Sila’s Lovely Lorica, Calabria

The lovely hamlet of Lorica in Calabria’s Sila Grande is probably a destination in Italy that’s not on a traveller’s bucket list, but this is why you must visit…

With relatives in Lorica, this gives me a great excuse to visit this alluring part of the Sila National Park – though I don’t really need an excuse.

Where is Lorica?

Lorica, Sila, Calabria, Italy, Europe

To familiarise yourself with Lorica’s position – this map displays the pleasing and unheard-of escape, which lies in Italy’s unique Calabrian region.

Charming Lorica rests at an altitude of 1,314-metres above sea level, in the spectacular Sila National Park.


The village of Lorica experiences cooler climes in the summer and heavy snow during the winter months – great reasons for Lorica’s popularity all year-round. Although sometimes, I believe that Lorica is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Lakeside descent

Ski resorts offer 24-kilometres of ski slopes, which are served by 5 fully equipped ski lifts…

…and appealing, chalets with open fireplaces, Lorica also offers many adventurous snow activities. Including, long majestic snow treks through the Sila National Park.

Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Photo credit: Miranda Vizza

The summer months also offer trekking trips on many trails through the stunning natural national park and quaint boat trips around Lake Arvo.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Pretty vistas

Enchanting Lake Arvo

One of the largest lakes in the Sila National Park, man-made Lake Arvo was built between 1927 and 1931 as part of three lakes in this wild area of the Sila, to generate hydroelectricity. With a perimeter of 24-kilometres, the lake lends itself to many rowing competitions.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Picture perfect

Picturesque Lake Arvo is flanked by Swiss-style grand chalets, and also offers camping in the area at various times throughout the year.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Scenic panorama

If fishing is your passion, then Lake Arvo is brimming with Carp, Perch, Trout, and several other fish-types.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Expansive glimpses

A handful of traditional bars and restaurants dot this pristine lake, including, a well-equipped fuel station the Q8 distributore di benzina that sells local souvenirs.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Ominous icy clouds

Pop in for a traditional and delicious bite to eat at the Rifugio Lo Scoiattolo restaurant, while watching the sun recede from the lake with a favourite Calabrese Aperol Spritz.

Aperol Spritz, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Refreshing Aperol Spritz

Scenic boat trip – Lake Arvo

The trip around the 8.7-kilometre-long lake in a small motorised boat provides an interesting commentary on Lake Arvo’s history – while you absorb the serenity and admire the Arvo’s surrounding natural beauty.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Moving slowly around Arvo’s bends while rounding undulating hills and sandbanks, think back to how Arvo’s stones were laid by hand in the early 20th-century – some areas over 20-metres high.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe

The peaceful 30-minute boat trip exploring and learning a little on Lake Arvo ends much too soon. In the summer months, sun chairs and sun brollies grace the lake’s sandy stretches.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Another view

Sila Grande

Publishing a splattering of information on the Sila Grande (Sila National Park) in several previous posts, also re-capping in this post as the Sila is such a gorgeous national park to visit.

Extending for 74,000-hectares through the provinces of Cosenza, Crotone, and Catanzaro, settlements of farmers and fishermen, occupied the Sila while exploiting the ancient lake basins.

As the wettest part of Calabria, the spectacular Sila is one of Italy’s oldest national parks and contains 900 species of Flora. Fauna such as the wolf still roams the Sila, but quite elusive.

The Sila, Calabria, Italy, Europe
Younger woods in the Sila

Believed to have been planted in the mid-17th-century, the ancient Giant Pines of Sila in Cosenza’s province is home to 56 Larch trees, of which some are estimated at 350-plus years old.

The Sila is a hidden precious jewel, nestled in the wild and rugged untouched Calabrian Apennines. An inviting venue to escape the summer’s scorching heat and enjoy a lavish, Calabrese BBQ with friends.

A little on The Apennines

The vast Apennines mountain range joins the Ligurian Alps at Altare, extending 1,324-kilometres (823 miles) to the Straits of Messina in Reggio Calabria, and the origin of the majority of Italy’s rivers.

Appennini Mountain range, Italy, Europe

The highest point of the Apennines ascends to 2,276-metres. Then, descending to its lowest point in Catanzaro’s height of only 250-metres. The Apennines’ range creates a dramatic spine through Italy.

The southern Apennines starts from Pollino on Basilicata’s border cutting through Calabria and mostly covering the region. A region of Italy that’s often missed by tourists and especially, foreign travellers.

Map credit: Mario1952 at Italian Wikipedia

Getting to Lorica

As the Sila National Park is such a huge tourist attraction for locals and nationals in the summer to escape the heat and for snow sports during winter, you’d think that Lorica would be well-serviced with public transport. Short answer? No.

