Updated: Feb 23, 2021
Choose your next adventure and stay at Villa Gelso in The National Park. Hit the Link HERE
The Monti Sibillini National Park occupies a large part of Le Marche designated as a protected area. It offers astonishing landscapes with important flora and fauna. Its highest peak, Monte Vettore, reaches 8,132 ft above sea level. (2476 m)
Here along this path from Campolungo at the base of Monte Amandola we caught glimpses of a pair of golden eagles. So exciting to finally see them. The area is actually full of buzzards, or poiana, in Italian, and we are used to seeing them, but these eagles were much bigger, with a huge wingspan. Hiking enthusiasts are spoilt for choice for long walks through the woods and mountains. You can join an organised trek, or go it alone by downloading an itinerary from the National park website - also Alltrails
The Monti Sibillini Mountains and Mount Sibilla is named after a legendary prophetess named Sibyl. Knights and other petitioners from across Europe made the arduous journey to her remote cave, the story goes, in hopes of gaining a few precious pearls of wisdom. Evocative place names throughout the mountains summon the magic of this wilderness, once believed to be a haunt of witches and sorcerers. Maybe this is why they are so unspoilt, for decades they were left undisturbed. Except for a sunny Sunday from 10 or 11am, you can be alone, without seeing many people at all, particularly if you rise early, and catch one of the spectacular sunrises here.
Another favourite hike and a MUST when you visit, is the path along the beautiful Gola dell'Infernaccio near Montefortino. The Gola runs alongside the river with gorgeous small waterfalls, boulders and inspiring secret places. Once you have passed the gorge it opens the way to several hiking routes, such as the hidden waterfall, the source of the Tenna river (Capotenna) and the Hermitage of San Leonardo. This is a path that winds up through beautiful woodlands and finally opens up at the small church rebuilt by the Capuchin friar Padre Pietro, who, starting from the 1970s, undertook the renovation work alone and with inadequate equipment. “San Leonardo” sits on the original foundations of the first Cappuccian Priory. Be sure to start out as early as you can as this is a popular place to visit in summer...we are normally returning 10.30 /11am when the majority of hikers are starting out.
The Hermitage of San Leonardo
Another bonus of an early start is that it's now perfect timing to have a lovely pasta dish by the river at the Madonna dell' Ambro nearby. The church is the most ancient place of worship dedicated to the Madonna in the Marche Region, and there are the welcoming sight of bars and cafes here with lots of parking. Don't miss this restaurant alongside the river Osteria del Nonno Pieroni Paola.
After lunch take another short walk along the river on the church side, to find more little waterfalls, and a statue of the Madonna, a lovely place to appreciate nature and watch the water.
After all the activity, discovery, wonderful views and a great lunch, chill out with a book by the pool for the afternoon at Villa Gelso. Ready to plan for another adventure tomorrow.