Famous for its truffles, Norcia is divided into districts (guaite) and with an urban fabric of the seventeenth-nineteenth century, Norcia boasts a wide historical-artistic heritage.
From a geographical and naturalistic point of view, Norcia is located at the junction of two very different but contiguous landscapes: Valnerina, the district of the narrow river valley dug by the Nera river and its tributaries, with its steep mountain slopes covered with deciduous vegetation, and the Sibillini Mountains, the mountainous area of tectonic origin characterized by peaks able to reach and exceed 2000 meters in height, with grassy slopes or covered by beech forests, rounded by the glacial action and wind, within the which open wide karst plateaus exploited for grazing cattle and flocks and rich in mountain flower species including the artemisia, the anemone, the gentian and the martagon lily.
The woods surrounding the valley are populated by roe deer, wildcat and squirrel, while in recent years, thanks to restocking works, the wild boar has been able to make its reappearance. In the high mountain beech-woods some small flocks of Apennine wolf are reported, but they live in difficult balance with the human presence linked above all to sheep farming, widely practiced in the area. Rare but present the golden eagle, while the species of the peregrine falcon, the woodpecker and the woodpecker are relatively frequent.
In the waters of Lake Pilato, a small lake with variable levels, fed by snow melting, located in a glacial basin near the top of Monte Vettore, lives an endemic species of crustacean: the Chirocefalo del Marchesoni.
The plateau of Castelluccio di Norcia to the north. On the right, Monte Vettore and the Sibillini Mountains
The karstic phenomena are very frequent and near the urban center, close to the city walls, give rise to the resurgences locally called marcite, or areas in which water, collected and redistributed through a rational system of channels, floods continuously and controlled for long periods of the year large areas of land, allowing the collection of abundant hay.
In the high mountains the phenomenon is manifested by the presence of numerous sinkholes which, above all in the southern part of the Castelluccio plateau, are clearly visible by extension and morphology.
The Castelluccio plateau consists of a system of several glacial basins emptied into a geological era following a series of tectonic upheavals. The plateau develops on a North-South directive for a total length of about 20 km and takes its name from the small town that occupies one of its marginal limestone summits. The Pian Grande represents the most extensive plateau (about 15 square km): to it are added minor plateaus (Pian Piccolo, Pian Perduto, Quarto San Lorenzo and the Pian dei Pantani). In late spring the plateau is the scene of a particular natural phenomenon called Flowering and due precisely to the contemporary flowering of dozens of different floral species that give rise to a multicolored carpet that covers the whole valley.