Naturalistic walks

1. Vrisi and the street of the mills

The naturalistic path Vrisi – Street of the mills starts from the ancient road that once connected Gasperina – Sant’Anna’s Grangia – Montauro. After an ancient pavement and another piece of dirt road, you can find the Source Vrisi (or Brisi), at the bottom of a grove constituted by arboreal and shrubby essences among which: roverella, maple opalo or italic, holly and butcher’s-broom. Downstream you can find luxuriant characteristic flora of the damp hilly places. The water of the source is taken into an artefact whose central body exhibits bands, an empty panel aloft, holes of pole; in four different floral motives, located in the inferior part, they are inserted as many cinnamons. In the opposite side to that of the basin, a block in calcarenite brings an interpretable incision as “.A .S .S .1694.” The whole construction would have been realized by the Carthusian monks of the nearby Grangia on ‘600.
Under the road there are the ancient tubs for washing in whose proximities there were the cacinari, that is tubs used for the workmanship of the skins.
Left the area of the Source Vrisi, proceeding ahead to the ruins of the Carthusian Sant’Anna’s Grangia, you can  get off along the Molinella’s Valley (Mulineḍa). Crossing another piece of pavement with stones, ancient unactive water mills can be observed, once of the Grangia’s pertinence.
The hydraulic components were six, five used for milling cereals, leguminose and other products, while the sixth, called <<Tagliatore>> (Tagghjatura), was used for working the silkworms, flax and cereals. What remains of this last artefacts is still to be discovered. Of the others, although degraded, they are still legible: polygonal water tubs, bridge-channels with one or two arcs, towers or arrows, local for milling, tunnels. The millponds are nearly disappear instead; they took water from the Vrisis brought to the tubs.
Only the location of the first structure lies in the Gasperina’s territory; the others in Montauro’s.
The three top factories were active up to half ‘900.
The hydraulic components of the Molinella were of the Greek-Calabrian type, with vertical axle and horizontal wheel. They looked like the Greek’s mills, revisited then by the Romans.
From the district Goracis the first and the second mill are visible.

Source Vrisi
Source Vrisi, engraved stone
Ruins of the ancient mill

2. Umbro – Mount Paladino – Conella

The naturalistic pathway that reaches the places of Umbro, Mount Paladino and Conella slowly climbs along the north zone of Gasperina. It is a suggestive scenery in the middle of the green where once the vineyards served as natural scenography. In the zone of Umbro a Carthusian sign is located. In the past, the Chartreuse’s monks, used engraved signs on trunks of trees, stones, rocks in order to underline the borders of their possessions.
The road that from the inter-land crossroads at Umbro climbs toward the summit of Mount Paladino anciently delimited the Gasperina which was of Carthusian’s pertinence. Here, on a surfacing rock, this bordering stone survives. The letter S is engraved with spatula apicatures between two points, written in a circle surmounted by a Latin cross.
From the top of Mount Paladino, the visitor’s look, according to his position, can embrace the whole Golfo di Squillace, the Sila and Pre-Sila of Catanzaro, the Calabrian Pre-Serre and the Lamezia’s high lands.
The practicable pathway crosses luxuriant zones and reaches Conella where there is a fountain. Once it was the forced destination for so many agriculturists, farmers, travellers.

Mount Paladino and Carthusian sign
Carthusian sign

3. Pruppo – Marcuccio

Out of the inhabited area and absorbed in a luxuriant green there is the ancient Source of Pruppo (Pruppu), toponym that refers to the term poplar tree. You can reach it though the district of Xχioppu, taking the interland pathway along the stream.
It is well documented that in the 1500, in the same area, there was the location called Purpo, whose name then has become Pruppo.
The water of the source crosses two caves that join together just before the entrance. Afterwards, the water gets channelled into a pipe-line inside the artefact made of local granite stone that includes projecting elements. Under the pipe-line, another lithic element takes the water in the side basin.
The source was the place of meetings, socialization and romantic stories.
Along the whole interland pathway, you can follow the stream and a wood of oaks of extraordinary beauty. A pavement in local stone cover all the pathway to Marcuccio.

Source Pruppo

4. The Gruccioni

In the sea place Creti the gruccionis can be met, volatile belonging to a protected kind that share its existence between Southern Europe, South-Western Asia and Africa to South Sahara. They are very colored: breast and tail are green/blue, throat and back are yellow, head and back are red and yellow orange, a black bandage on the eyes to frame a long bent beak. The nest is dug on walls of tufo or on the same land and it is composed of a tunnel wide like an orange and long about three meters.
From Spring up to July, the present colony in the Gasperina’s sea side go ahead to and over Montepaone Superiore and the town of Gasperina. The colony searches the  valley between Floridace, St. Nicola and the districts of Pilinga, Timponello and Melitì. It is a particular damp area, with various sources of water which, so far, has represented an ideal place for this kind of bird. At the end of July suddenly, as they arrived, they go back to the tropics, from which they probably moved for due overheating climatic variations of the atmosphere.

Gruccioni's nests

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