The trees of the Cecita Lake
Near the Cecita Lake, in the province of Cosenza between the municipalities of Spezzano della Sila, Longobucco and Celico, there is a pine forest with an outstanding, 25-meter-tall tree that is simply majestic.
There is also an old chestnut tree that was scorched by lightning, with a 10-meter-wide trunk, dedicated to Saint Francis of Paola, patron of Calabria. Some say it is 500 years old, which is actually possible because before the artificial lake was created – in 1951, when a hydroelectric dam was built – the heart of Greater Sila was completely covered in woods.
If the Sila is a realm of trees, its king is the black pine. In his “Viaggio in Italia”, Guido Piovene wrote, “It forms arboreal cathedrals with regular, dense trunks that sometimes go on for kilometers, enveloping the tops of the plateau and making the Sila a region of many secret places. It seems as though Southern Italy, forced into the mold of a Nordic landscape, manifests its true nature from under this disguise with some extra lymph. The Sila is a Northern reverie executed with Southern luxuriance.”
The perfect harmony between the Cecita Lake and its surroundings defies the definition of “artificial basin”. Man altered nature without disfiguring it… a rare miracle, that we are happy to witness.