National park of Sibillini Mountains
Hiking with Francesco Capozucca
A strong attachment to his home and a passion for the environment led Francesco to explore the beauty of the untouched nature near Norcia and in the Monti Sibillini National Park since he was a child, when he used to look for mushrooms with his father. Now he has turned his passion into a real job. ‘Hiking along the paths, nature lovers are enchanted by the charm and magical atmosphere that the Sibillini Mountains evoke,’ says Francesco. ‘Anyone, at any age, can become a hiker. Even those who are not trained and just want to take a quiet walk in a fairytale world… all they need to know is which are the right paths!’ The Pantani near Accumoli or the hills that frame the Pian Grande and Pian Piccolo near Castelluccio, for example, offer breathtaking views and unimaginable feelings. Those who are more adventurous and accustomed to walking, on the other hand, can venture over the highest ridges, above 2000 meters, to Monte Vettore, the highest peak with its 2476 meters; Palazzo Borghese, the beautiful summit of Monte Sibilla; and Monte Bove where ‘if you know where to look, you can always meet some of the beautiful Apennine chamois that live there,’ recalls Francesco. And the Sibillini Mountains retain their charm in every season. Even in winter it is possible to take beautiful walks, using snowshoes when the snow falls to reach a fairy tale kingdom. ‘The interest for winter hiking is constantly growing,’ says Francesco. ‘People are curious about it, even when it comes to proposals that sound ‘extreme’ such as walks from sunset to nightfall in which, after enjoying the colours of dusk, you walk through woods and clearings among thousands of footprints from wild animals under a blanket of stars, or in the moonlight, and you discover that stars don’t fall only in August.’ Francesco spends much of his life in the discovery of the secrets that the Sibillini Mountains reveal him so that he can share them with anyone who follows him on his adventures.