Do you think it’s possible not to be charmed by a fairy-tale like landscape like this?
With Winter around the corner and the Christmas atmosphere that already overflows the city, we thought to show you a landscape that’ll be soon covered in snow, a landscape of our mountainous plateau: the Sila!
The Sila represents a unique tourist place for Calabria, popular both in Summer and Winter, with its candid woods and the paths that proceed among the secular pine trees! It is mostly in Winter that the Sila comes to life, because its ski slopes (we hope to show you soon the new slopes in Lorica, a small town part of the Sila territory, where there is so much snow you could sint into it!).
But let’s go back to us. In a very warm and summery day to be Fall (yeah, it is true that the South of Italy is kissed by the sun!), we decided to take a stroll in the Sila and thive in this amazing natural paradise.
Get on board with us!
The Sila ( “Sièla” in local dialect) is a plateau located between central and northern Calabria; Nationa Park since 1968, is one the oldest in Italy.
The Sila is known for its beautiful landscapes, for pretty cold and snowy winters, the presence of wolves, famous wood’s inhabitants, the tasty mushrooms and the suggestive lakes.
It’s interesting to know that the first human traces in the Sila date back to the Homo Erectus (about 700.000 yeas ago), and they’ve been found on the shores of Lake Arvo. Other remains, found on the banks of the lakes Arvo and Cecita, go back to the Neanderthal Man!
And it’s exactly here, were the famous Lake Cecita lies, that our journey stars.
Lake Cecita is the biggest artificial lake of the Sila, originally created for the production of electric energy, can you believe it? Many people ignore that, because the lake is so perfectly set in the landscape, to look natural.
Obviously, this trait makes it very attractive to all tourists, who often love to take long walks in the surroundings, or banquet in the picnic areas scattered near the Lake’s banks.
It is not possible to bathe or dive in the Lake, but it is frequented by fishing lovers with great satisfaction, since its water are populated by many varieties of fish.
In 2012 a giant clam was found on the shore of Lake Cecita, something really rare; it was the twelve-year-old son of the Italian Ambassador in Monaco – who was there in holidays with the family – who found it.
Here we are, just in front of the Lake, a breathtaking view till the horizon. Follow us to the visitor centre Cupone in the heart of the Sila National Park.
Were are we? Click for the map!
Arrived in Cupone we enter the visitors centre, born from buildings risen around a sawmill property of the State, is now a centre for environment education composed by splendid trails in the nature, fauna observatories,a museum and a botanic garden where everybody is welcome.
The Sila National Park offers really a lot to nature lovers; something we like in particular when we go there, is the extremely clean and fresh air: in 2010 nano-pathologists found a particular spot in the Sila were the air is the cleanest in Europe!
The place is located in the town of Zagarise where the adventure park is… but that’s a story for another post 😉
For more information, here is the link to the Sila National Park website.
A visit to the botanic garden?
It spreads for 350 metres and it’s articulated as a real didactic route. Around us the Sila surroundings, the plants to interact with are 115, indigenous species of the Calabrian mountains, protected in these spaces.
The path then takes us to various fauna observatories; the park territory hosts the typical Apennines fauna.
…we have some fun in the centre’s “hall” 😉
In front of our eyes an immense green clearing, with woods where the eyes get lost. Clearings are infrequent, usually used for pasture… except in this case, obviously! :p
In the Sila dominate both the Pine trees woods, and the woods composed by pine and beech or pine and spruce.
Easy look for a mountain getaway 😉
We go farther to the real structures on the Centre, were a biodiversity museum is set up. Those areas are completely and easily accessible for everybody.
The museum describes in a detailed and punctual manner the local flora and fauna, also recreating the natural habitat. We are always stuck in our cities, let’s immerse in this natural dimension and absorb the most we can.
In the museum is possible to also observe, and I’d add unfortunately, a series of embalmed animals and objects found by the State Forestry Corps, that will make you shiver. Unluckily (at least for us who love nature and animals) there are a lot of poachers around who are causing the disappearance of many animal species, species that we’d rather admire inside the wonderful and enchanted woods.
Inside the Biodiversity Museum
After visiting the museum we didn’t have enough, so we went on on our path! We walked towards Lake Cecita, which is pretty close to the Centre. The breeze stars to sing, producing musical sounds in its way through the trees, another characteristic of Silan woods. We tune in on those languages, sounds, smells of trees and herbs.
The Sila is also rich in healing herbs, and – even if in the distance – it is always possible to hear the swish of animal… this is the charme of the Lake.
The first thing we saw on our journey was the lake, and that is where we came back. What to say? It is a stunning place, where to have fun learning but also for an energy recharge.
We promise to go back there in Winter, to take awesome pictures under the snow 🙂
La coque sportif, Levi’s, Calliope
To the next one, people!
GiusyR & Kim