Montalto and the Sanctuary in Polsi
This is a symbol of the Park trails, leading from the highest peak to the deepest place of the Aspromonte. From the top of Montalto, descending towards the Valley of the Bonamico torrent, this hiking trail reaches the heart of the mountain, Polsi, symbol of Aspromonte’s Faith. A crowd of thousands of pilgrims, passing through these paths hanged between heaven and valleys, arrives every year to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Mountain in Polsi, keeper of a centuries-old history and traditions.
Passing through breathtaking views and enchanting woods, about 16 km from Gambarie, you’ll reach the base of Mount Cocuzza, known as Montalto, where a wooden construction built by AFOR (i.e. Regional Forestry Company) indicates the beginning of this hiking trail. From here you can follow an evident path lined by a wooden fence and, after 10 minutes, you’ll reach the summit, at 1.956 m above sea level, where there’s the statue of the Redeemer, next to which there’s a Compass Rose. From here, you may enjoy a 360° panorama, with alternating mountain peaks, cliffs, valleys and dense woodland.
We’ll begin now the long descent that will lead us towards the Sanctuary in Polsi, crossing a beautiful forest of twisted beech trees, leaving and entering by clearings and wooded areas, passing through ways where we note drystone walls, providing a sign of the human activities. Following the signs, we’ll take a path that descend steeply on the Serro dei Riggitani, to reach the Sanctuary and the little village of Polsi, where the tradition and the faith come together. The statue of Our Lady, seated on her throne, weighing 800 kg, welcomes the pilgrims who arrive here to address to her their prayers.
|Starting location||Base of Montalto (1.855 m above sea level)|
|Arrival location||Sanctuary in Polsi|
|Difference in altitude||1.005 m|
|Minimum altitude||850 m above sea level (Sanctuary in Polsi)|
|Maximum altitude||1.956 m above sea level (Montalto’s peak)|
|Time||3 hours 30’|
|Route lenght||6.800 m/td>|
|Periods of accessibility||Summer and Autumn|