Fardella: Itineraries

Manuela Coringrato

Talking about Fardella means first of all talking about its natural beauties. It is no coincidence that the town and its countryside are an integral part of the Pollino National Park. There are countless walks to be taken along solitary paths that end in summer sunsets, winding through hills of red sand, silent oaks and chestnut trees, age-old olives and slender vines, precious hidden mushrooms and solitary mulberries from which silk was made until quite recently.

In the greenery

Fardella mappa Tra il verde

The Orange Route
Take the Racia road and stop near Calvario, where you can gaze over the entire valley and the bed of the river Sinni, which flows gently on to the Mante Cotugno dam. Continue along the road to the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, erected in the 20th century, destroyed by the earthquake of 1980 and now under reconstruction, a panoramic vantage point offering a view of the town below.

Narrow, semi-concealed sheep tracks or dirt roads lead into the green heart of the municipal territory: Querce, the area of the oaks; the Manche with their abundance of precious chestnut trees providing wood for craftsmen, pollen for bees producing honey and preserves for gourmets as well as bread in the not too distant past; and Serra Cerrosa, the highest point in the territory. Running through the entire area is a narrow road immersed in greenery and sometimes looking out over what is practically a sheer drop to the valley below. The natural stopping places formed at these points have indeed become ideal for hang-gliding and paragliding. It is possible to continue from here to the Belvedere, the panoramic vantage point par excellence, and gaze upon the whole of the Sinni valley, the Pollino Massif, the pyramids of clay that characterize the mountain ridges and the steep and nearly unreachable timpe or high plateaus like Beato Giovanni and Mandalipane (also called Chiarastella after the woman traditionally said to have fallen to her death there), which create an environment very similar to the eastern Mediterranean landscapes. On particularly clear days it is possible to look from Serre all the way to the gulf of Taranto and the nearby dam of Monte Cotugno, the largest made of beaten earth in Europe.

The Red Route
Take state highway 104 from the town towards Episcopia and past the Barbattavio Park to where the waters of the Cannalia flow over small rapids into the reservoir. Continuing along a route immersed in greenery, we arrive at Acqua Fredda, a good spot for a picnic washed down with the good local wine or some friselle and a glass of water straight from the spring. Those interested in rural places and original buildings with particular structures and furnishings can take the dirt road from Acqua Fredda and visit the Masseria del Barone, a farm located slightly above. Continuing past the Carrosa, we arrive at the intersection with the panoramic road that leads to Serra Cerrosa and the Belvedere. The state highway 104 and the winding road that skirts the slopes of Serre take us to the renowned Gironi, panoramic hairpin bends offering views of Episcopia, Agromonte and further stretches of the river Sinni, now little more than a stream but once navigable according to the sources.

Springs and sources

Fardella mappa Le vie dell'acqua

The abundance of water offered in the past by the marshy terrain made it possible to build numerous fountains worth of attention by virtue of their form and position. There were also watermills located along the Cannalia, at the Querce and Piano Mulino, but they have almost completely disappeared unfortunately and in any case retain nothing of their original form.

Scattered all over the territory and often immersed in the greenery, the fountains differ in type, serving to supply drinkable water or to wash clothes both inside and outside the town.

Those located in the town like the Delia and the Mascherone, not all of which now function, are characteristic in shape. Like others located in various parts of the town, the former is made of iron and the water gushes from the mouth of a lion’s head mounted on a bust. The latter is an authentic sculpture, with water flowing from a mask, like those used in Greek tragedies, to the right of a small niche that may have contained a religious or secular image.

The fountains that were also used for laundry have large basins. There is one, no longer functioning, at Largo Fontana in the town and another just outside known as the fountain of Don Francesco. This was built in 1866, as attested by the inscription on the plaque, and is still used today by the inhabitants of Fardella and people from nearby towns. Here we also find another small and no longer functional fountain in the shape of a large face apparently carved into stone. The system of basins is surrounded by an area equipped with tables and chairs where it is possible to eat meals or snacks in the open on warm summer evenings.

The most popular source of drinkable water for the area as a whole is Acqua Fredda, well known for its purity and freshness. Set in a green area equipped with parking and cooking facilities, this is an ideal place for lunch in the countryside.

Fontana Fardella

Springs known for the diuretic characteristics of their water include Acqua Delica and the Fontana della Nocella, the former close to the Acqua di Don Francesco and the latter, equipped with a trough for animals, in the Nocella area. Being more difficult to reach, these were and indeed still are used above all by those who farm the surrounding land.

The waters of the Cannalia flow over rapids into the Laghetto, a small reservoir with a wall where it sometimes overflows when the level is too high, creating a cool waterfall that attracts a lot of young people in the hotter periods of the year. The surrounding countryside is characterized by lush vegetation, fountains, statues, signposted walks, fences and footbridges over waterfalls, tables and chairs.

Laghetto dettaglio