If you have a car, then of course, life is much easier. Catching a bus for the 60-kilometre (one-way) trip from Cosenza is ‘nigh impossible during the week, especially during certain times of day or year.

Cosenza to Lorica map, Sila, Calabria, Italy Europe

The Ferrovie della Calabria bus line ends at the picturesque Giovanni in Fiore, services Lorica so check the link for ever-changing bus times.

Forget about catching a bus on Sundays. Although the trial run for the bus (€ 4.80 one-way) on Sundays this summer proved popular and is extended until the end of September.

Not sure whether this will continue in the following years. It’s difficult to find updated bus timetables online, and a trip to Cosenza’s Autostazione is your only alternative. It helps if the information booth at the bus terminal is open though.

You may need to change bus at Carmiglatello where another waits, to continue to Lorica. I only changed on the return journey. The second visit to Lorica was brief in a hired car from Rogliano, with overseas friends – definitely much easier.

Travel tip

Why not take an all-day side trip on the fabulous nostalgic steam train trip? This train leaves from Moccone travelling through the Sila, stopping off at mountain villages along the way, to sample traditional delights, before heading to San Giovanni in Fiore. 

Steam Train, Moccone, Calabria, Italy
Steam train from Moccone

The steam train doesn’t go to Lorica as there isn’t a train line in that part of the Sila, but it’s definitely worth experiencing this marvellous and fun day trip if you’re in this area.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts on Italy.

Lake Arvo, Lorica, Sila National Park, Calabria, Italy, Europe

20 responses to “Sila’s Lovely Lorica, Calabria”

  1. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    I love Lorica, it reminds me a bit of certain parts of Canada. I have yet to see it in the winter months. I also still need to see the Giant Pines of Sila – they look majestic!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Lorica is amazing!
      I’ve been a couple of times now and each time I see something more beautiful than the last. Hope you get there…

  2. gillmorris Avatar

    What a beautiful place. Another one for the bucket list, it’s getting quite large! Love your postcard type images at the end Nilla. Hope you are well x

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hey Gill
      Thanks for the feedback and yes, Lorica is stunning and would love to return one day. I have several offers to stay in the area with cousins, which would be fantastic. But, I fear that my waistline would expand even more!🤣 Glad I’m introducing you to different Italian destinations.
      Trying to switch it up a little… 😉
      All well here in Oz. X

      1. gillmorris Avatar

        Good to hear you are well Nilla! xx

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks and hope you are as well?
        Think it will be a while before we do any OS travel again. 🙁 xx

      3. gillmorris Avatar

        I am good thank you, getting my vaccine on Thursday so that’s great news! How is the vaccine rollout in OZ? xx I know, hopefully from May 17 we will be allowed out of the country again! xx

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Very slow as we don’t have many cases. Frontline workers first.
        Our government is telling Australians end of next year. Everyone arriving in Australia needs to self-isolate for 14 days in a government-designated hotel at around AU$3,000. Flights are also hideously expensive. 🙁 x

      5. gillmorris Avatar

        WOW end of next year! That’s long! But I guess if the numbers are low! Yeah, we also have government approved hotels for those coming in but only from countries on the red list!

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yeah, tough!
        It’s everyone that enters Australia except celebrities, sportsmen, and the rich – infuriating!
        “Do as I say…”

  3. wetanddustyroads Avatar

    Lorica looks like a beautiful place (and so does Lake Arvo) – it definitely spells serenity ☺️. Love your pictures.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and yes it is! It’s a bit of a hidden secret to foreigners. 😉
      Would love to visit again and my cousins are so hospitable, I need to stay for a few days.

  4. Debbie Avatar

    Thanks for introducing me to Lorica. It sounds amazing!
    Definitely worth adding to my bucket list.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Debbie
      No problem at all and yes, Lorica is definitely worth a visit – such a gorgeous area.

  5. karenincalabria Avatar

    I particularly love the snow laden trees.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Karen
      So do I, but can’t take credit for the snow photos as my cousins kindly provided these photos of their beautiful town.
      I visited Lorica during the summer and just before the snow, so the rest of the photos are mine. 😉
      Hope all is well with you Karen.

  6. the eternal traveller Avatar

    The steam train would be something we would definitely enjoy, as well as a few nice walks in the National Park.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      The day trip is a lot of fun and loved the pace and nostalgia.
      The walks are plentiful in this gorgeous region of Calabria. 🙂

  7. InsideMySlingBag Avatar

    Beautiful place, lovely captures Nilla❣️

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you! The winter photos are provided from my cousins as I haven’t visited Lorica under snow yet… 🙂

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