The area surrounding the ancient Municipality of Norcia has the beauty typical of a mountain area; in spring it softens when the plateau standing above the valley in which Norcia is set becomes the theatre for a singular natural event called “the Flowering”. This event consists of simultaneous blooming of dozens of different floral species that create a multicolour “rug” covering the whole of the valley.
Norcia is located in the junction between two very different landscapes: Valnerina, the area of the narrow river valley carved out by the River Nera and its tributaries, and the Sibylline Mountains, featuring peaks reaching and exceeding a height of 2,000 m (about 6,562 ft.), like Mount Vettore, with grassy slopes, used to graze cattle and sheep and full of mountain floral species, including Artemisia species, the anemone, the gentian and Turk’s cap lily (Lilium martagon) We are at an altitude of 600 m (1,968 ft.).
Some historical notes
Norcia was the birthplace of a Roman emperor, Vespasia Polla, whose son Vespasian gave rise to a short-lived dynasty together with his sons Titus and Domitian. Vespasian was the first one officially to take the title of emperor. His son Titus definitively quelled the Jewish revolt of 70 AD, which led to the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem and to the expulsion of Jews from Palestine. Rome was at the height of its power.
310 years later, the twins Benedict and Scholastica were born in Norcia. Benedict created the eponymous monastic order that was to play a fundamental role in the history of Europe. The Roman Catholic church considers him to be the main patron saint of Europe. The Benedictines, following the rule of “ora et labora” (pray and work), taught the populations that had survived the barbarian invasions to cultivate the fields, terrace the mountains, and rear what had survived the raiding and destruction following the traumatic end of the Roman Empire, which started on 31 December of 406 AD.