2476 m
LENGTH: around 6 hours (breaks included)

Day 3
Third day and second hike of the trip. After a huge breakfast, you will start hiking directly from the hosting facility. 
Today’s itinerary will take travellers along the east side of the Monte Vettore. 
In the afternoon a meeting is planned with a local organization born after the earthquake of 2016/2017 and active in projects involving inhabitants of the Sibillini villages.
The second hike goes through a part of The Sibillini Great Ring which surrounds all the National Park. The trail you are going to follow is an ancient route used by transhumant reapers who move from one side of the mountain to another.
This itinerary is particularly rich in history besides the unforgettable landscapes and views.
According to the elevation gain the trail is not particularly difficult, in fact we will walk mainly around of 1500 m of altitude and during all the hike the sun will follow your steps, therefore cap and sun cream are recommended. 
On the way back you are meeting the coordinators of “C.A.S.A. Cosa Accade Se Abitiamo” (What happens if we dwell). 
C.A.S.A is an organizationn that in the last years started to operate to support, not only materially, those villages of the Apennines that have been severely affected by the earthquake 5 years ago. This will be an important opportunity to get in contact and understand more deeply the territory you are crossing.
Back to the accommodation. Dinner and free time.

DISTANCE: 10 Km round trip
ELEVATION GAIN: 300 m total uphill
ALTITUDE: minimum 1400 m, maximum 1600 m
LENGTH: around 5 hours (breaks included)
ROUTE TYPE: trail and dirt road

Day 4
After breakfast, a short transfer by car to the plateau of Castelluccio di Norcia.
Castelluccio di Norcia is famous all around the world because of its blooming time but it maintains its charm also during the rest of the year. 
After an easy hike, you will reach Fiastra by car, with a break along the way to admire Macereto and its famous sanctuary. 
The fourth day you will go across some of the symbols of the park: the first one is Castelluccio di Norcia. This small village, which has the same name as the plateau and dominates the plains below, is located at 1450 metres of height, at about 30 km from Norcia, on the border between Marche and Umbria.
Grazing and cultivated fields mainly of lentils, make the land a fully-fledged palette which changes in colours along the year till a real colour explosion during the blooming period. 
Fiastra will host the group for the rest of the journey. The village is famous for its artificial lake which stands at the foot of the north side of the park. During the transfer to Fiastra there will be a stop in another magical place of the territory. 
Macereto plateau rises at 1000 metres of height, and, in addition to the amazing view of the north side of Monte Bove, is famous for its sanctuary. 
This sanctuary is a majestic religious complex characterised by a fascinating history which begins in 1400. It is known as one of the major expressions of Renaissance architecture in the Marche region. 

Accommodation in the new facility, dinner and free time. This is a mountain lodge which provides accommodation with multiple rooms with a bathroom. 

ALTITUDE: 1400 m
LENGTH: 3 hours (breaks included)
ROUTE TYPE: trail and dirt road

Day 5
After the first night in the new accommodation and a huge breakfast the day will start. We will move by car to the starting point of the trail that will bring us to The Lame Rosse, known as the Marche region’s Canyon.
On the way back, we are going to have packed lunch at the bank of Fiastra Lake. 
Free afternoon with the possibility to rent canoes. 
The small town of Fiastra stands near the homonymous lake on the north side of the Park. This artificial basin with its clear waters, is an important tourist point and has a particular charm thanks to its position among the surrounding peaks.
Near the lake we will find The Lame Rosse (Red Blades), rock formation characterised by the typical reddish colour and peculiar shapes with pinnacles and blades, hence the name Lame Rosse. They are the result of an eroding process of atmospheric agents that took off the surface of the rock leaving the actual red colour.
An unusual location that rises up at the end of a magical path, which stretches through the woods from the lake. 
Back to accommodation, dinner and free time.

