Near Norcia and Castelluccio, Agriturismo Le Sorgenti
It’s finally open again that winding road linking the medieval mountain town of Norcia to the tiny walled town of Castelluccio, perched like a quiet solemn sentinel over the Piano Grande – and both towns devastated in the October 30, 2016 earthquake.
Castelluccio is a wounded sentinel now.
In late July, we headed there for a theatrical presentation in a pre-fab tent outside of the cordoned-off crumbled Castellluccio, sponsored by a cultural association of L’Aquila (earthquake-devastated in 2009): theater here again was a gesture indicating that Castelluccio would resurrect.
We stayed that night at the Agriturismo Le Sorgenti, a few kilometers outside of Norcia and with no earthquake damage – to that structure at least, but as owners Nicola and Fernanda lamented, “earthquake phobia” has anesthetized tourism in the area. We arrived just as day was giving up to night but even in the fading light, we could see the beauty all around.
We opened our door in the morning to mountain majesty in every direction.
Fernanda served us espresso and her homemade sweets in a vaulted room adjacent while we chatted with her husband, Nicola, about the frustrations of the absent tourism.
When Nicola heard that Pino worked in earthquake restoration, he asked Pino to advise him and his brother on immediate restoration needs for their adjacent agriturismo building – with a centuries-old stone-vaulted dining room and additional bedrooms – closed now due to seismic damage.
Pino – always ready to talk stone restoration – was happy to do so. We headed up to the building, where Pino indicated outside structural work to Nicola, then advised Nicola and his brother, Eugenio, on work needed to re-open this second building.
Centuries ago, that dining room had been a stall: a painted farm cart outside – once pulled by oxen – speaks of the agricultural past.
The family links to the land remain: Nicola and Eugenio raise cows and goats and work about 300 acres, cultivating organic farro, roveja beans, and barley.
Both buildings were part of the Cecconi family holdings, dating back to the early 15th-century. We enjoyed our stay in one of the buildings – the ancient home of shepherd who worked the Cecconi lands – and may other guests soon take in the the surrounding mountain majesty during a stay in the adjacent building of Agriturismo Le Sorgenti. Nicola and Eugenio, do let us know when all is restored.
Read more on Castelluccio and earthquake woes
Read about – and see! – Castelluccio splendor
Read more about the flowerings of Castelluccio
Read about nearby Norcia’s earthquake devastation
Read about another devastated treasure near Norcia, San Salvatore di Campi
Read about the curious history of Preci (near Oct 30 2016 quake epicenter) – and earthquake damage
Click here for news on the glorious Benedictine abbey of Sant’Eutizio (outside Preci)
See the recipe for pasta alla norcina (a possible earthquake-benefit dish)
Read about Castelluccio di Norcia and lentils as quake solidarity
Read about Norcia’s norcinerie, needing a comeback
Read about a not-to-miss eating spot in Norcia
Read about the famous Castelluccio lentils – and how to cook them