Covering the widest part of the Calabrian peninsula, the Sila massif, east of Cosenza, is more of an extensive plateau than a mountain range, though the peaks on its western flank reach heights of nearly 2000m. Protected by the Parco Nazionale della Sila (wparcosila.it), it’s divided into three main groups: the Sila Greca, Sila Grande and Sila Piccola, of which the Sila Grande is of most interest to tourists.

At one time the Sila was one huge forest and was exploited from earliest times to provide fuel and material for the construction of fleets, fortresses and even for church-building in Rome, resulting in a deforestation that helped bring about the malarial conditions that for centuries blighted much of Calabria. The cutting of trees is now strictly controlled, and ancient pines (the so-called Giganti della Sila), which can live for several hundred years, are among the region’s chief attractions. There’s plenty here, too, for the outdoors enthusiast: in summer the area provides relief from the heat of the towns, and in winter there’s downhill and cross-country skiing.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Where to find the best beaches in Italy

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

From secluded coves to lively seafronts, there are plenty of places to sun worship in Italy. But with an increasing number of hotels charging for access to the …

20 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook