Castelluccio And The Piano Grande 2014 – A Photo Journal
Every year we try and head over to Castelluccio where the famous lentils of Umbria are grown. One of the most famous centerpieces of the area is the Piano Grande, a huge 16 square kilometer plain surrounded by the barren Sibillini mountain range that once was a glacier lake. This entire area falls in the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, one of the most recently established Italian national parks, which is divided between Le Marche and Umbria. The Piano Grande attracts tourists from across the globe every spring and summer when the plains are covered in a breathtaking abundance of wildflowers called the fioritura. This area is also responsible for growing Umbria’s famous lentils, Lenticchie di Castelluccio, which are named for the small village that overlooks the plains.
It is always as lottery when you visit the Piano Grande to see the wildflowers as so many weather factors affect when they are in full bloom. This past winter and spring were very cool and rainy here in Umbria so we waited an additional week before we made the trip but unfortunately we were still too early. The flowers were not yet in full bloom, and in fact we later learned the wildflowers were not in full bloom until the second week of July. Despite missing the full magnificence of the fioritura, there were enough flowers to create a colorful background for our photos, and the Sibillini mountain range is always awe inspiring no matter what the season.
Castelluccio, Piano Grande & the Sibillini Mountains 2013
Fioritura al Piano Grande 2012
The Splendor of Piano Grande & The Sibillini Mountains 2009
Pian Piccolo, or Small Plain Looking Towards Castelluccio
Views From Castelluccio
Store Selling Cured Meats, Dried Beans & Lentils In Castelluccio
Castelluccio As Viewed From Piano Grande
The magestic Sibillini Mountains
These photos take my breath away, what a diverse and beautiful country Italy is.
I have a friend who stayed in Castelluccio to paint the piano grande. She was totally devastated by the earthquake and destruction of the town. Her friends’ home was farther away and lower and so was spared. She is on her way back in a couple of days (October 2017) taking money that she raised from an art sale close to Vancouver, British Columbia. She sent me photos of the poppies, daisies and cornflowers that she painted and I saved them. When I saw the one above, it was like looking at one of her paintings.
It is a gorgeous place when the wild flowers are in full bloom!