Norcia
Norcia
Norcia - Photo: Stephen G. Graham

Norcia

Norcia

Norcia is a small town in the east of the province of Perugia, in the cental region of Umbria. At just over 600 metres above sea level, it lies in the narrow river valley known as the Valnerina, a narrow valley carved by the river Nera and its tributaries. It is surrounded by the wooded slopes of the Sibillini mountains and national park. Surprisingly for a hilltop town in this type of location, it lies on a wide, fairly flat plain.

Norcia
Photo: Leonardo Passero
The town of Norcia and the surrounding area is known for its fresh, clean air and spectacular scenery, making it a base for mountaineering and hiking. In late spring it becomes the backdrop for a particular natural phenomenon called Fioritura.

Norcia
The Fioritura is mass flowering of dozens of different floral species that give rise to a multicolored carpet covering the whole valley.

Norcia
Town walls - Photo: Hans Peter Schaefer
The old historic town is totally enclosed by a complete circuit of walls that have survived intact from the 14th century, inspite of the area being prone to frequent earthquakes. These walls have remained standing and intact through many earthquakes, including several of which were devastating, 1763, 1859, 1979 and 1859. After the earthquake on the 22nd August 1859 the area was forbidden, by the Papal States, to build any structure higher than three storeys and they had to abide by stringent building regulations.

Norcia
However, in 2016, two earthquakes in quick succession caused major damage to the town and surrounding areas. The first, with a magnitude 6.2 on the 24th August, caused some major structural damage. The second, a magnitude 6.5 on the 30th October, hit the centre of Norcia causing many historic buildings, including the Basilica of St. Benedict, to be destroyed.

Norcia
Piazza San Benedetto - Photo: Hans Peter Schaefer
The Piazza San Benedetto is the heart of the town, its edges lined by the major buildings of interest, many of which, unfortunately, were badly damaged in the earthquakes in 2016. They include:

The Basilica di San Benedetto
The original building had a splendid Gothic faced with a rose window and freizes of the four evangelists. All but this facade, the apse and the transept collapsed.

La Castellina
A fortified residence housing the prefecture and the pontifical governors. It was built in 1554 on a design by Vignola.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Argentea
This cathedral was built in 1554 on the site of a parish church that had been destroyed to make room for the Castellina. The roof and part of the facade collapsed in 2016.

Norcia
Castellina - Photo: Pietro Foglietti
Other than tourism, due to its natural beauty and excellent hiking and mountaineering landscape, Norcia is also well known for its wild boar hunting. The meat from these wild boar and the local naturally reared pigs is turned into an array of cold meats and salami. One of the most famous products is Prosciutto di Norcia, awarded with the IGP brand in 1998, along with 'Corallina di Norcia', a salami consisting of three parts of pork and one part hard fat. The term 'norcineria' has been created to describe the delicatessen selling all of the meats, sausages and salami produced in this area.

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Flag of Umbria
Location of Umbria
Provinces of Umbria
  • Comunes of Umbria
    • Perugia
      • Assisi
        Bastia Umbra
        Bettona
        Bevagna
        Campello sul Clitunno
        Cannara
        Cascia
        Castel Ritaldi
        Castiglione del Lago
        Cerreto di Spoleto
        Citerna
        Città della Pieve
        Città di Castello
        Collazzone
        Corciano
        Costacciaro
        Deruta
        Foligno
        Fossato di Vico
        Fratta Todina
        Giano dell’Umbria
        Gualdo Cattaneo
        Gualdo Tadino
        Gubbio
        Lisciano Niccone
        Magione
        Marsciano
        Massa Martana
        Monte Castello di Vibio
        Monte Santa Maria Tiberina
        Montefalco
        Monteleone di Spoleto
        Montone
        Nocera Umbra
        Norcia
        Paciano
        Panicale
        Passignano sul Trasimeno
        Perugia
        Piegaro
        Pietralunga
        Poggiodomo
        Preci
        San Giustino
        Sant’Anatolia di Narco
        Scheggia e Pascelupo
        Scheggino
        Sellano
        Sigillo
        Spello
        Spoleto
        Todi
        Torgiano
        Trevi
        Tuoro sul Trasimeno
        Umbertide
        Valfabbrica
        Vallo di Nera
        Valtopina

    • Terni
      • Acquasparta
        Allerona
        Alviano
        Amelia
        Arrone
        Attigliano
        Avigliano Umbro
        Baschi
        Calvi dell’Umbria
        Castel Giorgio
        Castel Viscardo
        Fabro
        Ferentillo
        Ficulle
        Giove
        Guardea
        Lugnano in Teverina
        Montecastrilli
        Montecchio
        Montefranco
        Montegabbione
        Monteleone d’Orvieto
        Narni
        Orvieto
        Otricoli
        Parrano
        Penna in Teverina
        Polino
        Porano
        San Gemini
        San Venanzo
        Stroncone
        Terni

Hotels in Umbria
UmbriaWEATHER
Umbria Climate (Perugia)
  High Low Sun Rain
Jan 15 8 4 63
Feb 15 8 4 52
Mar 17 9 5 43
Apr 19 11 6 31
May 24 15 7 17
Jun 28 18 9 9
Jul 31 22 10 6
Aug 31 22 9 9
Sep 28 19 7 29
Oct 24 16 6 53
Nov 20 12 4 63
Dec 17 10 4 59
Table Key:
High - Average monthly high temperatures
Low - Average monthly low temperatures
Sun - Average hours of sunshine per day
Rain - Average monthly rainfall in mm
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