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Itinerary from Serra San Bruno to Canolo

car route
1 day
Number of Stages

The route crosses the Serre Regional Nature Reserve and the Aspromonte National Park: an interesting itinerary both from a nature point of view due to the wealth of pine, mixed and beech forests that can be appreciated, but also from a spiritual point of view thanks to the many religious sites encountered. These include the Carthusian Monastery of Serra San Bruno, the Catholic Church of Stilo and the Monastery of San Giovanni Theristis in Bivongi, and the Monastic Complex of Santa Barbara in Mammola, now a museum of contemporary art. Also of interest are the history and traditions of a land that over time has been home to many different populations, owing to its strategic position between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas.

Serra San Bruno - Ferdinandea - Bivongi - Stilo - Serra San Bruno


From Serra San Bruno, climb up the Ciclovia dei Parchi towards Mongiana. After 7 km on the SS110, through the beech forests of the Serre, you arrive at the junction with the Ciclovia sign where you have to turn left towards Nardo di Pace/Monasterace. At Km 13, you will find the old roadside station house, the highest point of the route (1309 m), where the road begins to descend until Km 18, where you have to take the Sentiero Italia U09, which can be seen on the left, to reach Ferdinandea.

Here, the majestic residence of the Bourbons and the panorama that surrounds it reward the effort: 'There is nothing but this forest, immense, boundless: only this tall vegetation exists', as Matilde Serao wrote, who had been to these places in 1886. Returning back, turn left at the fork and cycle south again. Descending to Km 20, you reach the path that leads to the Marmàrico waterfall, the highest in the southern Apennines (114 metres), on the Sentiero del Brigante. The itinerary continues eastwards passing through Pazzano and then the beautiful village of Bivongi (Km 38) to end  in Stilo, where you can admire the famous Cattolica and Norman era castle. After passing the village, we continue downhill to the Stilaro river. At Km 46.5, after the Vina bridge, you start climbing again with gradients of up to 10% to the summit of Monte Cucolìa (1129 m); from here, you will remain high up in the woods of the Serre Park, until Km 66, from where  the final descent begins, leading back to Serra San Bruno (Km 70.9).

Serra San Bruno - Canolo


From the centre of Serra San Bruno, the cycle route leads  towards the beautiful Santo Stefano Charterhouse via an uphill itinerary with gradients up to almost 10%, but at km 5.6, having passed 1,000 metres in altitude, it then starts a slight descent that leads to Mongiana (920 metres) at km 9.3 where the Royal Bourbon Ironworks are located, described in the Arms Factory Museum. After Mongiana, the cycle route heads south through the Cropani Micone State Reserve, amidst the beech and chestnut forests. Ascents and descents continue at Km 16 to Fabrizia, the village of woodland and charcoal traditions surrounded by mountains, in the Marchesale Biogenetic Nature Reserve.

Once past the centre, the route arrives at the Marco Marra Fountain amidst chestnut, silver fir and beech forests and continues towards Limina (1125 metres) to the Croce Ferrata Pass (1128 metres) and with a descent, the route leads to Valle Gelata (1016 metres), ascending to Monte Seduto (1137 metres). It then descends for 12 km and, having passed the Passo della Limina which allows entry to the Aspromonte Park, it follows the SP35 through a beech wood until km 44.9 from which the last downhill section begins. Past the rest area near Barca, the road climbs slightly up to the plain leading to the junction for Canolo Nuova (900 m), just 1 km from the cycle route and 5 km from the village of Canolo Vecchia, located in the middle of two canyons on the Dossoni della Melia, from which the surrounding landscape is clearly visible.

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