DISTANCE: around 7 Km
ALTITUDE: minimum 600 m, maximum 800 m
LENGTH: 3,5 hours
ROUTE TYPE: trail and gravel

Day 6
After breakfast there will be a transfer by car towards the summits of the north side of the Park.
The sixth day will include a long panoramic ring that will bring visitors to Monte Castel Manardo and Pizzo Tre Vescovi.
The Monte Castel Manardo (1917 m) and Pizzo Tre Vescovi (2092 m) are two of the most panoramic summits of the north side of the Sibillini Mountains. The ring route will take you along ridge paths from where you can enjoy an amazing view to Monte Priore, Pizzo Berro, Monte Bove and Val di Panico. 
This is a long trail suitable for trained hikers but the satisfaction is guaranteed.
In the afternoon, after a deserved break, the group will meet an organization operating in Fiastra for years, which will guide the travellers along a story of the territory full of suggestions.
Dinner and free time

ALTITUDE: minimum 1340 m, maximum 2092 m
LENGTH: 7 hours (breaks included)
ROUTE TYPE: trail 

Day 7
After breakfast, you can spend the morning on the bank of the lake just to rest from the long hike of the day before. 
After lunch, in the afternoon, a short transfer by car will get you up to the hike’s departure point. Today’s route will take you to Piani di Ragnolo, an extremely panoramic plateau which has its “spout” in Pizzo Meta. 
Pizzo Meta is not so high but from there you can enjoy an amazing view over the Adriatic coast and experience a unique feeling during the sunset.
Piani di Ragnolo is located in the north boundary of the National Park area. 
It is an area visited every period of the year, but it is famous for the blooming of wild plants in summer and the cross country skiing in winter.
Its position makes it a natural balcony over all the 2000 m peaks on the north side of the Park and all Adriatic coast. The most protruding part is Pizzo Meta, a summit which slightly overcomes 1500 m, but which stands in the extreme east side of the plateau overlooking all the Marche region. 
During clean days the sea seems very close and sometimes it is possible to see in the distance the mountains of Croatia. 
Back to the facility and dinner.

ALTITUDE: minimum 1400 m, maximum 1576 m
LENGTH: 3 hours (breaks included)
ROUTE TYPE: trail, lawn

Day 8
After breakfast, according to the time schedule there will be greetings with guides and local coordinators. 
End of the trip

Travel Notes

The current programme can be subjected to changes, before or during the trip according to the weather, travellers and accommodations needs.
Programs, transports and accommodation in facilities can be modified according to national or regional rules for preventing infection from Covid-19.

Hiking boots, canteen at least 1 L, kway or poncho, hiking backpack of 20/30 L, cap, sun cream, clothes changes and personal possessions.  
You are required to communicate previously possible intolerances, allergies or other food needs. (The agency does not assume any responsibility in case of problems related to allergies or food intolerances not avowed)

Local referent
The trip which takes place in may will be followed by Omar Martinello and a local hiking guide. 

Difficulty level 
This trip is reserved for trained hikers who used to hike in mountains as it includes gruelling hikes, even though they alternate with relaxing days. 

Responsible tourism

What is sustainable tourism?
It is a tourist approach that pays the greatest attention to the environment and culture of the visited country.
It was created to stem and correct the distortions of mass industrial tourism, devoted to the “looting” of countries, especially those developing, and ends up becoming a travel mode that can be replicated everywhere, even in the territories close to home.

Features of our travels
Travelling with ViaggieMiraggi will take you to meet people and projects of the civil society of the visited country, with particular attention to the field of Fair Trade and Cooperation.
The trips will take place together with local representatives, exponents of the local culture, creators and guides of the itineraries. Stays will take place at small, locally owned accommodation facilities or, when possible, at facilities provided by projects visited or in families.
Meetings are scheduled before and after the trip to explain the characteristics before departure and to guarantee a moment for the return report. The price sheets of our packages are completely transparent: the distribution of economic resources is accessible in every step.

Take part in the change
By choosing a Sustainable Tourism trip you will be able to make a direct contribution to a form of virtuous, equitable and sustainable economy. Traveling with us will guarantee work for the activities of the projects that will be visited, transforming tourism into an instrument of emancipation and justice for the local populations, subtracting energies from a model dedicated to exploitation to put them in one focused on the Person and Nature.