Nov 2, 2023 10:56 AM
Sport and nature
All crazy for foliage! Like every year, the period of leaf fall and autumn fruit picking turns into an unmissable time to get in touch with nature and hunt for Instagrammable backgrounds and colours.
Let's discover together the most beautiful places for foliage in Calabria, among parks and reserves.
All crazy for autumn foliage
Do you also happen to admire the warm beauty of autumn colours and get excited by the "crunchy" sound of the leaves under your footsteps while walking in a forest? Then foliage is the outdoor activity for you!
"Foliage" is the term used to refer to the period when leaves fall due to the loss of chlorophyll. In a soft embrace of warm colours, real carpets of leaves with fairytale charm are created.
October and November are the peak months for enjoying foliage in Calabria, amidst autumn coniferous forests and Mediterranean scrub lit up in a thousand shades, from rust to yellow ochre.
You don't have to set off for Vermont or Canada, in search of redwoods and red maples, just follow our autumn itinerary in Calabria to savour not only the palette of natural colours, but also the delicious fruits of the Calabrian undergrowth: mushrooms, walnuts, chestnuts, grapes and apples.
Not only woods! Foliage lovers, young and old, can choose creative activities with autumn leaves and their artistic uses. For example, some farmhouses and educational farms offer special foliage workshops for adults and children.
Where to see foliage in Calabria
The foliage itinerary in Calabria takes us on a walk through the 3 Calabrian National Parks, the Regional Natural Park of the Serre and several Nature Reserves with very different characteristics, including the WWF Oasis "Lake Angitola".
A leaf-hunting trip that combines nature, small villages and typical autumn products in a "slow" way.
Let's start in the north, in the Pollino National Park, straddling two regions, Basilicata and Calabria, which finds its symbol in the Pino Loricato and offers the suggestion of some UNESCO World Heritage Geosites. Between one excursion and another, it will be pleasant to stop in some of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, such as Morano Calabro and Civita, the latter of which has an Arbëreshë cultural minority.
Stretching between the provinces of Cosenza, Catanzaro and Crotone lies the majestic Sila National Park (Sila Grande, Sila Piccola and Sila Greca), where you will be spoilt for choice in terms of variety and leaf colour. Not to be missed, for example, is the marvellous Fallistro Giants' Reserve (monumental, centuries-old trees in the care of the FAI). Walking through these woods tinged with wonder and still inhabited by the legendary Sila Wolf, symbol of the park, is priceless. Here you can breathe "the best air in Europe", certified by a team of expert biologists, and taste some of the region's most prized branded products, such as the Patata della Sila PGI and the Caciocavallo Silano PDO.
An intermediate stop between the provinces of Vibo Valentia and Reggio Calabria, the Serre Regional Natural Park represents one of the most precious forest complexes in Calabria, characterised by rare specimens of silver fir, watercourses and waterfalls and a lake area of great importance: the WWF Oasis "Lake Angitola", a nesting and migration site for various bird species. The small town of Serra San Bruno, in the centre of the park, is home to the Charterhouse of Santo Stefano, founded by San Bruno di Colonia in the year 1000.
Lastly, we reach the Aspromonte National Park, in the province of Reggio Calabria, for a foliage in Calabria that combines leaf-picking with a visit to some of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Geosites in Europe, such as the astonishing shapes of the monoliths that dot the Valley of the Great Stones, as well as the thematic trails and the Literary Parks dedicated to the writers Corrado Alvaro and Edward Lear (English Path). Don't miss the town of Canolo, with its peculiar rock formations known as the "Dolomites of the South", and the Zòmaro forest area, in the municipality of Cittanova, where you can find a profusion of leaves of every shape and colour.