Day 1: In the afternoon we arrive in Civita where a welcoming B&B awaits us in the historic center of this charming and ancient Arbëreshe village. Let’s start by savoring the culture and gastronomic traditions of this place by eating local and genuine dishes cooked with love and passion in a typical restaurant run by a family.
Day 2: A walk in nature from the Cessuta Park to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Armi ( 1015 m. a.s.l.) – “Let’s know the birds of prey”
After a rich breakfast in a welcoming and familiar environment we head to Cerchiara di Calabria, a small village famous for its bread baked in a wood oven, for the suggestive Grotte delle Ninfe where sulphurous water flows, already used in Roman times and for the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Armi. Our excursion starts through a dense Mediterranean vegetation rich in scents and colors. During Springtime you can observe the flowering of very rare plants such as Paeonia Peregrina and Dictamnus Alba. We walk along an easy path that gives us breathtaking views of the Ionian coast and the plain of Sibari. The path continues until it intersects the way that the pilgrims used, since ancient times, to to reach the Sanctuary. Arriving at the end of the path, an exciting scenario is shown to our eyes: The Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Armi, one of the most important medieval monastic complexes in Calabria, which stands imposingly on the rock on the slopes of Mount Sellaro. We visit this suggestive building that houses the image of the Madonna found inside the cave and admire works of art from different historical periods. After a delicious pic nic lunch based on genuine traditional products we reach by bus our next naturalistic experience.
Departure Parco della Cessuta ( Loc. Bifurto Cerchiara di C. ) – Distance 4 km –Duration about 2 h – Easy level
In the afternoon we visit a natural education center where, through a wonderful guided tour, we get to know the Calabrian “Gariga” and the interesting and unknown life of birds of prey. Roberto, a passionate breeder and guide, leads us to the discovery of this fascinating millenary art declared Unesco intangible heritage, giving us the opportunity to get to know the imposing golden eagle, the friendly barn owl, the majestic eagle owl, the buzzard and the other guests of his center. Here, after this emotioning experience, we enjoy a genuine ricotta cheese on a slice of traditional fresh bread and a glass of local wine surrounded by a unique naturalistic landscape. Back to our village evening at your leasure.
Day 3: A Walk through the Bosco della Fagosa from Colle Marcione (1227 m. a.s. l.) to the Fontana del Principe (1317 m. a.s.l.)
After breakfast we leave for Colle Marcione about 12 km from the village. From here our hiking begins with an initial slight uphill gradient. We continue along a path immersed in a lush beech forest to the fountain of the prince where very fresh water gushes out which gives us a pleasant coolness. We continue for a few minutes until we reach a small panoramic terrace where we enjoy a truly unique geological and naturalistic scenario, the Timpa di San Lorenzo and the Falconara. Just in front of this spectacle of nature we have a break with a delicious genuine pic-nic lunch and for the older ones a pleasant glass of local red wine. This route gives us also the opportunity to observe Serra Dolcedorme (the highest peak of the Park 2,264 m. S, l.m.), Serra delle Ciavole and Serra di Crispo to the west.
Departure Colle Marcione ( 1227 m. a.s.l. ) ( Civita ) – Distance to/r 8 km – Duration about 4 h – Easy level