EXCURSION to the Melito River’s Upper Valley
Comuni: Bagaladi, ST Lorenzo
Elevation difference: there is no significant change in altitude.
Altitude: about 900 metres above sea level (departure point)
Time required: 1 hour
Water: stock up along the SS 183 (fountains)
Ordinance Survey Map: F° 602 II ST Lorenzo
A pathway through a gorge, that has remained untrodden for decades, overgrown with vegetation, and where it is possible to breathe the air of a truly wild part of the Aspromonte area.
Arriving by car
Take the SS 106 as far as Melito di Porto Salvo, then turn inland along the SS 183. Once you have bypassed Bagaladi continue uphill to the Aspromonte massif for about 14 kilometres until you arrive at the Piani di Lopa (fields with crops, the odd strip of deciduous chestnut woodland with a few edible chestnut trees) and having passed the first few scattered houses, when you see a bar rosticceria on your left, take the right-hand tarmacked road branching away from the state highway and passing through the reforested pine wood. The first part of this road descends gently, but later becomes quite steep and features several bends. After about 2 kilometres you arrive at the really tiny hamlet of Lacco di Saguccio (part of the municipality of Bagaladi), situated on a small plateau overlooking the Melito River gorge, and from which you can get an amazing view. Leave the car here.
Take the path to the right beyond the village and walk downhill through a series of sharp bends, against a wonderful natural backdrop, to the river bed (approximately 2 kilometres). Next to the river stand the ruins of a mill, formerly a battendieri, a fuller’s mill which contained machinery for felting wool, making it waterproof and producing the worsted worn by shepherds. Go down directly to the striking river bed with ita amazing granite boulders. The gorge is covered in thick vegetation. The river contains a series of loops, bounded by sheer valley walls, as well as frequent waterfalls and pools.
Source: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca– Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Calabria Greca