Visit to Lake Angitola, WWF Oasis

Trekking in the WWF Oasis of Lake Angitola, a paradise to be discovered
VV-Maierato-Lago Angitola 001[Elisabetta Cirianni]

© Elisabetta Cirianni

Sport and nature

Feb 14, 2024 10:06 AM

Did you know that there is a WWF Oasis in the care of the Serre Regional Natural Park, in the province of Vibo Valentia? It is Lake Angitola, a small paradise where hundreds of migratory birds land and the perfect place to experience close contact with nature.

We propose an excursion to Lake Angitola, where you can practice birdwatching in Calabria surrounded by nature.

Lake Angitola WWF Oasis

Among the most striking landscape areas that fall within the Regional Natural Park of the Serre Vibonesi is Lake Angitola.

It was in the 1960s when the course of the Angitola river, from which the present lake takes its name, was diverted to allow the creation of an artificial reservoir. Thus Lake Angitola was born, which a short time later (1975) was already a WWF Oasis because of its particular ecosystem.

The Lake Angitola WWF Oasis is an unspoilt space where you can indulge in immersive walks and real nature explorations. Wandering through the park's dense woodland and along the shores of the lake, simple enthusiasts as well as the more experienced nature connoisseurs can try their hand at observing a great variety of plant and animal species. It is also a fairytale place for children, who have the opportunity to come face to face with various specimens living in the wild.

Lago Angitola
Vincenzo Stranieri

Surrounding Lake Angitola are chestnut, larch and Aleppo pine forests, alders, beeches, maples and the characteristic fir and white poplar trees. Animals to be encountered include foxes and beech martens, wolves, badgers, wild cats, beautiful Haflinger and Morgonian horses grazing in the wild, deer and roe deer, weasels, and of course the undisputed rulers of the lake kingdom: migratory birds.

Among the species most fond of Lake Angitola are the grey heron, but also pheasants, peacocks, tits and the extremely rare Black Woodpecker.

What to see around Lake Angitola

Lake Angitola falls within the municipal territories of Maierato and Monterosso Calabro, both in the province of Vibo Valentia.

Wrapped in spontaneous vegetation, in the centre of the park stand the ruins of the medieval Rocca Angitola (or Rocca Niceforo), a hamlet of Maierato, which legend has it was built on the ruins of the ancient Focese town of Crissa. Surrounded by walls and high towers, in the Middle Ages the fortress housed over a thousand people. Today, among the ruins, the remains of the Castle and the Church of San Nicola can be traced. A walk through the historical centre of Maierato offers a visit to other historical churches and the Museum of Rural Civilisation.

From Lake Angitola to the village of Monterosso Calabro, the step is short and allows you to admire a historical centre with oriental charm, linked to linen and textile processing, as demonstrated by the presence of the ancient Filanda Massara, now home to the Museum of Rural and Artisan Civilisation and the Museum of Serre Vibonesi.

Kalabria Coast to Coast
Kalabria Coast to Coast

Not to be missed, in addition to the numerous churches and noble buildings in the centre, are the ruins of the old Church of the Addolorata (in the Condolìma district), which witnessed the destruction of the terrible earthquake of 1783.

On a trip to Lake Angitola, it is also a good idea to set aside some time to visit the historical centres in the surrounding area, perhaps stretching as far as the nearby mountain towns of Serra San Bruno, to admire the famous Charterhouse of Santo Stefano, and Soriano Calabro, with the beautiful archaeological area of the ruins of the Convent of San Domenico.

Serra San Bruno
Regione Calabria