"Cupone" Visitor Center
In the town of Spezzano della Sila, so called from the river flowing there, Cupone village, close to Lake Cecita, links its historical memory to the long territorial disputes between the state land and private citizens only established in May 1876.
Characterized by the massive presence of larch pine, with monumental specimens still alive, alternating with grazing areas, the area has been exploited by several activities since the early decades of the twentieth century.
Initially there was only a sawmill, then a production, with special plants, of rosin and essence of turpentine, then still a woodworking activity and finally a propelling center of environmental protection and conservation policies.
The Visitor Center located in the Cupone area, which arose precisely following the adaptation of the spaces around the old state-owned sawmill and accessory plexuses, today is a center of environmental education, provided with nature trails, wildlife observatories, museum, geological garden. You will find, in addition, the adjacent picnic area along the Cecita lake, that makes the "Cupone" Visitor Center one of the most visited areas of the Sila National Park. The Carabinieri Environmental Coordination for the Environment provides (only with a prior request) a free guided tour to school groups and organized groups.
There is also a Botanical Garden accessible to disabled and visually impaired visitors, with panels and mp3 audio files explaining the various attractions (at Cupone Visitor Center are also available 20 mp3 players and the download of the audio files part 1, part 2, part 3, if requested).
The garden is placed at an altitude of m. 1.156 and includes the autochthonous essential flora of the Park territory. It consists of both a wet area and an acidic rock that reproduce the typical vegetation of the Silane plateau diversified in the southern exposure with laricio pine and in the north with beech and silver fir, among erratic granite boulders. Dedicated to visually impaired and blind people, the educational path of the Cupone Botanical Garden runs for the 350 meters of its development on wooden sleepers bounded by a fence with handrail. The landscape is the Sila mountain and the vegetal presences with which to interact are 115 native species of the Calabrian mountain flora - from the potentilla to the Calabrian astragalus - arranged on the ground or in basins depending on the size and gender. All the plants are accompanied by cards in Braille and with marked characters for the visually impaired. The Botanical Garden occupies an area of 10,400 square meters, almost entirely flat, and was built in the state land Forests falling within the perimeter of the Sila National Park.
"Cupone" Visitor Center
tel. +39 0984 579 757
opening hours: 09: 00-19: 00 (during winter 08: 00-18: 00)
For more information:
Carabinieri territorial office for the Biodiversity of Cosenza
Tel .: 0984 76760