If you love snow and want a worthy alternative to skis, we suggest an increasingly popular sport: the "ciaspolata". It is a hiking experience on snowshoes, used to walk on cold and slippery surfaces safely. Snowshoe hiking is a sport that recalls bygone days, when snowshoes were the only means available to move around in winter.
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 metres 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 organised at night or just as dusk settles: you will always remember the colours of the sun on the snow as it sets in one of the most enchanting landscapes in Italy.
Returning from the excursion, make the most of one of the lodges in the area, where you can warm yourself with a tasty bowl of soup made with local products (the Piana di Castelluccio is famous for its lentils and legumes).
Going around these locations with snowshoes "forces" you to walk slowly and fully savour 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.