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Nature & Wildlife: Sibillini Mountains

There is such a wealth of choice when it comes to planning a day excursion for nature lovers that it is difficult to choose which ones to recommend, but a destination which stands out as a must-see- and return to time and time again - is the Sibillini mountains.


They are just a stone’s throw away and cover 70,000 square metres, so there are vast areas with glorious lakes where you can swim in the pure, cool water or sunbathe on the shore, shady forest paths to cycle or wander through, and mountain peaks to climb. In the summer, a trip up into the Sibillini can be a blessed relief from the heat and crowds attracted by the many sandy beaches on the coast.

This is a protected national park, and is part of the Apennine mountain range, with a total of 20 peaks of more than 2,000 metres, dominated by Mount Vettore (2,476 m.). You can be sure of experiencing the unspoilt tranquillity of the indigenous primeval forest and mountain environment.  The often rugged mountainsides are interspersed with rich flower filled grassy plains, where a diversity of wildlife thrive, from porcupines to wildcats. As well as the spectacular views and natural glories of flora and fauna there is also a rich and mysterious history.


From ancient times this area has been considered to have magical properties, and in medieval times witches, necromancers and magicians used to meet up here – particularly on the shores of the lake Lago de Pilato (named after Pontius Pilate, who is said to have been dragged here by oxen and drowned in the lake).


There are many planned walking routes, starting from the gentle slopes of the lowlands and rising steeply through dense forest, to emerge from the shade into glorious sun-drenched alpine scenery, complete with snow-capped mountains. You can climb down into the Gorge of Hell, (La Gola dell’infernaccio) where butterflies flutter around bubbling springs, and visit the cave of the Sibyl, where the ancient mythical prophetess is said to have hidden after fleeing from the underworld. The mountain range is named after her.


In the surrounding area there are many pretty, unspoilt, medieval villages perched on top of hills and with stupendous vistas of mountain and forest and the deep blue of the Adriatic in the distance. The perfect way to crown a day’s hiking in the mountains is to enjoy a leisurely dinner of wonderful local dishes and wine on the terrace of a local restaurant.

Please explore the Sibillini Mountains using the links below:


Sibillini Mountains


Monte Vettore (Click here for map)

Monte Vettore is one of the highest peaks in the Sibillini Mountains, located in the region of Le Marche, Italy. It stands at an elevation of 2,476 meters (8,123 feet) and is known for its majestic beauty and panoramic views.

Monte Vettore is part of the Monti Sibillini National Park, which is characterized by its rugged mountain terrain, deep valleys, and pristine landscapes. The mountain is a popular destination for hiking and mountaineering enthusiasts, offering various trails that cater to different skill levels.

The ascent to the summit of Monte Vettore can be challenging but rewarding. The trails pass through alpine meadows, dense forests, and rocky slopes, providing an opportunity to observe the rich biodiversity of the region. Along the way, hikers can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. At the top of Monte Vettore, weather conditions permitting, visitors are rewarded with panoramic 

views that stretch as far as the Adriatic Sea on clear days. The summit offers a sense of awe and accomplishment, making it a memorable experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

It's important to note that, like any mountain, Monte Vettore should be approached with caution and proper preparation. It is advisable to check weather conditions, inform others about your plans, and have appropriate hiking gear and maps before embarking on any mountain adventure.

Monte Vettore is not only a challenging hiking destination but also a symbol of the natural beauty of the Sibillini Mountains and Le Marche region. It showcases the rugged charm of the Apennines and offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in the tranquility of the surrounding wilderness.

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The Lake of Fiastra (Click here for map)

The Lake of Fiastra, also known as Lago di Fiastra, is a beautiful artificial lake located in the province of Macerata, in the region of Le Marche, Italy. It is situated in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains and is part of the larger Monti Sibillini National Park.

The lake was created by the construction of a dam on the Fiastrone River. Its crystal-clear waters are surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills, and picturesque landscapes. The scenic beauty of the area attracts visitors who are seeking tranquility and a connection with nature.

The Lake of Fiastra offers a range of recreational activities. It's a popular spot for swimming, particularly during the summer months when the weather is warm. There are designated swimming areas with facilities for visitors. The lake is also ideal for boating and canoeing. Visitors can rent boats or canoes to explore the calm waters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Fishing is another popular activity, with the 

lake being home to various fish species. Surrounding the lake, you'll find picnic areas and walking trails, allowing visitors to have a picnic while enjoying the stunning natural scenery. There are also hiking routes that provide access to viewpoints and panoramic vistas of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Overall, the Lake of Fiastra is a serene and picturesque destination within the Monti Sibillini National Park, offering opportunities for outdoor activities, relaxation, and immersion in the natural beauty of Le Marche.

