The Pollino Mountains – Calabria’s youngest and Italy’s largest national park – stretches through northern Calabria into neighboring Basilicata.
With its diverse landscape, wildlife, and villages, the Pollino mountains offer visitors a plethora of incredible experiences like hiking, trekking, skiing, and rock climbing all year round. If adventure isn’t quite your thing, no worries, visit one of the many delightful villages and meet the friendly locals, who are always happy to share stories of their past and local traditions.
Here are just a few villages you should definitely consider visiting on your next trip to Calabria:
Listed as one of Italy’s “100 Most Beautiful Villages,” Morano Calabro, seems to grow up the mountain which is dominated by a Norman castle and the 1st Century Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. A stroll through the town’s narrow alleyways gives you the chance to admire Medieval houses, Baroque noble residences, and Gothic churches.
Civita is one of the most charming villages in northern Calabria. In the 15th century, Albanian refugees fled to and settled here. Their influence can still be seen and heard today as locals still speak the Albanian language and uphold ancient traditions. Also from here, you can capture one of the most impressive views of the Gole del Raganello, one of Europe’s deepest gorges.
CERCHIARA DI CALABRIA
Cerchiara di Calabria sits on the slopes of Monte Sellaro at over 700 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by mountains and offers some impressive hiking routes taking you to some breathtaking views that overlook the area. In the warmer months, you can visit the Grotta delle Ninfe, a natural spa that is a favorite of the locals. Don’t forget to stop into a local bakery as this hamlet is well-known throughout the region for its delicious and aromatic bread.