Italy's National Parks

Aspromonte/Sila Grande
  |  Gorp.com
Just the Facts
Location: Southwestern Italy
Nearest town: Reggio di Calabria, Cosenza
Favorite activities: Hiking, climbing, birdwatching, wildlife viewing
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Once made up of several widely scattered units, the Parco Nazionale della Calabria was divided into two independent parks in the late 1990s. Aspromonte ("bitter mountain"), on the southernmost tip of the toe of Italy's boot and at the very end of the Apennine mountain chain, protects a remote mountain range that is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including Bonelli's eagle, the peregrine falcon, and a small but thriving population of gray wolves. Hard to reach except by horseback and on foot, Aspromonte is Italy's least-visited national park. Sila Grande, to the northeast of Cosenza, is no easier to traverse, but several good roads pass through it. The 5,600-foot-tall plateau harbors deep lakes and dense stands of trees, including the "giganti della Sila," tall Calabrian pines more than 500 years old. Both parks have year-round campgrounds but no services; other lodging and restaurants can be found in nearby villages and in the larger cities of Reggio di Calabria and Cosenza.

Once made up of several widely scattered units, the Parco Nazionale della Calabria was divided into two independent parks in the late 1990s.

Aspromonte ("bitter mountain"), on the southernmost tip of the toe of Italy's boot and at the very end of the Apennine mountain chain, protects a remote mountain range that is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including Bonelli's eagle, the peregrine falcon, and a small but thriving population of gray wolves. Hard to reach except by horseback and on foot, Aspromonte is Italy's least-visited national park.
 


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