We are coming back to Calabria.
You will be surprised to discover that it is not far from Sicily.
I mean, Sicily is an island and Calabria is the nearest Italian region. They are divided by a strait, known as Stretto di Messina. Here it took place the myth of Scylla and Charybdis mentioned for the first time by Homer in the Odyssey. Scilla still exists and it is a town in Calabria in the province of Reggio Calabria.
Beyond the public transportation which creates a demanding distance between tourists and this fantastic region, Calabria is generally an unknown destination above all for Italian people. Obviously it depends on the regional tourism board, which worked badly in the past impeding the knowledge about the region. Despite this I love this region, maybe I am biased – my parents come from Calabria, but you have to include the region in the list of the places to visit before you die.
A great history dating back before the Greeks, stunning rocky beaches, crystal clear water, mountains with flourishing nature and much more, all gathered in one region.
As you saw on our social network profiles (here it is the Storify), I went to Calabria the last November. Italian Storytellers was invited to a tour organised by the Sila National Park together with WeLike Association. It was just for bloggers and the aim was to share the experience we were enjoying, above all the possible activities inside the Park during autumn. We stayed for 4 days and we really had a lot of fun!
The park is one of the oldest park instituted in Italy, once called ‘National Park of Calabria’, because it was among the first 5 parks ratified by Italian government. The Park area is more than 73,000 hectares wide.
Sila plateau, the widest plateau in Europe, is divided into 3 areas:
- Sila Grande (i.e. Big Sila)
- Sila Piccola (i.e. Little Sila)
- Sila Greca (i.e. Greek Sila)
Sila National Park is ideal for those people who are curious about nature and its ecosystem. Throughout the Park nature is well preserved. Above all in the biogenetical reserves, where nature is actually unspoilt. It means that whatever happened the man leaves it happens. In ‘I Giganti’ reserve (i.e. The Giants) you can admire the oldest larch pines of the entire Park. Some of these trees are cut in two halves or are fallen down owe to thunders, but no one carries them away. Everything is left like it is. This means ‘biogenetical’.
In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, but everything changes. (Antoine-Laurent De Lavoisier)
Sila National Park is the perfect destination for children. One of the aims of the Park is to to teach to children how to respect the Earth and how to preserve it. In some reserves there are spaces reserved for children activities. For example in Monaco village the visitor center includes some rooms where children can learn how many species of trees are in that natural reserve, what is over and under the earth, which are the melodies of the birds and much more.
Not just learning, but also having fun in one of the Parco Avventura (i.e. Adventure Park) situated in Sila. I just ate in the park located in Lorica, and unfortunately I’m too old to face the fear of the height launching myself from a tree to another or hanging on a rope.
Besides the contact with the nature, I met some special people. In San Giovanni in Fiore I met 2 important artisans: a goldsmith and a weaver. They told us their very emotional stories made of passion, sacrifice and awareness of how important are their works.
Now I am coming back to Calabria together with Alex to experience the region also in another season. In autumn it is wonderful hiking or just walking inside the natural reserves. If you are keen of photography, you will be like a child in front of his brand new toy. The colourful sceneries Sila park offers you during autumn are extremely amazing. Wherever you look at, you will find yellow, green and red in a deep tone.
In winter the predominant colour is white. The plateau in these months is completely covered with soft snow and the best activity is walking in snow. Our programm includes walking in snow at night, bobsledding, dog sledding and, of course, eating until we die.