Monti Sibillini is the stuff of myths and legends, no wonder though as its mysterious beauty would get anyone’s imagination going. I had the opportunity to explore it while riding a donkey
Not only does Monti Sibillini have the distinction of being Umbria’s only national park. Mount Sibilla is known for its astonishing views and magical properties. Legend has it that Mount Sibillini was named after a famous prophetess.
Sibilla lived in a cave high in the mountain. During the middle ages, she was sought out by knights going into battle for her fortune-telling abilities.
It was named after the mysterious prophetess, Sibilla who lived in a cave high. During the middle ages, she was sought out by knights going into battle for her fortune-telling abilities.
Other versions of the legend say that the cave in which Sibilla lived was an entryway into a magnificent kingdom under the mountain range of dramatic landscape.
Sibilla is said to be the queen of the kingdom. Whichever story it is, one thing is true, Sibilla has long passed on but her legend remains.
Related Reading: Perugia, Umbria: A City of Charm, Chocolate and Scandal
Donkey Riding: The Best Way To Explore
I explored and experienced the sweeping views of Monti Sibillini on the back of a donkey named Nina. Before exploring the Piano Grande Plateau in Monti Sibillini by donkey, you choose your donkey. This was easy. Nina’s confidence radiated out of us and she gladly posed for photos.
Related Reading: Alta Via 1 Hiking Tour in Dolomites Italy Entire, North or South Route
Of course, it wasn’t all smooth going. Roberto from La Mulattiera informed us that donkeys have an ever-changing social structure. Nina was the leader that day, but she was also hungry, stopping to eat every few meters, then quickening her pace to pull out in front again to ensure she was in the lead.
It is safe to say she justly proved why donkeys are considered to be cantankerous. I loved her anyway, but maybe that’s because I didn’t have the difficult job of trying to lead her as Nathalie did from @perfectbotique.
Either way, I felt like I was on a pilgrimage in search of the mystical powers that Monti Sibillini is famous for.
Related Reading: Marmore’s Falls: World’s Tallest Man Made Waterfall
Then we were off for a view of what this magical place looks like – from the back of a donkey
Related Reading: Cinque Terre & Beyond Hiking Tour in Italy
Related Reading: 5 Travel Tips You Need to Know Before Visiting Cinque Terre
We didn’t encounter any ancient prophetess on our journey. But it was magical nonetheless and I plan to return to search for Sibilli, or at least the remains of her mystical powers. Perhaps Nina will join me.
Know Before You Go Donkey Riding in Monti Sibillini National Park:
- Book in advance
- Bring a hat and gloves, it can be windy
- Trips range from a couple of hours, a day trip to multi-day expeditions
- Donkey riding is family-friendly and children as young as six can do it (sometimes younger, but check with Roberto before you go)
- Piano Grande Plateau is located just 40km from Norcia
- Donkey riding is surprisingly comfortable – although you will be sore for about 5 minutes upon dismounting
- It’s more difficult than it looks to take photos from the back of a donkey!
The Sibillini National Park protects the wildlife and medieval villages in this beautiful stretch of the Apennine Mountains of Le Marche and Umbria. Popular activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking are welcomed here. Enjoy breathtaking colors, flowers, and picturesque views as you explore the ancient villages or nearby towns.
Accommodation Near Monti Sibillini
I stayed at the Agri-Hotel Ristorante Hermitage in Norcia while on my trip and loved it.
The Relais & Chateaux Palazzo Seneca is also a great option and it has a 9.5/10 rating. The hotel is housed in a 16th-century palace. The hotel even has a very authentic library. Enjoy live jazz music in the lounge and exquisite meals in the restaurant.
Other Tours Near Monti Sibillini
Enjoy a tour of the Sibillini Mountains and the towns of Cascia and Norcia. You will also have the opportunity to stop and taste some local wines and other produce. This tour is perfect if you are staying in Assissi which is the most popular town in the region.
Enjoy a hiking tour that will take you through Monti Sibillini. Explore Lake Pilato a glacial lake that has many legends and myths attached to its history. Expanded your tour to include a hike up to Mt. Vitorro which is the highest peak in Sibillini.
Related Reading: How to Get to Cinque Terre
After visiting Sibillini I can understand why it has been the subject of myths and legends that have lasted till now. I really had fun on this trip and plan on visiting again.
Thank you to Roberto and La Mulattiera for our donkey riding experience and introduction to Nina and the piano Grande Plateau in Monti Sibillini National Park.