Nature protection sanctuary established with D.P.G.R. no. 557 of 12/05/1975. Currently the management of the nature sanctuary is entrusted to WWF Italia. The lake is a wildlife protection area and has been declared wetland of international value, according to the RAMSAR Convention (D.M. 30/09/1985).
The artificial lake covers an area of 875 ha; along its shores there are interesting small woods of hygrophilous species typical of the flood plain vegetation formations. The territory of the nature sanctuary lies within the Municipalities of Francavilla Angitola, Maierato, Monterosso Calabro, Pizzo Calabro, and Polia.
The wetland is also important for the rich presence of ducks, coots, and stilts, above all during the migration and wintering periods, from September to April.
Although the nature sanctuary had been recognized as a wetland of international importance according to the above-mentioned convention, it was not considered a protected area according to the law 394/91, and it has therefore been included in the Park perimeter.
In the Park there is also the forest nursery "Ariola": it covers an area of about 12 hectares and is used for the production of plants aimed at the conservation of biodiversity. The nursery lies in the Municipality of Gerocarne.
The annual nursery production is of about 1,200 plants, out of which the 35% in containers (pots of different size) and others with bare roots. The most representative broadleaf trees are Chestnut trees, Walnuts, Pear trees, Strawberry trees, Alders, Oaks, Maples, etc.; the conifers are: Silver Fir, Spruce Fir, Cypress tree, Juniper, Austrian Pine, etc. In the greenhouses, characteristic plants of the tropical climate (palms, etc.) grow. The production is completed with various shrubs belonging to the Mediterranean maquis.
Most of the nursery production is used for reforestation activities, reconstruction of deteriorated woods, forest and water system works, creation of outer green furniture for the urban areas.
In the Park you can also find the following small lakes against fires: Favello, Figliuzzi, Merenda, Ponte Giacchino, Rosarella, San Salvatore, and Porticella, homogeneously scattered throughout the territory. Finally, the artificial basin of Lacina (river Alaco) is important for the amount of water it contains.
Today, in the place where probably the cells of the first Carthusian monks were situated in the past, there is a chapel called «Cappella di San Bruno» and another one dedicated to the Virgin Mary, called «Madonna di Casalibus». The life of the first monks living in Gran Certosa is known thanks to the documents left by the writer Guigo, in "Vita di Sant'Ugo", and by the traveler Guiberto from Nogent. From these documents, adding some information contained in the «Consuetudini» by Guigo and some important sentences found in the letters of St Bruno, Peter the Venerable, and St Bernard, a picturesque description of fervor, austerity, and authentic monastic spirit emerges.
Surrounded by centuries-old Silver Firs and young Beech trees, the complex of Santa Maria del Bosco Sanctuary is the most interesting place of Serra San Bruno, as far as tourism and religion are concerned.
In front of the Sanctuary there is "St Bruno's dormitory", probably the place where the Saint found shelter, but certainly the place were the monk was buried. In the dormitory, there is a beautiful marble statue dating back to the late 18th century, by Stefano Pisani.
Craftsmanship and Farming Museum
Mongiana is situated in the middle of Serre Calabre, between the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, in a nature sanctuary of green and luxuriant conifer and broadleaved tree woods.
The flourishing iron and steel activity involved several workers and craftsmen. The activity of the ironworks acquired in the years more and more prestige, to the extent that in Mongiana iron pieces were forged to build the first suspension bridges in Italy and the rails for the first Italian railway line "Naples-Portici", as well as the particular rifle used by the Bourbon army, called for this reason "Mongiana" model.
Worth visiting: Villa Vittoria
Villa Vittoria is a Multipurpose Center of the National Forest Service, situated within Cropani-Micone Biogenetic Nature Reserve at 910m asl. In the outskirts of Mongiana, it borders the road SS 510, the access road to the Center. The structure represents a reference point not only for mountain tourism, but also for educational visits and for stages organized by the University and dedicated to ecological and environmental issues. In Cropani-Micone and Marchesale nature reserves, several nature trails have been created by the National Forest Service section of Mongiana: it is possible to require the brochure describing all the trails and several information like walking time, difficulty level, etc.