Lorica (CS)


Lorica is a mountain resort in the Greater Sila and it lies on the banks of the Arvo lake. Its name derives from the Latin word “lòrica”, meaning armor, probably indicating an arduous safe place to hide in against any rival or enemy. However, no remain or artifact from any ancient human presence exist, so the term would refer to the natural environment of the area, that in the past was considered a vegetal stronghold, an impervious and wild habitat. Moreover, to explain local place names, a popular legend has it that the armor (lòrica) of an ancient warrior was found in the Cavaliere (warrior) district.



An important Lower Paleolithic archeological site stands in Lorica surroundings. Evidences of the presence of Homo erectus, the most ancient human species that inhabited the European continent, were found. The site was discovered by the paleontologist Italo Biddittu. Archaeological researches have been carried out since 2004 by the Office for the Archaeological Heritage in Calabria.

In 2002, Lorica was chosen as the main place of the Sila National Park. Ski lift facilities were built in the Cavaliere area, and Lorica has acquired a leading position among tourist resorts in the Sila plateau. A cable car starting from Cavaliere station leads to the top of Mt Botte Donato, the highest Sila mountain. It is 1928m high above sea level, and the view from there is breathtaking. In winter, you can go downhill by skiing on snow trails. Other important tourist resorts stand a few minutes far from Lorica. The Pass of Cornacchia in Rovale is on the route to San Giovanni in Fiore: a renowned camping is located on the lake banks among century-old pines. Inside the camping, built some decades ago, several facilities are available, including a well-stocked shop. A few kilometers apart, Rovale stands. It is an agricultural center built by the Opera Valorizzazione Sila, the office promoting the development of the Sila area. Some tourist facilities are available and local traditional products can be found and sampled here. On top of Mt Botte Donato, the 1828m high Sila mountain, a “rifugio” stands, where you can have food and drinks. The view from the top is wonderful: the Arvo lake and high mountains can be seen, and if weather conditions are favorable, Mt Pollino, Mt Stromboli and Mt Etna can also be spotted. The mountain top can be reached by car or cable car from Cavaliere.

The parish Church of “S. Francesco alla Verna”, erected in 1972 by the Archbishop of Cosenza Enea Selis and entrusted to the Friars Minor, can be visited. The church is plunged into a thick pine and fir forest. The natural stone façade is surmounted by a triangular tympanum where the bell tower stands.