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The Giants of the Sila

The Giants of the Sila

Amid the ancient trees in the Sila National Park

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I Giganti della Sila eng

Type

Regularly open

contacts

+39 366 6152986
faisila@fondoambiente.it

Accessibility

Overview

A site like no other, this majestic, ancient woodland in the centre of the Calabria region has been thriving intact since the 17th century in the shade of its imposing “patriarchs”, giving rise to an impressive spectacle of nature.

Entrusted to FAI on a loan-for-used basis by the Sila National Park in 2016


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.

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Visitor information
Opening hours

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.

How to get here

By car

  • For those arriving from the A3 motorway or from the Tyrrhenian side
    The Reserve can be reached from the A3 motorway by taking the Cosenza (“Sud” or “Nord”) exit, then follow the signs for Camigliatello Silano on the SS 107 (Silana-Crotonese) road. Take the exit for Croce di Magara. Follow the signs until you reach the Reserve, which is located approximately 3 km from this exit.

  • For those arriving from the Ionian side
    From the SS 106 highway, near Crotone, take the SS 107 highway until you come to the Croce di Magara exit, then follow the signs for 3 km and you will reach the Reserve.
Tickets
  • FAI members: free entry*
  • Adults: €5
  • Reduced (aged 6-18): €3
  • Children aged 0-5: free entry
  • National Trust members*, residents of the Spezzano della Sila local council area, those with disabilities + 1 companion: free entry

*with the exception of specific events, when only the additional event charge will apply.

During events the price may be subject to change

Guided Tours

Subject to prior booking, guided tours for groups and special bookings are available.

For information and bookings: tel. (+39) 366 6152986, faisila@fondoambiente.it

Guided tours for schools are also available. For information, www.faiscuola.it

Accessibility

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.

Shopping

In the bookshop you can find books, objets d’art and numerous local products – your purchases help to support FAI.

Useful advice

Comfortable shoes are recommended.

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