I don’t recall where I read about the Piano Grande in Umbria, in the Valnerina. The Valnerina is the eastern region of Umbria, a place of contrasts- high mountains and vast stretches of virtually nothing, so communications are very poor.See here for more.
The Piano Grande sounded fascinating…this great big plain, with one tiny hamlet (Casteluccio di Norcia) in the middle. I read that in poor weather, the church bells would ring to guide shepherds back to Casteluccio. And in the Spring, the plain would be carpeted with wild flowers.
So we had to go.
Alas, the weather wasn’t great when we went, and this image gives you an idea of the terrain, and the position of the little hamlet:
A little further on, we got a view framed by wild flowers
I tried to get an image to show the abundance of flowers, but didn’t concentrate on the camera settings enough to do them justice….but you get a bit of an idea. Also, we weren’t there at the peak of the flowering:
One thing that is very striking is the lentil fields, creating patterns on the landscape:
And before we go, a couple of images of the hamlet itself:
A most unusual, memorable place, a somewhat haunting experience…