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Going Wild in Sila National Park

Wild forests, where bandits once hid, endless vistas, soaring eagles, and wolves One of Europe's last truly wild places. To miss seeing Sila would be a huge mistake.

You come here to see pristine nature but you also come here for you. The air that you inhale here is said to be the cleanest in Europe. Your lungs expand, and your mind slows down. You finally feel relaxed. You'll feel the weight of life fall from your shoulders. It's the most amazing feeling of being alive. Invigorated.

About Sila National Park

Sila Forest

Sila is all that remains of the great forests that once covered most of Italy. It is only here, in these great southern forests, that these creatures (that have mostly become extinct elsewhere) continue to not only survive but thrive.

It was not only the animals of Italy that fled here to the great forests of Sila; for centuries, the park was a place to hide for humans too; some who found safety here were monks fleeing persecution. Others were bandits fleeing the law.

Today, those visiting are mostly fleeing the crazy city life of northern Italy and northern Europe. They come here searching for peace in these ancient forests of soaring trees, canyons, waterfalls, and crystal-clear streams. They don't need to look far to find it either.

Animals of the Sila National Park

  • Roe Deer
  • Wild Boar
  • Red Fox
  • Apennine Wolf
  • European Wildcat
  • European Otter
  • Pine Marten
  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Woodpecker
  • European Fire Salamander

These diverse species represent just a small fraction of the many species that thrive within the Sila National Park. Exploring the park's trails and observing these creatures offers an enriching and memorable experience for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike. Each unique encounter serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and conserving these remarkable creatures for generations to come.

Where to Stay

My escape to a new peaceful existence began the moment I arrived at the Villa Concetta. I strongly recommend yours does too.


Tours are an easy way to discover the park and to learn much that is difficult to do on your own. Have a look at what tours of Sila are available here.

For more information on the park visit the very informative official Sila National Park website

When to Visit?

Snow in Calabria

I absolutely adore exploring the Sila National Park during late spring, when vibrant flowers bloom, the temperature is pleasantly warm without being overly hot, and the entire landscape turn green and lush.

Nevertheless, the park offers its unique charms throughout the year. In winter, it attracts numerous visitors seeking exceptional skiing experiences. It may seem unusual to associate Calabria with skiing, given its reputation for scorching summers, but the skiing opportunities here are surprisingly remarkable. With an impressive 24 kilometers of slopes and 5 lifts, the main resort of Lorica provides an exhilarating winter getaway amidst the captivating scenery of Calabria's Sila National Park.

San Giovanni in Fiore

Nestled within its embrace of the Sila National Park lie ancient towns that stir the soul and beckon you to embark on an extraordinary journey.

One truly stands out: San Giovanni in Fiore, the largest of the towns located in the National Park , Founded by monks, San Giovanni in Fiore witnessed centuries of their benevolent rule, with the monks governing the entire territory for over 400 years.

It was only around the 16th century that the town began to govern itself and it has lived in splendid isolation from the rest of the world for most of its history. Before road connections and the invention of the car a visit to the outside world could means days of traveling along precarious mule trails. 

What to See in San Giovanni in Fiore

The ancient Florense Abbey is top of the list of things to see. Follow your visit there with a tour of a few of the the local churches like the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Church of the Annunciation. Then visit the Norman Arch that, together with the Abbey, is the symbol of the town.

Abandoned house in Calabria

What else to do? Simply wander the old town, where narrow roads lead out into unexpected piazze and where life feels much like 20... 30... 100 years ago. Sadly, the population continues to decline, and that means great bargains for those interested in purchasing real estate. If you need advice on that please become a supporter here.

Eating is a pleasure here, the cuisine is traditional and rather unique.

So what should you eat?

  • Well, the Scialatielli pasta with a mushroom and wild boar or pork sauce is first.
  • Piatti di tiella (pan dish), made with local Silano potatoes and combined with dried cod plus a few vegetables, might sound a bit boring, but it is not... it is delicious.
  • Try the local Caciocavallo Silano cheese. 

What about sweet treats? 

  • Pitta Mpigliata is my favorite - it is a Christmas treat but you will likely find it on sale at a local Pasticceria. 
  • Try Turdilli and Mastacciuoli too.

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More Travel Tips:

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