Five Years After Disaster, Norcia, is A Perfect Travel Destination Now

“And so, when I found my real Italy this time, it was thanks to Moreno Moretti, an excellent host, organizer, and passionate advocate for the “Italy for Italians”



Norcia, the Renaissance

Moretti is the founder and CEO of the upstart travel designer Italycharme, which aims to organize high-luxury Italian vacations, compete with private jet arrivals to independent yacht itineraries, but also with an emphasis on small moments and human connections.” Ann Abel is an adventurer and Luxury travel writer, who knows very well the difference between an expensive travel and a Luxury one, because Lux is not made by a journey on a Ferrari while sipping Champagne, but it is inside the local black truffle’s heart and on the locals’ dining table.

Ann, in her article on Forbes’ blog here, talks about Norcia, a town in Umbria, the green heart of Italy, that became a symbol of Renaissance and prosperity after the disastrous 6.2-magnitude earthquake of 2016.

Palazzo Seneca, a Stunning place to stay

What best location for the overnight in Norcia than Palazzo Seneca? It’s a stunning Relais & Châteaux hotel just a block from the wounded main square. It occupies the 16th-century palace that was built by the Seneca family from Piedivalle, a town whose residents were referred to as skilled wood carvers.

Now it’s owned by another family. Owners Vincenzo and Federico Bianconi are the present generation to be running it, a practice that began in 1850. They understood the importance of history from the beginning, and in each renovation of the hotel, from early until after the last devastating earthquake, in 1997, they need committed to promoting that history, simplicity and quality.

The hotel was among the very first in Umbria when it opened, within the early 1900s. It still retains the vaulted rooms of the 16th century, especially within the public areas on the bottom floor, but the 40 bedrooms are equally beautiful (24 within the main building, 16 during a newer annex), with their antique furnishings and grand luxury of space.

The smart people at Palazzo Seneca wish to send their guests to the Tasselli cashmere factory in Bevagna, an hour’s chase away. It’s one among the foremost meticulous cashmere producers in Italy, and its wares are delightfully sumptuous.

The Real Italy made by the Survivors

Here in Norcia people survived, and they did not give up: the reconstruction of the cathedral is in progress. Today’s Norcia is about the rest, and all the optimism and determination in the city as it recovers from the earthquake and pandemic. Most of times Italy where Italians actually live is much more interesting than the glorified version of Italy that exists for tourists, that is the “real Italy”.

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