EXCURSION from Bova to Monte Grosso
Elevation difference: 531 metres roughly uphill
Altitude: Bova sports field (776 metres above sea level)
Monte Grosso (1, 307 metres above sea level)
Time: 4 hours
Water: a couple of drinking fountains along the way and one
at the San Salvatore barrier
Signposting: some stretches are indicated by arrows
Ordinance Survey Map: F° 602 II ST Lorenzo; 615 I Bova
The hike (along which guides from Bova often accompany groups of excursionists) on the outward leg, follows what remains of the old mule track that once led from Bova to the Fields and up to Monte Grosso from which two paths lead down, one to Casalinuovo, the other to Africo-Roghudi. It is easy to keep on course as the track flanks the right of the tarmacked road; however, the track provides panoramic views of the upper Amendolea Valley. In 2003, remains of a Greek fortress dating from the sixth century B.C. were found near the castle of San Salvatore.
Arriving by car
At Bova Marina on the SS 106 take the turning for Bova. Do not enter the town itself, but continue in the direction of the mountain, until you come to a sports field. Park here.
In front of the Forestry Police’s barracks, near the sports field, a number of billboards provide information about San Leo and some of the pathways. Immediately after these, a mule track to the right allows you to leave the tarmacked road, which you will encounter again further uphill. Continue along alternating stretches of road and track to arrive at passo della Zita [The Bride’s Pass] at Portella di Bova. A short distance before the bridge, take the pathway which passes under the arches and leads to the mule track which offers wide-open, panoramic views.
As you look at splendid vistas of Gallicianò and Roccaforte you pass a sheepfold and on the road find the Travi fountain. The trail is bordered to the left by a fence and at this point you can see the Pecorella forest barrier below as the track joins the tarmacked road for Roghudi. Take the road in the uphill direction (right) for a few metres as far as a bend from which a pathway to the left forks out.
Here you meet a spring and just beyond it, the Maro Mustazzu fountain. A little farther on, crossing some woodland damaged by fire, you come across a hut and as you climb you catch sight of Roghudi. Skirting the Fields you pass below the remains of a large cement farmhouse while a sheet-iron building stands as a sign of veneration for Saint Leo on the part of a devotee of his. The hike continues at a short distance from the road through big clearings often occupied by herds of cows. Monte Grosso is now perfectly visible. A short climb takes you to a point from which you can see Roccaforte and the Colella landslide.
When you enter the pine forest a number of crossings might prove confusing, but if you keep to the right you will arrive at the San Salvatore chalet. Here you will find a small eating place with a fireplace and a small kitchen, that is always open.
Fonte: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca– Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Calabria Greca