Crazy for the snow or waiting for the summer?

Capreolus capreolus Caprioli in Sila Grande CALABRIAIn a region like Calabria where we are certainly more accustomed to the sun, the sea and the mild temperatures, when the thermometer drops below 10 degrees we all feel a bit disoriented, unprepared and almost in a profound existential crisis.  The first crisis is with clothing, so to speak.  The search for the heaviest hat in one’s wardrobe turns into a grueling scavenger hunt which, if all goes well, might produce a cashmere sweater from 1987. To Hell with fashion!

Once you’ve decided to tackle the terrible cold, rather than stay in the city and look foolish in your apres ski-wear, there’s only one choice: hit the mountains. Whether for a weekend or even just for a day, in Calabria we are spoiled for choice.

Starting with northern Calabria, one of the most attractive places is undoubtedly Camigliatello Silano, the “mini Switzerland” of Calabria, found within the Sila National Park. Ski enthusiasts can easily reach the Refugio del Tasso, where the ski lifts depart from. Those who don’t wish to ski can go shopping thanks to the local artisan and gourmet food/wine shops.  Or, alternatively, a hot chocolate in one of the many lodges, will warm you up in just the right way.

Still within the Sila National Park but moving farther south, we arrive in Lorica, a small ski village 1,500 meters above sea level, between the towns of San Giovanni in Fiore and Pedace. Easily accessible from Cosenza and Crotone, Lorica offers several runs within the Lorica Ski Area. In just the past few days a children’s area and ski school was inaugurated within an area of 10,000 square meters where children can take different runs divided by level of difficulty. Among the attractions is Mount Botte Donato, reached by cable car. Once at the top, the show is guaranteed. In addition to scenic lakes Cecita and Arvo, if you’re lucky you can even see the island of Stromboli.yescalabria_brutia_express_01

Among the attractions in the area, is the tourist train of Sila, a journey that takes you from Moccone to San Nicola Silvana Mansio, through Camigliatello Silano, on board the historic steam train from last century. Between picturesque landscapes and enchanting valleys, the journey will take you back in time thanks to the transport of the vintage coach cars with 120 seats.

yescalabria_gambarie_01As for the tip of Italy’s boot, the journey in the snow ends at the Aspromonte Park which welcomes you to Gambarie d’Aspromonte, at 1400 meters of height above sea level. Here was built the first chairlift in the south. From Mangeruca Square you can reached by chairlift Mount Scirocco and Mount Nardello. Ski on the slopes of Gambarie is wonderful experience that allows you to look straight over the marvelous Strait of Messina.

Final must visit suggestions: Villaggio Palumbo and Fago del soldato.

If you felt cold just reading this article just give up, forget the snow and wait patiently for summer.
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