Pictures often speak more than words. And that is particularly true when it comes to mountains and uncontaminated landscapes. Having the chance to personally see them is already a privilege, let alone what it means to completely explore them riding your mountain bike. Too frequently we let ourselves be enchanted by worlds far away from our. Actually, there are places really close to us, almost within our grasp, that highlight the whole strength of Italy.
The guys of Sibilli-mtb.it ride a mountain bike due to the passion that connects them to the bike, the nature and the open air. This is exactly the case of the Sibillini Mountains, a mountain chain situated between Umbria and Marche, in Italy, also part of the homonymous National Park. They have recently become “Garmin Expert Partner” and therefore co-workers of the outdoor sat nav systems leader as regards the itineraries providing. When we are not busy tracking new routes, we move to the wood of Selvapiana going down to Calcara di Ussita or through the fifty little hairpin curves of Costa di San Chiodo or, yet, through the long slope of Monte Efra towards Visso.
But today our itinerary involves one of the most evocative places in the world: Castelluccio di Norcia and, precisely, Monte Veletta. The village, situated at a distance of about 28 km from Norcia, is easily reachable through a panoramic road. It is placed at the top of a hill on the homonymous highland (Piani di Castelluccio), one of the widest of the centre of Italy and part of the National Park of Sibillini Mountains, at a height of 1.452 meters s.l.m., which make Castelluccio di Norcia one of the highest villages in the Apennines.
Description of the route:
Monte Veletta is that little high ground overlooking the village of Castelluccio di Norcia, from where it’s little iron cross is visible. It is not, of course, a craved excursion for hikers that aim to reach peaks that are more than that nor for bikers that clock up miles, but exactly for this reason we have decided to commit ourselves -and our wheels- to it and we can say that it has been worth the effort!
Few minutes of portage climbing the northern side and you reach the top of the mountain, admiring one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Sibillini Mountains, and, of course, one of the most photographed. We completed the route riding our mountain bikes through the high grounds that overlook the Pian Grande up to reaching Colle Tosto and the ruins of Casaletto Rosi, from which we rode the bike down to Valle Caprelli through one of the many little paths that cut through the slope.
The itinerary shown in this video requires, without doubt, technical and physical abilities, but the entire Park of the Sibillini Mountains is also accessible to people that look just for a relaxing walk, enjoying the uncontaminated and spectacular nature that the Centre of Italy is able to offer.
Indeed, this area is a beloved destination by naturalists, trekking and hiking lovers, camper users, but also by the ones who prefer to enjoy the view of the sky. Tourists come from all over the world in order to go paragliding or hand-gliding. Therefore, it is easy to find here very good centers and guides dedicated to the main sports that you can practice in these areas. A panacea for body and soul.
Words & Pictures: www.sibillini-mtb.it