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Pino loricato nella nebbia del Pollino
Pino broccolo

Pollino is the land of the loricate pine (Pinus heldreichii), the fir-beech association, the wolf, the roe deer, the golden eagle, the otter, the dolomitic rocks, the Serra Dolcedorme, the 2,267 metre-high peak, the gorges, the caves, the bos primigenius and elephas antiquus, the Lucanian, Magna-Greek, Byzantine, Lombard and Norman civilisations, and the Arbereshe minorities.

Pollino is 192 thousand and more hectares of protected area; it is the largest National Park in Italy; it is the Park of the Calabro-Lucano Apennines, with its Serra Dolcedorme, the 2267-metre-high peak, snow-capped for many months of the year. With its nature to experience and visit, it's a place to enjoy for a recharge of energy and health.
The chain of its mountains, whose offshoots go, to the east towards the Ionian Sea and, to the west towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, encloses, with its shapes, dimensions and rhythms of life, an infinite space and time.

Isabella Morra’s Castle in Valsinni, Madonna del Pollino, Serra di Crispo, Orsomarso Mountains, Riviera dei Cedri provide the natural and cultural values that mankind seems to have lost along the way; all these ancient paths serve to cleanse your mind, and give you the peace you lack of in this hectic world we live in. You can walk in the shade of Bosco Magnano’s beech trees, or up St. Lawrence’s hill towards Cozzo del Pellegrino, Ciavole and Montea; you can glide along the clear waters of the Peschiera, or dive into the Raganello and Lao gorges, or into the Abatemarco river; you can find your peace in the Valle dell’Argentino.
On the valleys of Pollino and Novacco, in the middle of the brightest green, you can take a deep breath, and let it all go, gape into the horizon, refresh your spirit and soothe your soul.
The infinite all around you, the silence, the colors, the bright sky and the shining stars… let all of this envelope you whole in a regenerating hug, you’ll feel reborn.
Pollino National Park is magic. Magic that seeps through the dolomite rocks, the basalt, the cliffs, the caves, the moraines, the pino loricato, the spruces and the beeches as well as the golden eagles, the wolves, the roe deers and the otters that populate the area.
The immense landscape is a multitude of different photographs, taken by a flabbergasted soul in the middle of the most soothing natural sounds.

It’s the most amazing example of cooperation between man and nature, it’s a rotation of crops and cultures, which follow, one after the other, season after season, through grafts, emigrations and returns, hybridization and contamination that enrich the very same biodiversity that has opened up the lands, the places, the fruits, the crops, the grains and every human colony to a whole new world made of endless discovery that never fails to restate Mother Nature’s power, yet always keeps every remembrance of the past, in an ongoing dialogue between past and future.
Pollino National Park is also history: many have been the archeological discovers, such as graffiti and relics; many are the remnants of the cultures that have crossed this land, including the linguistic isles where the Italian-Albanian communities live; then there are the old houses and the small villages, the orchids, the wild peonies and the wildflowers; the places where mankind has marked its sojourn and the faunal life that seems to be being casted out of every other place, for the sake of progress, here finds its home.

Air, water, land, light, scents, savors and sounds pull together to create a carefree nature, where nowadays’ frenzy has no place.
Not much has changed throughout the centuries: crops still are the fulcrum of local life, farmers, shepherds and artisans still are the key protagonists of the economy in the area, old habits still beat time.
Each season is different, each one brings new colors, pacifies the soul; the cool breeze that blows in summer and the freshwater springs offer a delightful shelter from the heat.
The landscape is also studded with folkloristic houses, the type that farmers once built to take refuge from the cold, to welcome their children into the warmth of their embrace. Generation after generation those houses have breathed in the love and the passion farmers put into their crops. Everlasting oaks seem willing to be reaching out for the sky with their long branches, pear, almond, olive trees, blackberries, hedgerows and gorses shape the breathtaking landscape that has accompanied these farmers for centuries. The same landscape that one can admire in the stone houses, the rock walls along the lanes, the farmers’ plots of land.

Every step taken into this world reeks of memories: local families with their black and white group photos, their weddings, their traditions, the places they left yet still come back to every time they can, the processions, the folklore of their dances, the ‘zampogne’ and all the old customs modern life set aside, not to mention the sleepless nights spent anxiously waiting for the big feast, the ceremonies in the old churches lost in the middle of the woods, dendolatry.
Anyone who enters these places feels at home, under the protection of nature and its huge precious biodiversity. It’s really easy to find your peace in the middle of the green of nature and the folklore of the local community.

This is the very same area where the ancient Lucania carved its place in history thanks to the isthmus that connected the Tyrrhenian coast to the Ionian one through Cirella and Sibari. This is the very same area where, years ago, one of the very first trains in Italy, the so-called Littorina, experimented its first routes in the South, from Castrovillari to Laino.

Nowadays the old stations, the bridges and the galleries have fallen into disuse, but they still work as a fascinating travel back in time for those who come visit, to remember how far mankind has gone with technology in something less than a century.
Pollino National Park not only protects local flora and fauna, but it also serves as bridge between nature and mankind, testifying the unbreakable knot that has tied humanity to Mother Nature over the millennia, in a loving relationship we seem to have forgotten.
Annibale Formica.

Annibale Formica



Canyono Raganello (ph. Francesco Bevilacqua)
Fiume Rosa (ph. Francesco Rotondaro)
Cima di Monte Alpi (ph. Francesco Bevilacqua)
Monte La Calvia (ph. Francesco Bevilacqua)
Monte Spina (ph. Francesco Bevilacqua)
Serra Ummara (ph. Francesco Bevilacqua)
Pollino (ph. Francesco Rotondaro)
Piani del Pollino (ph. Pietro Serroni)
Piano di Fossa (ph. Francesco Rotondaro)
Piano del Ratto (ph. Francesco Rotondaro)
Pietra Campanara (ph. Francesco Rotondaro)
Laghetto Mormanno (ph. Francesco Rotondaro)
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