sila national park

BISIGNANO - CUPONE (CECITA LAKE)

bisignano - Cupone (Cecita lake)

The route starts in Bisignano (350 m), an ancient town and bishop's see, home to the important Sanctuary of Sant’Umile, funded by Blessed Pietro Cathin, an envoy of Saint Francis of Assisi. The route rises the Timpone della Morte mount (762 m) for about 10 km, along the SS660 road. Then it gently descends towards Acri (688 m), a small town known for hosting the Basilica of Saint Angelo d’Acri. From here the route winds into Conca delle Noci and climbs up to 1262 m, near Cava di Melis, where some of the highest vineyards in Europe are grown. Then it reaches Cecita Lake, located at 1143 m above the sea level. Here you’ll find the Cupone visitor and environmental education centre.

44 km
3:00 hours
1880 m
Difficulty: advanced
Nature & adventure holidays
Your journey starts here

ITINERARY AND DESTINATIONS

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Places you must visit

Sanctuary of Saint Humilis

The Sanctuary of Saint Humilis (Sant’Umile), known as “Convento la Riforma”, was founded by the Blessed Pietro Cathin, sent by St. Francis of Assisi. The portal, which dates back to the 15th century and is surmounted by the coat of arms of the Sanseverino Princes, leads us into the nave that culminates in the apse. Here we find the wood sculpture of Crucified Jesus, the work of Friar Umile of Petralia, dating back to 1637 (the year of Sant’Umile’s death).

Basilica of the Blessed Angelo d’Acri

The construction of the basilica began in 1893, under the direction of Guido Quercioli, and it was finished in 1898. Inside there are twelve aristocratic chapels, and the central chapel has an urn made entirely of bronze and glass that has the recomposed body of the Saint. The interior of the basilica is frescoed with depictions of the miracles attributed to the Saint. The cupola is 32 meters tall with two towers and bronze copper plated bells.

CUPONE VISITOR CENTRE

The Cupone Visitor Centre was established in the spaces adjacent to the old state-owned sawmill and its buildings. Today it is an environmental education centre with nature trails, wildlife observatories, a museum, and a geological garden. The nearby picnic area along Lake Cecita, make the Visitor Centre one of the most popular areas of the Sila National Park.

Useful information

KEY FACTS

climate

Winters can be snowy on the peaks. However, roads and accommodation facilities are open and accessible. If you’re not afraid of winter weather riding, the Parks cycle network welcomes you even in the cold season.

Food, drink and accommodation

Throughout the route you’ll find farmhouses (agriturismi), B&Bs and guesthouses. The towns and villages located along the ride offer visitors Italian restaurants and trattorie, where you can enjoy authentic cuisine and typical dishes. The cycle network mainly crosses woodlands and green areas, where water sources are always available.

Clothing

Cycling gear varies depending on the season. In autumn and winter, it’s important to use the right gear to keep you dry and warm on rides, as the temperatures can be very cold in the mountains; in spring, you don’t need thermal gear but don’t forget to wear the right windproof and waterproof clothing. In summer, you can wear a t-shirt and bermuda shorts, but always bring a jacket for high-altitude rides.
  • We recommend using a reliable and comfortable bike, suitable for both sealed and unsealed roads.
  • If you want to travel with a tent, you can stay in tent camping sites or campsites with full amenities, surrounded by woodlands. To learn more please click here.

Useful Information

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