On the plateau of the Sila region, there is a monumental woodland that plays host to 350-year-old trees that are 45 metres in height, with trunks 2 metres wide. This ancient woodland features more than 60 Calabrian pines and sycamores planted in the 17th century by the baronial Mollo family, owners of the nearby farmhouse, which was donated to FAI in 2016 by the family.
The woodland was exploited over the centuries by shepherds to extract a flammable, tar-like resin from the trunks; it was a valuable resource in the 17th and 18th centuries, and was subject to numerous edicts issued by the government of Naples with a view to limiting the frequent threats to cut the trees down. In the Second World War, the land was expropriated and then reintegrated into the assets of the Italian Forestry Commission, which – together with the Mollo family – promoted the establishment of the Guided Biogenetic Nature Reserve with a view to studying, genetically conserving and protecting this immensely valuable historic and natural heritage. Today, human intervention here has the sole purpose of allowing nature to take its course and making it possible to observe the natural evolution of the woodland, offering a wilderness to animals that now live in very few other places in Italy.
Walking around in this spectacular landscape evokes wonder and admiration. FAI ensures that it remains open to the public, and is working to restore the ancient Casino Mollo, which will become the hub for an engaging encapsulation of this part of rural Calabria, charting its history from the 17th century to the present day.
I Giganti della Sila are open to the public every day as follow:
• from 1 April to 14 June: from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
• from 15 June to 15 September, Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
• from 16 September to 2 November: 10:00 - 17:00
During winter period the property is closed, except for special events. In March we can organize guided tours for groups on request.
*with the exception of specific events, when only the additional event charge will apply.
During events the price may be subject to change
Subject to prior booking, guided tours for groups and special bookings are available.
For information and bookings: tel. (+39) 366 6152986, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guided tours for schools are also available. For information, www.faiscuola.it
Disabled visitors can access free-of-charge those FAI properties that are open to the public by showing their ANMIC (Associazione Nazionale Mutilati e Invalidi Civili) card.
A dedicated visitor route is available for those who have motor difficulties.
In the bookshop you can find books, objets d’art and numerous local products – your purchases help to support FAI.
Comfortable shoes are recommended.