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Still into ancient and very well preserved heart-shaped town-walls, Norcia is one of the most famous tourist resort of Umbria. As a pearl of the Sybilline Mountains National Park, it has become the most important point of articulation among Umbria, Marches and Lazio, especially after the very recent opening of the tunnel of St. Benedict (under the pass of Forca Canapine) and the tunnel of Forca di Cerro. Today, reaching the main centres of Umbria (as Assisi, Spoleto, Perugia, Terni) but also Ascoli Piceno and the surrounding artistic cities, as well the Adriatic Sea with its beautiful and pleasant shores, is easy and quick. Norcia is a town for all seasons and it's renowned for its gastronomy.
Here, nature and culture represent an inseparable binomial and the history of the territory is often interlaced with the history of men and with the traces they have left. Norcia is also a series of meetings articulating town's life: from the Truffle Festival (an International Market of featuring prized black truffles and typical other products) to the prose season at the Municipal Theatre, from the celebrations in St. Benedict's honour to the "Norcia's Summer events", from the artistic shows to the sporting and musical manifestations, from the congresses of national level to the exhibitions of popular traditions.
ART AND CULTURE - Heart of Norcia is St. Benedict's square where the principal monuments stand: the City Hall; the "Castellina" (House of the new Museum of works of art from the 13th century) and the Basilica of St. Benedict with the crypt and the remains of the twin Saints' native house. Very interesting is also the St. Agostinuccio's Oratory, with its lovely wooden ceiling; the "Tempietto", a votive shrine dated 1354; the Cathedral of St. Maria Argentea, with an altar built by F. Duquesnoy; the Church of St. Augustine, with 14th, 15th and 16th century frescoes. Very interesting are also the noble Palaces, the seven Gates and the city walls. The archeological Museum, the Historical Country and Crafts Museum, the Municipal-Diocesan Library, the Benedectine Studies Centre, the Municipal Historic Archives, with precious documents from the year one thousand AC, complete a remarkable panorama from the cultural and historical view-point. Churches, towers, castled villages and abbeys lie all over Norcia's territory and represent an historical and artistic heritage of undeniable value. A visit across Norcoia's surrounding villages (the ancient "Castles", that is fortified centres risen in a defensive position to protect the borders of town, or the "Villas", centres for the agricultural production) is a charming itinerary through history, art, natural beauties and legends.
NATURE AND SPORT - The environmental beauties, perfectly in harmony with man's activities, justify the inclusion of Norcia and its territory into the Sibylline Mountains National Park. All over the area there are woods of downy oak, black hornbeam and flowering ash which cover the surrounding mountains where, at a high altitude, it's possible to find very rare species; among the most important ones: the Alpine Star of the Appennine variety. The fauna too is very interesting. In particular, among the mammels, you find the wolf, the porcupine and the roe deer, while, among the birds, the golden eagle, the goshawk and the sparrow-hawk. The natural environment fosters suggestive walks, across ancient paths, in the past beaten by dealers or flocks during the transhumance. Among the other sporting facilities, to be noted are the hang-gliding in the slopes of Castelluccio and the rafting along the River Corno. To underline are the local sport facilities, perfect for skiing, skating, swimming, tennis, football, fitness, martial arts and many other sporting specialities.
GASTRONOMY - The town boasts an ancient culinary tradition, based on genuine
products and enchantrees of the delicate palates. Peculiar to Norcia is the
trade called norcineria which has become a dictionary term for pork butchery. So
much well-known and appreciated, for its ricotta, fresh, aged or hard cheeses,
is the cheese-factory's production but also the confectionery one. It is a
gastronomy made up of local and choice ingredients such as: prized black
truffles, hams, pork sausages, local cheeses, lentils from Castelluccio, farrum
chickling, trouts from the Nera River, mushrooms of the neighbouring woods,
honey of the Sibylline National Park, chocolate stuffed with farrum or truffles.
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