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Lake Pilato (Click here for map)

Lake Pilato, also known as Lago di Pilato, is a small glacial lake located in the Sibillini Mountains, within the region of Le Marche, Italy. The lake is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,950 meters and is surrounded by scenic mountain landscapes. It is named after the legendary Pontius Pilate, as there is a local legend that claims his body was thrown into this lake.

Lake Pilato is known for its unique natural phenomenon. During the spring and summer months, the water level of the lake rises due to the melting snow, and the lake becomes home to a small species of crustacean called "chirocefalo di Marchesoni." These crustaceans, similar to the ones found in the Laghi di Pilato in Abruzzo, give the lake a greenish appearance.

The lake and its surrounding area are part of the Monti Sibillini National Park, which offers opportunities for hiking, nature walks, and enjoying the alpine scenery. Visitors can explore the trails that lead to Lake Pilato and take in the beauty of the mountainous landscape.

It's important to note that access to Lake Pilato may be restricted during certain periods of the year to protect the delicate ecosystem. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the Monti Sibillini National Park for up-to-date information regarding access and any regulations in place.

Lake Pilato is a picturesque destination within the Sibillini Mountains, offering a peaceful and natural setting for those seeking outdoor activities and a chance to appreciate the beauty of Le Marche's mountainous landscapes. 

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Gola del Furlo (Click here for map)

The Gola del Furlo is a natural gorge located in the Le Marche region of Italy. It is a stunningly beautiful area characterized by steep rocky cliffs and a river flowing through it. The gorge is situated within the Furlo Natural Reserve, in the province of Pesaro e Urbino. The Gola del Furlo has been carved over centuries by the Candigliano River, creating a deep fissure in the rock. The area is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with a variety of unique flora and fauna. It is possible to spot different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the area. In addition to its natural beauty, the Gola del Furlo also holds historical significance. Along the road that passes through the gorge, you can find the remains of an ancient Roman tunnel, the "Galleria del Furlo," built in 76 AD during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. This tunnel, approximately 1 kilometre long, was part of the Via Flaminia, an important Roman road that connected Rome with the city of Rimini. Today, the Gola del Furlo is a popular tourist destination, attracting nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. There are several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the area and enjoy breathtaking views. It is also possible to go kayaking along the Candigliano River or simply relax in the pristine natural surroundings. In summary, the Gola del Furlo in Le Marche is a captivating location that offers a blend of natural beauty and historical significance. It is an ideal place for nature lovers, hikers, and those interested in immersing themselves in the history of ancient Rome.


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Gola dell'Infernacio in the Sibillini mountains (Click here for map)

The "Gola dell'Infernaccio" is a stunning natural gorge located in the Sibillini Mountains of central Italy, a protected area that spans the regions of Marche and Umbria. It is often referred to as the "Infernaccio Gorge" or the "Infernaccio Valley." The Sibillini Mountains, part of the larger Apennine mountain range, are known for their rugged beauty and picturesque landscapes.

The gorge is carved by the Tenna River, which flows through it, creating a breathtaking spectacle of steep cliffs, rocky walls, and lush vegetation. The name "Infernaccio" translates to "little hell" or "inferno," possibly referring to the dramatic and awe-inspiring nature of the gorge. Despite its name, the Gola dell'Infernaccio is a popular destination for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and photographers who come to admire its beauty and explore the surrounding trails. The gorge offers a variety of walking and hiking paths, allowing visitors to experience the enchanting atmosphere and discover the rich biodiversity of the area. The vegetation in the Gola dell'Infernaccio is characterized by beech forests, oak trees, and a range of plant species that thrive in the mountainous terrain. One of the highlights of the Gola dell'Infernaccio is the Ponte del Diavolo, or "Devil's Bridge," a medieval stone bridge that spans the Tenna River. This picturesque bridge adds to the charm and mystique of the gorge, providing a great photo opportunity. Overall, the Gola dell'Infernaccio in the Sibillini Mountains is a captivating natural wonder that showcases the beauty of Italy's countryside. It offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature, explore scenic trails, and appreciate the geological wonders of the region.


