The Sila is a plateau in southern Italy that extends from the northern part of Calabria over 150,000 hectares to the provinces of Cosenza, Crotone, and Catanzaro. From north to south it is divided into Sila Greca, Sila Grande and Sila Piccola.
The Sila is known for heavy snowfalls, as a habitat for wolves, porcini mushrooms, and lakes.
In the heart is the National Park, which offers visitors a breathtaking panorama in all seasons. This is mainly thanks to the "Giganti della Sila". There are huge trees that can grow up to 43 meters high.
Visitor centers in the area can help tourists find their way around the park. Special features of the park are explained to the visitor in "green museums".
The culinary Sila
The culinary tradition of the Sila mountain resorts is intense and enriched by the pastoral and peasant knowledge of the inhabitants, who have always lived in this context, rich in aromas and flavors always linked to the cultivation of the land.
The traditional dishes of the various holidays are the most important part of rural life. They are flavored with herbs and spices that bloom in the meadows and on the slopes of the mountains, whose air is recognizable by the scent that releases rosemary, wild fennel, sage, the irreplaceable basil, and the indispensable chili pepper, the complement that characterizes Calabrian cuisine.
A series of products such as the IGP potato, PDO cured meats, DOC wines, PDO caciocavallo guarantee an immense quality. There is also a widespread collection of high-quality mushrooms, mainly porcini, highly sought after by gourmets, which allow the preparation of exquisite dishes, also appreciated by demanding travelers.
Lake Cecita, Camigliatello Silano
It may well be artificial, but Lake Cecita is the largest of the Sila lakes and with its fascinating landscape and historical value one of the must-see.
Lake Arvo, Lorica
The rich fish fauna is accompanied by a nearby larch grove creating a particularly pleasant landscape. Again, archaeologists have found traces of existing human settlements starting as early as the Neolithic.
Lake Ampollino, Villaggio Palumbo
This is also one of the lakes of the Sila that originated from human intervention, but this time its construction goes further back in time, even to the period between 1916 and 1927. It is therefore the oldest of the Silan water basins and, like the others, it was designed to supply electricity to nearby areas and irrigate the many fields that arise along its banks.
The Biogenetic Nature Reserve “I Giganti della Sila” or “Giganti di Fallistro”. This is a monumental forest where there are specimens of larch pines up to 45 meters high, with a trunk of 2 meters in diameter, and are exceptional, especially for their age: there are 58 larch pines over a hundred years old, precisely 350 years.
Their extraordinary height and grandeur make them form a very suggestive natural colonnade. The pine forest, according to some scholars, was planted in the first half of 1600 by a noble landowner who built his summer residence near there, with an adjoining spinning mill.
The owner decided to embellish the area around his residence by creating a sort of botanical garden, planting various species of native plants, typical of the Sila area.
Today there are 58 larch pines, poplars, wild apple trees, mountain maples, beeches, and chestnuts. In this biogenetic nature reserve, the plants are not subjected to human intervention but are left to grow naturally, exposed to normal biological processes, respect biodiversity
There are many sports practiced in Sila, where clean air and tranquility make it a sought-after environment both at an amateur and competitive level. It starts from the ski slopes, in the winter season, present in Camigliatello Silano, Lorica, Villaggio Palumbo.
Don't miss the nature trails to be done on snowshoes, mountain bikes, for walks, with trekking equipment, or on a horseback, both inside and outside the Sila National Park.