This is a story of an excursion into the most celebrated and famous place of Monti Sibillini National Park, the only glacial lake of the Apennines and the only natural lake of Marche. It is situated 1940 meters above sea level, between two mountains: Monte Vettore and Monte Veletta. Innumerable are the legends circulating around this place, bound to the magic and the occult, which culminated in 1200.
According to the most famous tale, where the lake draws its name, Pilate’s body took off from Rome on an oxcart and fell from the tallest mountain of Monti Sibillini in the waters of the lake, which began boiling. Ever since the XIII century, the lake was considered a place of witches and necromancers, and religious authorities of the time were obliged to forbid access and to put a warning at the beginning of the valley.
Boiling waters are not the only secret that the lakes waters hide, Pilate’s Lake guards a little red crustacean, called “Chirocefalo del Marchesoni”, which is endemic and lives only in these waters.
The cycling itinerary was to be demanding and we will let the pictures describe it. Obviously, there is neither a warning at the entrance of the valley nor necromancers or witches to meet along the way, but tourists are still pushed on by the irresistible fascination of these places, just like us.
The day finished at the long but easy slope towards Forca di Presta, dominated by breath-taking landscapes overlooking Castelluccio’s plains and Laga’s Mountains.
More information on www.sibillini-mtb.it
Words: Andrea Tiburzi