The Sirino Massif is one of the southern extensions of the Apennine Mountains. The extensive beech and alder forests covering its slopes are home to many protected species, like the Italian Wolf, the Golden Eagle and the Eurasian Eagle-Owl. In 1985 the almost whole area was declared a nature reserve, the northern slopes of Mt. del Papa, however, were excluded. The trailhead for the ascent of Mt. Papa, with 2005m (6578ft) the highest peak of this range, is Lago Laudemio 1530m (5019ft), the southernmost lake of glacial origin in Italy.
In summer surely an easy hike, in the cold season the north-west and north-east ridge of Mt. Papa can become rather challenging. Especially the last tract is quite exposed and consists of towering rock buttresses, thickly covered by fascinating, polymorphic ice formations.
In a western direction the view streches out over the Tyrrhenian Sea, distant only about 25 kilometers (15 miles). A final push, and from the height of Mt. Papa you can also admire some of the most prominent peaks of the Pollino Massif (to the south-east), Mt. Zaccana and Mt. La Spina (south) and the impressively steep west face of Mt. Alpi (to the east).
(click to view)