Monti Sibillini


The Monti Sibillini, or Sibylline Mountains, to give them their English name, will be familiar to our regular readers. Their name crops up often in Italia!, but how often do we represent their beauty in pictures? And what’s in that name?

The Sibylline range forms part of the central Apennines where they pass through Umbria and Le Marche. The range takes its name from Monte Sibilla, which at 2,173m is not the tallest in the range (that is Monte Vettore at 2,476m), but which is the one where, legend has it, a prophetess – a sybil – was condemned by God to spend Eternity in the depths of the mountains as Penance for the Sin of Pride in wanting to become the Mother of the Son of God… Some locals, however, tell a slightly different story, preferring to remember instead the good ‘Fairy Sybil’ who came down from the mountain in springtime to teach the women and girls the arts and crafts they would need to prosper in this region of cold winters – spinning and weaving for the large part, and not only of fibres, but also of stories, it would seem…