POLLINO. WHERE EVERYTHING SPRINGS FROM WATER
The area covered by the “Pollino Wellness amidst Nature and Culture” integrated tourist package is a hilly and mountainous zone of considerable naturalistic and environmental interest and falls almost entirely within the Pollino National Park. To the north it is formed by the upper basin of the Sinni River together with the valleys of its main tributaries (the Frida, Peschiera, Serrapotamo and Sarmento torrents). In the south the area includes the valley of the River Mercure, which flows towards Calabria where it changes name to the River Lao. Water is in fact this area’s most important resource owing to its abundance and high quality.
Pollino National Park
Shared by the provinces of Potenza, Matera and Cosenza, the Pollino National Park is the largest in Italy. It takes its name from the Pollino Massif. Between the peaks of the Dolcedorme and Cozzo del Pelligrino and the horizons traced on the waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas, along the mountainous Calabrian-Lucan massif of the Pollino and the Orsomarso, nature and man have built up an ancient relationship that the Pollino National Park, under the emblem of the extremely rate Bosnian pine, preserves and safeguards. There is also a wide variety of fauna: birds of prey (golden eagle, red kite, white scavenger vulture, peregrine falcon, lanner falcon) share their territory with the Apennine wolf, the wild cat, the Orsomarso roe deer, otters and deer.
The municipal districts of Latronico, Episcopia, Francavilla sul Sinni, Senise, Rotonda, Castelluccio Superiore, Castelluccio Inferiore, San Severino Lucano, Chiaromonte, Calvera, Fardella, Carbone, Teana, Noepoli, San Costantino Albanese, Cersosimo, San Paolo Albanese, Terranova di Pollino and Viggianello are all involved in the “Pollino Wellness amidst Nature and Culture” integrated tourist package. The two villages of San Costantino Albanese (Shën Kostandini) and San Paolo Albanese (Shën Pali) were founded by Albanian refugees who fled their country following the Ottoman Turkish invasions of the 16th century and have managed to preserve their ancient language (Arbëreshë), the Greek-Byzantine rite, and many of their ancestral traditions.
The area is known for a number of delicacies which provide yet another interesting experience for visitors who are able to share in thisharmony between man and nature. The typical products of the Pollino region include the so-called “8-shaped” biscuits from Latronico, the cat tongue biscuits typical of Calabria, crisp oven-baked peppers, soppressata salami, as well as the typical IGP and DOP products of this area, such as the white poverello bean from Rotunda which can only be grown at an altitude of at least 600 metres, the Senise sweet pepper with its fine flesh and low liquid content and the carotene-rich Red aubergine of Rotonda, a Slow Food presidia product.