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MY TOURS » Norcia & Castelluccio

Norcia is well worth a visit for additional reasons. Its mountain air and broad streets make for a pleasurable excursion. Norcia is surrounded by the Sybilline mountains but the ancient centre of Norcia is almost flat, which is relatively unusual among the towns of Umbria, and is completely enclosed by a full circuit of walls that has survived intact from the 14 C. This makes Norcia, which is quite small, an easy and relaxing town for a stroll around the main sights.

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Norcia is a charming town in the high country of Umbria, that is probably most famous in modern times for its pork products. Norcia was always well-known for hunting, especially for wild boar, and its production of sausages, capocollo, salumi and hams made from wild boar and domestic swine has given a word to the Italian language - norcineria - a pork butcher's shop.

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Other important ingredients of local cuisine are the black truffle, available November to March, and the lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia. Pork sausages, black truffles, cheese and the lentils are the basic ingredients of Norcia's authentic and savoury local cuisine. Be sure to try a plate of sausages and lentils while you're there.
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Norcia lentils, and in particular the lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia, are the most famous and probably also the best in Italy. Some of the characteristics make them unique are their delicacy, a diameter of scarcely two mm. and their long storage capability. Norcia lentils grow in the high plains of Castelluccio di Norcia at about 4,500 ft inside Monti Sibillini National Park, located between the Marche and Umbria. The fields are subject to three-year rotation, lentils being rotated with one year of wheat and one of pasture. Norcia lentils are often striped and vary in colour from speckled green through faded yellow to light brown. The lentils are sown in Spring and then harvested in July and August. The climate and soil of Umbria contribute to their thin skin and soft consistency, allowing them to be cooked without having to be soaked first.

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JULY FLOWERING IN CASTELLUCCIO DI NORCIA
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The Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Nero di Norcia (Norcia Truffle Fair)
mostra mercato tartufo nero a norcia
This fair takes place in February, with the stalls almost totally dedicated to the truffle. The idea is to buy your truffles within a day or two of their having been in the ground and to eat them within another two days. Truffles rapidly lose their aroma once they have been dug up.

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For more detailed information about the tours in and around Norcia, please send an e-mail to info@umbriaintour.it