Aspromonte National Park: A Trove of Bounties
Aspromonte National Park is one of the most beautiful protected areas in Italy, in the province of Reggio Calabria, with impressive sceneries and a basketful of typical products.
Aspromonte National Park
Aspromonte National Park opened in 1989 and covers an area of 64,544.61 ha, encompassing 37 municipalities of the province of Reggio Calabria. The territory features the enchanting views of the magnificent Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea shores. Visitaspromonte is the name of a project, whose aim is to popularise the customs and habits of the region, by promoting trekking, natural and cultural excursions, as well as wine routes and specialities, such as goat meat and macaroni.
The Wines of Aspromonte
The Palizzi Protected Geographical Indication stretched between land and sea. Palizzi Aringhìa is the namesake of the torrent that flows into the Ionian Sea, at Capo Spartiventi. The grapes used to make the two types of Aranghìa (red and aged) belong to the Nerello Mascalese, Calabrese and Alicante varieties. Aranghìa Rosso is characterised by an elegant aroma and a warm and spicy flavour, with reminiscences of red fruits. Aranghìa Barricato – the aged version – has a more distinct scent of vanilla, mixed with ripe fruit. Other wines include: Calanchi Bianco, whose rich aroma contains nuances of broom and bergamot, and Damusa Rosato, a fresh rosé wine, with scents of cherry.
The bounties of Aspromonte: mushrooms, caciocavallo and bergamot
Aspromonte’s mushrooms are flavourful and large-sized, weighing up to 6kg, like the porcino edible mushroom variety Boletus aestivalis
. Caviocavallo di Ciminà is a cheese made with the milk obtained from cows and sheep reared in Aspromonte. A slow-food presidium, caciocavallo is egg-shaped and its weight varies between 400g and 3kg. It can be immediately enjoyed grilled, or after a few weeks of aging. The bergamot
tree is 3-4m high, with evergreen leaves, resembling the ones of orange trees. Its flowers are white and have an intense smell. Its fruit is slightly bigger than an orange, with a yellow peel and tiny protuberance on both edges. The bergamot essential oil, DOP since 1999, is particularly used in the fragrance industry as well as in food-making. Aspromonte is the ideal habitat for bergamot. Despite the numerous attempts to plant it elsewhere, bergamot can only thrive in the favourable conditions of Calabria.
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