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At dusk in Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, you will hear a small bell ringing. Every day, the community of Benedictine monks celebrates the last prayer, Compline. It is a highly spiritual moment, a half-hour that touches the heart. During Compline, everyone is invited to take an introspective journey. Then as you look at Vignola castle, the Palace of the Commune, and the lush green mountains from the forecourt of the Abbey, you can understand this place, which even today continues to be in harmony between heaven and earth. "Orat et laborat".
My favourite excursion starts from Castelluccio, 1,500 metres above sea level. The plateau is known for the "blossoming", an event that attracts visitors from all over the world. The path climbs up to the top, on the crests of the Sibylline mountains, from which Norcia can be seen in the distance. The return, downhill, can be done by different paths, depending what you want and your capabilities. During the walk, it is common to come across the many animal species that inhabit the national park of the Sibylline mountains.
Norcia is the Italian capital of black truffles: you should not miss the opportunity to go looking for them. Nicola is our favourite cavatore : he waits for us at the start of our outing, with his yellow Fiat 500, his sunglasses and his two extraordinary dogs, Nina and Loulou. He is the "Brad Pitt" of La Valnerina, blond, eminently friendly, with a certain temperament, and a nature lover. With him and his faithful canine companions, you will set off for a good hour's walk to track down your "black gold". At the end of the day, what a joy to prepare delicious bruschetta with the harvested truffles.