The Valnerina is a valley that originates near the Sibillini Mountains in the Marche region and stretches between the provinces of Perugia, Terni, Macerata and Rieti. Located in central Italy, the Valnerina is characterized by an unspoiled natural landscape rich in forests, rivers and lakes. The area is also known for its many medieval villages such as Cascia, Norcia, Arrone, Ferentillo, Visso, Cerreto di Spoleto, Leonessa and many others.
A splendid territory rich in nature, history, folk traditions and gastronomy, a green valley that takes its name from the very river that runs through it: the Nera.
Today, the Valnerina is a place of great natural beauty, appreciated by both Italians and foreign tourists. Among the main places of interest are the Abbey of St. Felice and Mauro in Sant'Anatolia di Narco, the Abbey of St. Eutizio in Preci, the Sanctuary of St. Rita in Cascia, the Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, the Hermitage of the Madonna della Stella in Cerreto di Spoleto and all the places of worship in Poggiodomo, Vallo di Nera, Scheggino and Monteleone di Spoleto; but also must-see and must-visit places such as the Chiavano and Castelluccio plateaus, Mount Carrier Mount Patino, the Nature Reserve of Mounts Aspra and Coscerno, the Sibillini Mountains National Park, and the Oblita Valley are just a few of the Valnerina's valuable Panoramic Points and Places of Nature.
Due to its strategic location, the Valnerina offers visitors a wide range of activities, such as mountain hiking, forest walks, rafting, canyoning and more. In addition, the Valnerina is famous for its gastronomy, with typical dishes such as Norcia truffles and Castelluccio pecorino cheese.
This wonderful area is home to some of the most beautiful villages in Italy, including Arrone, Cascia, Castelsantangelo sul Nera, Cerreto di Spoleto, Scheggino, Sellano and Vallo di Nera.
Arrone, in the province of Terni, maintains intact its urban structure of the ancient medieval fortified village. Here you can admire, in addition to the remains of the castle, the Church of St. John the Baptist, in which there are numerous 15th-century frescoes of the Umbrian school. Near the village, however, you can immerse yourself in the beautiful area of the Nera River Park, called "the water park."
The village of Cascia is famous for being a religious center, full of mysticism and spirituality, linked to the devotion of Santa Rita. The historic center is rich in monuments of great artistic interest, such as the Church of St. Francis, in Gothic style with a beautiful rose window and ogival doorway, the Sanctuary of St. Rita of Cascia, the Church of St. Anthony Abbot of the ancient Benedictine complex, rebuilt in the late 15th century, renovated and greatly modified in 1707.
Castelsantangelo sul Nera is a medieval village located in the initial part of the Valnerina, in the province of Macerata. A small town nestled in the nature of the Monti Sibillini National Park.
Cerreto di Spoleto is an ancient medieval village known as the "village of the Charlatans". In the historic center of the town, it is possible to admire sections of medieval walls, such as the Civic Tower, and interesting places of worship, such as the former monastery of St. James, currently home to the Municipal Historical Archives and Cedrav (Center for documentation and anthropological research in the Valnerina and the Umbrian Apennine ridge). Also worth a visit are the Renaissance-style church of Santa Maria De Libera and, in the highest part of the village, the church of Santa Maria Annunziata dating from 1517.
Scheggino is a small medieval village in the heart of the Valnerina. Rising around a castle and entirely traversed by an artificial canal, the village is located in an area that offers a unique landscape. A few kilometers from Scheggino, the splendid Valcasana springs are an example of the spectacle that can be observed in this area, a truly unique landscape that has become an ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts.
The village of Sellano constitutes one of the most typical places of the Valnerina. In the historic center stand out important artistic buildings such as the Town Hall and the church of San Francesco, known as Madonna della Croce.
All the villages found in this characteristic area offer an unforgettable experience, thanks to their architectural features, their thousand-year history and their magical atmosphere. If you are planning a trip to Valnerina, be sure to visit at least one of these villages to discover the beauty of this land.
The Valnerina because of its geographical conformation, its territory and its climate is the natural home of outdoor sports in all seasons of the year. Guided tours, horseback riding, canyoning, North Walking and mountain biking, and quad biking are just some of the outdoor activities that can be enjoyed. A variety of activities are offered in each municipality.
Valnerina is an Italian region rich in history, culture and traditions. Every year, numerous events take place in each of its villages, attracting visitors from all over Italy. History, religion and traditions come together give life to evocative moments full of charm.
In Cascia unmissable on May 22 is the Feast of Saint Rita and the Saffron Exhibition Market in late October. Between late May and mid-July, in Norcia you can miss the Flowering of Castelluccio, and from late February until early March the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Nero di Norcia.
Other events held in the area include the Sagra del Fungo (Mushroom Festival) in Borgo Cerreto di Spoleto, a festival featuring tasty porcini mushroom dishes and roast pork knuckle.
The Living Nativity Scenes and the Pane Prosciutto e Fantasia festival in Preci, Fior di cacio di Vallo di Nera, the Sagra del Farro e i Favoni di Monteleone di Spoleto, and the Mostra del Florovivaismo di Sant'Anatolia di Narco, the Feast of the Charlatan in Cerreto di Spoleto, the Feast of Our Lady of the Star in Poggiodomo, and the Feast of the Black Diamond in Scheggino are just a few of the many celebrations, festivities and holidays that enliven the Valnerina every weekend.
The Valnerina boasts numerous high quality food products recognized nationally and internationally including the I.G.P. ham of Norcia, the D.O.P. spelt of Monteleone di Spoleto, the I.G.P. lentil of Castelluccio di Norcia, the purest saffron of Cascia, the prized Black Truffle of Norcia, the Fario trout of the Nera river, the Cicerchia and Roveja of Civita di Cascia today a Slowfood presidium, the I.G.P. and D.O.P. goat and sheep cheeses, pork products in general including salami, sausages and loins. All these carefully controlled and certified delicacies are an expression of an unaltered and genuine territory. The products expertly combined and prepared are offered in restaurants and trattorias according to the typical recipes of the tradition and culture of the Valnerina.