Photo courtesy of magic.marche


Activities & Wildlife

Summer & Winter Sports in the Sibillini Mountains

Trekking is a favourite activity throughout the Monti Sibillini area, and is made relatively easy with marked trails and guided tours (provided by the Case del Parco). Particularly interesting are some of the themed tours, like that known as dello Zafferano, because it was the ancient route travelled by those that brought saffron from Abruzzo. 

The best way to experience the park is by walking, cycling or horse riding, and if you’re up for a challenge there’s Il Grande Anello dei Sibillini (The Great Sibylline Ring), 120km of signposted footpaths that take nine days to walk, or four to five days to cover by mountain bike.
Rock-climbing structures are also abundant within the Park, mostly on the northern slopes of Monte Bove.


Given its morphology and unique environmental conditions as shaped by the atmospheric currents, the Park is also a haven for hang-gliding and paragliding. Beyond skiing in the winter season, the rivers of the Forca Canapine area are great for rafting and canyoneering. Not only, but mountain bikers can explore the numerous and diverse dimensions of the park, by way of marked bike paths. 

Find out more in our Leisure Activities Section!


Wildlife & Vegetation

Here is a brief selection of the wide range of creatures you may see on your visit:

For the avid bird watcher there are in excess of 150 species of birds ranging from the Eurasian eagle owl, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, goshawk, sparrow hawk, the rock partridge, peregrine, the eagle owl, wall creeper, snow finch to Alpine chough and accentors. Mammals include the  Roe deer, wild boar, viper, crested porcupine,wild mountain cat, wolf, chamois, brown bear, pine martens, snow voles including Short-toed Tree-creepers.

The most common indigenous tree is the beech, but there are also the hornbeam and hop hornbeams, manna ash, turkey oak, holm oak and downy oak, chestnut and sycamore maple.

In the extensive grasslands, grazed by sheep, you can find a wealth of wild flowers, of which there are 1,800 different types! 

Among  them you may see: Edelweiss, Yellow Alpine Pasque flower, Moss campio, martagon lily, bearberry and various orchids.

Find out more in our Wildlife Section: Fauna Flora

Villages & Towns

Towns & Villages to Visit

Below you will find a list of Sibilini Mountain Villages and Towns!


Montefalcone Appennino, province of Fermo (Click here for a map)

Montefalcone is a small, picturesque village (470 inhabitants) . The historic centre is mainly medieval, built from local stone and perched on high ridge 757 m a.s The village has two churches dating from the 14th century and offers  stunningly beautiful vistas onto the Sibillini mountains.


Amandola, province of Fermo (Click here for a map)

The town was founded in 1248 and is named after the almond trees which grow here. It sits on a hill 550m above sea level with stunning views. This town also has an interesting wartime history when the local people risked their lives to protect a small Jewish group fleeing the Nazis.


Montefortino, province of Fermo (Click here for a map)

Montefortino is  also a hilltop medieval town with stupendous views of the Sibilline mountain peaks. It was originally a Roman outpost, but the medieval walls were constructed in the 13th century. Its streets built in semi-circles around a medieval centre.There are several beautiful old churches, and there is also an art gallery in the magnificent 16th century Palazzo Leopardi.


​Montemonaco, province of Ascoli Piceno (Click here for a map)

Montemonaco  is a walled medieval village of 800 inhabitants, 1,000 m above sea level, settled by Benedictine monks around the 10th century. There's a cobbled square with panoramic terrace, a few restaurants, churches, bakery and a couple of shops. Definitely worth a visit to unwind , have a bite and soak in the atmosphere.

San Ginesio

San Ginesio, province of Macerata (Click here for a map)

​San Ginesio is a delightful small town with a strong medieval stamp and breath-taking views of the mountains. The central square is named after its most famous 16th century ancestor, Alberico Gentili, who was a professor of Law at Oxford University and is credited with being one of the founding fathers of the modern principles of International law. Again there are many ancient churches and palazzos, and an art gallery containing paintings by local 15th and 16th century painters.


Click here for more info on Alberico Gentili


Sarnano, province of Macerata (Click here for a map)

Sarnano is renowned for being one of the most beautiful of the many hilltop villages in this area,with well-preserved buildings in the town centre dating back as far as 1265. There are many lovely churches here, and the locals pride themselves on their excellent local cuisine.


Visso, province of Macerata (Click here for a map)

Visso is the home of the park’s headquarters and is set among wooded hills at the convergence of five river valleys. It was first settled 900 years before Rome was founded.

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