Introducing Parco Nazionale La Sila
La Sila is a big landscape, where wooded hills create endless rolling views. It’s dotted with small villages and cut through with looping roads that make driving on them a test of your digestion.
It’s divided into three areas: the Sila Grande, with the highest mountains; the strongly Albanian Sila Greca (to the north); and the Sila Piccola (near Catanzaro), with vast forested hills. The three areas cover 130 sq km.
Its highest peaks, covered with tall Corsican pines, reach 2000m, high enough for thick snow in winter. This makes it a popular skiing destination. In summer the climate is coolly alpine with carpets of spring wildflowers and mushroom-hunting in autumn. At its peak is the Bosco di Gallopani (Forest of Gallopani), part of the Parco Nazionale della Calabria. There are several beautiful lakes, the largest of which is Lago di Cecita o Mucone near Camigliatello.
Good-quality information in English is scarce. You can try the Calabrian National Park office (
For maps, try http://ecommerce.escursionista.it/, where you can buy maps of Sila Grande 1:50, 000 (€6.20) and Sila Piccola (€9.30). Carte Stradali Turistiche La Sila 1:100, 000 is available at local petrol stations, or online at www.globalmap.it (€7).
You can take fantastic trekking trips with Valli Cupe (
During August, Sila in Festa takes place, featuring traditional music. Autumn is mushroom season, when you’ll be able to frequent fungi festivals and pile into porcini pasta.