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Michele Angileri

Canale San Nocaio

In dolomite-limestone mountains of northwestern Calabria we find sometime an unusual kind of rock. It is limestone, but it looks minced by some tremendous cataclysm, broken in small pieces. This rock generates a charming scenery of badlands.
Canyon of Canale San Nocaio is dug in a reef of minced limestone. So descending San Nocaio canyon is a good and funny way to appreciate thoroughly the forms and colors made by this kind of rock.

Name Canale San Nocaio
Area Calabria, Valle del Lao
Nearest village Papasidero
Elevation loss 320 m
Length 2500 m
Highest cascade 18 m
Rock "minced" dolomite limestone
Rating3 (spring, autumn)
Shuttle Advisable. Can do without.
Explored by Michele Angileri, Andrea Pucci; 11 agosto 2008


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Canale San Nocaio has two more canyons. The first is about 2 km long, and it's situated 2 km after the end of main canyon (the one described in this page). Rock is the same: minced limestone. Canyon is wide, with trees and bushes inside. Can be covered without ropes, by walking (water at pelvis) and climbing on boulders. It has a good waterflow and many springs.

Second canyon is under the village of Papasidero, where San Nocaio flows into river Lao. It is a beautiful dark corridor between high and very compact walls, so tight that you may not realize there's a canyon even when you pass over it, on the bridge of the road to Scalea. It has no cascades, so it can be covered without ropes, like former canyon.

Photos by Michele Angileri and Andrea Pucci

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.