After so much about the sea, let’s dedicate a little time to nature. Calabria is one of the Italian regions that has the largest number of protected areas covering over 13% of the region with a rich variety of landscapes, flora and fauna. Places that hold a wild and adventurous charm through both the geomorphological peculiarities: lush vegetation and a lack of mass tourism. Among the most interesting natural sites included in the Marco Polo Guide for Calabria is the Valli Cupe, at the foot of the plateau of Sila, in the municipality of Sersale found in the province of Catanzaro.
The valley is named after the canyon of the same name, one of the largest in Europe. To get there you must take a path, with origins from the 19th century, that descends down the mountain. The view that opens at the end of the trail is worth the trip: spectacular rock ridges eroded by time and nesting birds of prey. From there the trail continues through the pastures until you reach the location of the Segreti Mediterranean, a.r.l, which organizes guided tours to waterfalls and excursions on the back of a donkey or horse. The canyon is a treasure of inestimable beauty, with gorges whose walls reach 130 meters in height, breathtaking cliffs and towering monoliths surrounded by spectacular Mediterranean vegetation.
Worth mentioning is the Woodwardia radicans, a giant fern of ancient origin and the formations of chestnut and ash trees, once linked to the survival of local communities. Beautiful and spectacular waterfalls that exceed 100 meters in height. These include the waterfall of Campanaro that is easily accessible. Along the way you can find three water sources including a vullu (a type of waterhole with a current) as well as an old bridge – partly destroyed during the bombings of World War II. The waterfall, which drops from a height of 22 meters, is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery embellished by the extraordinary color of the rocks that form the backdrop of the water jump and rare plants that are reminiscent of the equatorial forest.
Of particular naturalistic value are the waterfall Cascata delle Rupe, consisting of three jumps of which only one is visible but spectacular, adorned by the presence of two very rare tropical ferns (Notholaena marantae and Cretan Brake) and the Gorges of Crocchio in the mountain section of the ancient Arocha River, where you can admire the fern Osmunda Regalis, a precious and rare plant of very ancient origin and of great botanical value.
After so much beauty, it is natural to have a pleasant and well-deserved gastronomic break in Sersale. For dining options we refer to the Guide Marco Polo Calabria.
Guided tours must contact the Cooperative Mediterranean Secrets: tel. 3338342866 and 3349174699, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: www.vallicupe.it