The “Garden of the Gods”, so it is called the area that affects this route in the Pollino National Park, which crosses the kingdom of the loricate pine.
Symbol of the Park, the pinus leucodermis is a precious botanical rarity that populates the peaks and rocky cliffs of the mountains. Now majestic and straight, now shaped by the fury of the elements, clinging to the rocky cliffs or still dry and white as ghosts, the loricates create a suggestive spectacle of life, death and rebirth, from which the strength of a still wild and primordial nature seems to manifest itself.
We start from the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Pollino (San Severino Lucano) and continue through centuries-old beech trees until crossing the gorges of Fosso Carceri. Shortly after you reach the panoramic Iannace Plan and from here, coming out of the woods, you climb towards the pastures of the Pollino Plain where you stop at the source Pitt’accurc’. Walk along the ridge of Serretta della Porticella, surrounded by monumental pines loricati, and continue to the top of Serra di Crispo.
You return to the Pitt’accurc’ source from a path that allows you to close the ring.
We recommend high trekking shoes, windbreaker, gloves, hat, headlamp. Water supply at the Sanctuary fountain or at the Pitt’accurc’ spring.
Where to park:
At the Sanctuary of Madonna del Pollino.
Pollino Park, between excursions and ancient villages
You can explore the natural area of the Pollino Park from a different perspective, choosing excursions of different duration and difficulty, by canoeing or dinghy the pure waters of the rivers that cross the park. If you prefer to stay standing, you can choose the canyoning, or trekking in the water that you can practice with different levels of difficulty. There are also very short tours, of 1 and a half hours, perfect for children, where you can get in touch with nature and take an easy walk in the water.
Among the places not to be missed, there is San Severino Lucano, an excellent starting point for your itineraries to discover the Pollino Park. With its long history and different traditions linked to plants, Viggianello is a characteristic mountain village, surrounded by a very green vegetation. Papasidero is another not-to-be-missed village, surrounded by numerous hiking opportunities and home to the church: the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Constantinople, which really looks like a fairy tale fortress. But what attracts most visitors is the archaeological site of the Grotte del Romito, which deserves its own section in our list.
Local culinary specialties
The region is famous for its various traditional dishes. If you’re in the area, don’t miss a mushroom dish (sample) or local specialty: sun-dried peppers. The beans, like the popular Rotonda beans, have been fundamental to local communities throughout history and you can still find many different ways of eating them in dishes.
Cover Image: The Soul Ful Ways