Norcia and its traditions

Norcia (604 m. sea-level) was probably built by the Sabines between the 5th and the 6th centuries BC on pre-existing prehistoric Umbrian and Etrurian habitats. The current town, probably of Roman origin, as shown by archaeological accounts, gave birth to St. Benedict, the founder of Western Monasticism. Some scholars think the name Norcia is connected to the divinity Nortia, the Etruscan goddess of fortune. People from Norcia have always linked art to an extraordinary landscape, the environment to the spirituality, everyday life to gastronomy, by using high quality typical products. Therefore, they boast undisputed leadership in the field of pork-butcheries.


Norcia and the whole valley Valnerina were the most famous lands in the field of breeding, preparation and preservation of pork meat, thanks to favourable climate conditions, to «master butchers’» secular experience and to the Nursini’s conservative ability. The trade of allegedly Roman origins spread from Norcia to Rome, to Tuscany and to the whole peninsula. In Italy it is largely acknowledged that the word Norcino refers, since the year 1000 AD, to the specialist in swine slaughter and processing. To tell the truth, “master butchers” from Norcia spread, over Italy and the world, the refined technique of preparation of a typical ham, where salting is followed by a slow “maturation” in the clean and brisk mountain air.  

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