EXCURSION from Bova to Roghudi
Elevation difference: 467 metres downhill, 160 metres uphill
Altitude: Bova (start of the trail) 834 metres above sea level –Roghudi base, 435 metres above sea level –Roghudi church, 527 metres above sea level
Time required: outward hike 4 hours (Bova – Noì 2 hours)
Water: numerous springs at Noì and a fountain near the church at Roghudi
Signposting: red and white indicating path n. 102 of the Aspromonte Park’s pathway register. This is part of the track connecting Bova and Delianuova. The two villages share strong bonds seeing that the original settlements of Delianuova, Pedavoli and Paracorio, were founded by the earliest inhabitants of Delia, now Bova.
Ordinance Survey Map: F° 615 I Bova; F° 602 II San Lorenzo
The Amendolea River, the most important of the entire Aspromonte area, is the leit motif of this excursion. At the beginning of the trek you see it from above, with panoramic views sweeping as far as the sea and Mount Etna, then, as you descend, it draws closer and seems to lure you into it. During the final stretch of the hike, you have the sensation of having grown tiny and of being lost in this immense river valley with its sheer slopes. Only from here can one truly understand how this waterway with its stones and sand may have overawed the Greek Calabrians obliged to follow its course. The pathway is one of the oldest linking the Chora (capital) and Roghudi. The stretch from here to Noì connects a series of farmsteads, now deserted or converted into sheep folds, along the ridges of the deep valleys that converge on the Amendolea. Unfortunately, near Chieromandri the pathway becomes very uneven and rough due to landslides. Almost parallel to this route, but higher up, runs the old, provincial road, abandoned since the construction of another, longer road which crosses the plains of Bova and arrives at Roghudi. Avoid hiking along the final section of this pathway which flanks the river bed during winter or in summer, because of the heat.
Arriving by car
Outside Bova, drive in the direction of the mountain and pass the football field; after a little over 1 kilometre, you will find a small tarmacked road on the left leading down to some houses. Park here.
Take the track that begins behind the first group of houses on the right. The first stretch of this pathway is a wide and comfortable mule track which encounters numerous springs and amid holms and the odd chestnut tree leads to the houses and fields of Lestizi. A little before that, it crosses a track to the left leading down to Focolio and then up to Gallicianò (n. 128 of the Register). After the houses at Lestizi, a trail leads up to the old provincial road. If you remain, however, on this level, you will take the pathway after the sheepfold and having crossed a stream among some enormous chestnut trees, you will arrive at the houses at the beginning of Spartusa. From ruins situated at a lower level, the trail resumes its course and after the umpteenth stream (which crosses some scree and rounds a rocky crag, descending to join the torrent into the narrow Chieromandri valley) you arrive at houses in the Tribuna locality (the name of which, like many others here, are not marked on the Ordinance Survey map). The trail is less evident here but the houses at Noì are clearly in sight and are reached having crossed yet another stream. At the top of the valley you can see the embankments built to retain the old provincial road. After this you arrive at a track leading up to this road at a point close to Simomogorto. Follow this for about a hundred metres as far as a right-hand bend above a group of houses and a small terrace overlooking the river upon which a narrow pathway converges. When you reach this point, you will see Roghudi, at last, and the riverside pathway you need to follow to reach it. The distance is 2 kilometres but you should not underestimate it, because the presence of water obliges you to ford it a number of times.
From Noì, you walk downhill, crossing some run-down terracing, towards the remains of a farmhouse. You cross a stream and pass a cistern, then the path narrows near a wooden gate. Having left the farmhouse to your left, you arrive at the banks of the Amendolea River which you must follow uphill. Keeping to the left of the river’s course, on some of the rocky outcrops that jut out towards the river like peninsulas, you can see traces of old mule tracks, which, by passing high above the river bed, avoiding travellers the need to ford the river frequently. Unfortunately the mule track you are on has collapsed in several points and, depending on the season, makes fording necessary. A little farther on, you meet the confluence between the Furria Torrent and the Amendolea River and the bottom of the outcrop upon which Roghudi was built. A partially dilapidated, paved pathway leads into the village through the so-called “sea gate” and a final steep slope brings you up to the church and the main square.
Source: Guida Naturalistica della Calabria Greca– Alfonso Picone – Rubbettino Editore – Collana Parco Culturale della Calabria Greca