I remember it as if it were yesterday / 11

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:

Casteluccio, distant view on a wet, windswept day

A little further on, we got a view framed by wild flowers

Casteluccio, closer

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:

Piano Grande Wild Flowers 

Spring on the Piano Grande

Wildflowers and lentil fields

One thing that is very striking is the lentil fields, creating patterns on the landscape:

Lentil fields

And before we go, a couple of images of the hamlet itself:

more of the square

Graffiti in the hamlet square

A most unusual, memorable place, a somewhat haunting experience…



  1. Really enjoyed the photos of this majestic place – the third photo – wildflowers one – is my fav here because of the color in the flowers and all the landscape in layers beyond. And that lentil fields photo has extra interest with the verticals from the snow trails in the top – nice composition and lastly – your words were flowing (almost a bit of prose) and felt Light – like this:
    “wet, windswept day”

  2. Lovely memories, and nice photos of that breathtaking landscape too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I remember it as if it were yesterday !….. I have difficulty remembering yesterday, years ago not a problem 🙂

  4. The patterns of the lentil fields are wonderful, as are the wildflowers. I’d never actually thought of lentils growing!!!! Keep this series coming.

  5. Thanks for taking me to the Piano Grande in Umbria Sue. I had a great time. I thought there may have been some cake at the hamlet 🙂

  6. What a wonderful place. The air must have felt so clear and clean there. Your pictures really evoke the sense of hidden wonderland.

  7. This looks like heaven on Earth! I wish I could see these sights for myself.

  8. Amy

    Beautiful photos and memories, Sue. The landscape is fascinating!
    Thank you for sharing with us. 🙂

  9. Ahh, lovely, I have to go, haven’t been yet. At which time were you there?

  10. Wow, I can totally understand why you were drawn to go there 🙂

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