EXCURSION Condofuri - Monte Scafi - Gallicianò
Elevation difference: 749 metres
Altitudes and partial times: Condofuri (339 metres), Monte Scafi, South (1,085 metres 2.30 hours) – the Scafi barrier (0.30 hours) – Gallicianò (621 m 1.15 hours) -Condofuri (1.45 hours)
Total time: 6 hours (circuit) – (if Monte Scafi is reached, the return journey is 1.30 hours)
Water: fountains at Condofuri, near the Condofuri reservoir, at the Scafi barrier, at Gallicianò
Ordinance Survey Map: F° 602 II San Lorenzo
The inhabitants of Gallicianò are the most tenacious defenders of the Greek Calabrian language and culture. Their hamlet, with just over 200 inhabitants, is one of the few that continue to resist desertion strenuously.
The itinerary is challenging on the outward stretch, due to its elevation difference and direction; it is long and on the return route partially-asphalted. The entire excursion is a ring route providing ample views of the Torrente Pisciato (lit. Pissed Stream [sic!]), a tributary of the Amendolea, then of the Amendolea itself, San Lorenzo, Pentedattilo, the fortress of S. Lena, Bova. Furthermore, Monte Scafi, once the farming area of the residents of Gallicianò, provides one of the entire valley’s most beautiful sights.
Arriving by car
From Reggio Calabria take the SS106 highway in the Taranto direction for 39 kilometres and, having passed Condofuri Marina, turn off for Condofuri Superiore, at 13 kilometres further on. Park your car in the main square.
We walk uphill to the fountain situated, naturally, in the upper part of the village. We follow a narrow street bordered by a fence, olive, almond and oak trees, and reach another smaller trough and fountain. We are now faced with the itinerary’s steepest climb and have chosen to approach the mountain from the south, reaching a trail descending from Monte Scafi and ending in a pine wood. From the fountain we take a level pathway through olive trees and pass some rocks, before taking the right-hand turn which slopes suddenly upwards between dry walls and prickly pears. Before a bend to the right, we leave the broader pathway for a narrow one which enters a deep valley. Here we cross a stream and reach a stretch of abandoned terracing. We continue on level ground featuring a thick pine wood and the remains of a sheepfold. We now climb freely along the western margins of the pine wood, leaving Condofuri behind and reach the Torrente Pisciato. The trail follows a trodden way which practically obliges us to pass among the mountain crags to the left and to the right. The pathway becomes increasingly more marked and suddenly ascends to the track leading to mount Scafi. Initially, a series of land banks and some dense vegetation obstruct our path but, as we continue to climb, it becomes easier until we reach punta Telegrafo [Telegraph point]. Following the track now becomes easier and we soon reach Monte Scafi, south, recognisable by a trigonometric point. Here we meet a tarmacked road which we follow for less than a kilometre to a crossroads where, continuing to the right, the road ends at the Scafi barrier where we find water. Back at the crossroads, we turn right and, after 4 kilometres, begin a steep but scenic descent, encountering a water cistern to a junction, where, turning left and after a few bends, we arrive at the village of Gallicianò. To return to our departure point we have to walk 6 kilometres to the main roadway, which after a kilometre ascends to Condofuri.
Fonte: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca– Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Greek Calabria.