The Apennine Mountains, Le Marche, Italy
The Monti Sibillini National Park, was established in 1993 to protect the incredible wildlife and medieval villages in the Sibillini Mountains, a beautiful stretch of the Apennine Mountains to the South West of Le Marche.
The Sibillini Mountains are dissected by paths that take you along rivers, past stunning waterfalls and caves, through gorges and up the many peaks that include ten over 2000m.
Make sure you include a visit to one of the many great Refuges or Rifugii that serve up superb food using produce from within the park
The Sibillini National Park also has information centres where you can find out more about the area’s tracks and trails, flora and the fauna and abbeys and monasteries. Alternatively take a quick glance at our Sibillini Hiking starting points map; which shows where many of the best walks start and finish. We have pages dedicated to ramblers who want an independent walking holidays and also a page for guided hiking.
The parco nazionale Sibillini tourist website has a wealth of information on the area and the main events and places of interest. Alternatively, you can purchase the detailed topographical map of the area, great for Italy walking holidays and cycling holidays. Buy this online or at local Tabacchi when you arrive.
The Monti Sibillini National Park terrain
The Monti Sibillini Parco nazionale includes ten mountains over 2,000m. These include include the highest Monte. Vettore (2,476m), home to glacial Lake Logo Pilato.
The main spine of the Eastern Apennine Sibillini Mountains has some impressive gorges, the sources of the main river valleys of the Aso, the Tenna, and the Ambro. Of these, the gorge Golla dell’ Infernaccio is extraordinarily beautiful, is a must see for any holiday maker.
It is still home to Padre Pietro a Cappuccian monk who lives a hermit like existence rebuilding his church “San Leonardo” that sits on the original foundations of the first Cappuccian Priory.
Glorious Lake Fiastra & the Gola Del’Fiastrone
No family holiday to Le Marche would be complete without a visit to Lake Fiastra with its acquamarine water, lovely beaches, rental boats, tavernas and pizzerias.
Drive up above the town to the village of Fiastra for great views from the castle and the delicious food at Rifugio Il Trebbio. Also the gorge below the dam Gola del Fiastrone is impressive. Try to take the detour to Lame Rosse where you can visit red sandstone pinnacles that teeter above you like something from the Arizona desert.
Appenine Mountain Flora
For the avid botanists or wild flower lovers amongst you, on the West is the enormous plateau of Castelluccio and the Piano Grande and up above Sarnano near Sassotetto is the Piano di Ragnolo. Both are home to jaw dropping arrays of flora during the Spring and Summer months.
We have many botanists who visit the Marche area for the 1,800 floral species in the Sibillini National Park, which include the Apennine edelweiss, the moss campion, the bearberry, Alpine Pasque-flower, the martagon lily, and a number of very rare orchids.
Monti Sibillini National Park wildlife
The mammals in the Sibillini Mountains National Park include wolves, wild cats, pine martens, porcupines, snow voles (which keep ruining our lawns!), and roe deers.
For the bird watcher, the birder, twitcher or the ornithologist there are more than 150 kinds of birds, such as the golden eagle, the goshawk, the sparrow hawk, the rock partridge, the peregrine, the eagle owl, the wall creeper, the snow finch, and the chough.
Activities in the Sibillini National Park
The Le Marche Sibillini Mountains offer a really dramatic landscape, with a highest peak of 2500metres, flower filled plateaux and the rolling hills below, offer an ideal location for Appenine Mountains walking holidays, cycling holidays, bird watching, photography, drawing and painting.
The Sibillini National Park tourist office run Sibillini tours and treks throughout the spring, summer and autumn months. We also have our own walking and cycling itineraries, the village of sarnano has 10 circular Le Marche walks or MTB trails available on line or you can visit the Club Alpini site for a range of Itineraries (just put them through google translate if you canna speeka da lingo).
Many visitors to the Villa come on walking hiking holidays, or cycling holidays as we are only 1km from the national park and there is fantastic trekking from the doorstep and we supply a range of detailed itineraries. There is also Parascending, white water rafting and extreme sports on offer nearby, two of Italy’s most stunning gorge walks and mountain lakes with beaches and trattorias.
Why are they called the Sibillini Mountains
Well, the Sibillini Mountains, in the central Italian Appennines were named after a Sibyl, a mysterious prophetess or witch. She, allegedly, reacted badly to being informed that Mary and not she would not be mother of God. Her reaction provoked God to order her to live in a Sibillini mountain cave with devils, until judgement Day.
Sibillini National Park Places of importance
The Monti Sibillini National Park has some important architecture, including a number of impressive churches, monasteries and abbeys, castles and fortresses.
These include the church of Saints Vincenzo and Anastasio at Amandola, the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Ambro just down from Amandola at Montefortino, the Abbey of Saint Eutizio at Preci, Santa Maria di Rio Sacro at Acquacanina, the Hermitage of the Grotta dei Frati at Cessapalombo, and the Sanctuary of San Liberato between San Ginesio and Sarnano.
There is also Santa Maria in Casalicchio at Montemonaco, the aforementioned San Leonardo Priora at Golla dell’Infernaccio (Montemonaco), The abbey of Piobbico at Sarnano, the Sanctuary of Macereto at Visso, and Santa Maria in Pantano at Montegallo between Amandola and Communanza.