Discover Umbria in a very different way: Snowshoe hiking in the Sibillini Mountains.
If you love snow and want a worthy alternative to skis, we suggest an increasingly popular sport: the “ciaspolata” or, snowshoeing.
The most suitable area in Umbria to try out this experience is the area of Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini near Castelluccio di Norcia. The Piana di Castelluccio, beautiful and enchanting not only during the ‘fiorita’ (flowering) in summer, is frequently covered with snow (the plain is at circa 1350 meters above sea level) as is the adjacent Monte Vettore. The temperatures in winter are very cold and can even reach -30 degrees centigrade. These ideal conditions ensure there are heavy snowfalls, creating fantastic expanses suitable for snowshoe hiking. In this area you can choose between various trails and snowshoe hiking experiences, which will allow you to discover corners of the plain, or follow specific circular routes that surround the mountains.
You can choose whether to dedicate yourself to the pian Piccolo, from where you can see the village of Castelluccio and discover the beautiful woods that surround it, or whether to climb the trails along Vettore, which are more difficult with a greater difference in altitude. Alternatively, why not try one of the excursions organized at night or just as dusk settles: you will always remember the colors of the sun on the snow as it sets in one of the most enchanting landscapes in Italy.
We also suggest a snowshoe hike up to the Pantani di Accumoli. The trail starts at the parking lot of the Genziana Refuge, with your back to Mount Carrier. You walk towards Monte Signori up to the Pantani di Accumoli where the sky meets the earth in the small lakes hidden in a valley immersed in the snow. The Pantani di Accumoli are lakes of glacial origin located on the border between the Sibillini Mountains and the Monti della Laga, nestled in a small valley surrounded by pastures and panoramic landscapes.
Another choice is a walk in the Colfiorito di Foligno swamp near Perugia. It is a protected natural area and the smallest regional park in Umbria. The Piani di Colfiorito, or Plestine Plateaus, are made up of seven karst basins, occupied in distant times by lakes. The Palude di Colfiorito is currently the only area of the highlands where the water remains all year round. It is the reference point for a large number of birds, which build their nests in the reeds, reproduce and feed. The trail is of medium difficulty, starting from the swallow hole of the Colfiorito swamp. It will lead you to reach the CAI path 308, climbing and skirting the Monte Orve, up to the pass of the hamlet of Annifo.
Or, you can hike up Monte Terminillo, on the border between Umbria and the province of Rieti. The hike will take place in one of the most beautiful and uncontaminated places in Terminillo, from the Sebastiani Refuge to the Vallonina amphitheater. The walk will lead to the Sebastiani refuge, from where you can admire the highest peaks of the area: Mount Elefante, the valley of the Sun, the three peaks of Terminillo, the east wall. You can then continue up to the Chiaretti saddle to admire the walls of Terminillo from below and from very close, to then descend towards Vallonina, skirting Monte Porcini.
Going around these locations with snowshoes “forces” you to walk slowly and fully savor every detail of the experience: the breath-taking scenery, the silence that surrounds you, the softness of the snow under your feet. These are all the hallmarks of a unique and unforgettable experience.