Crati Valley’s Group of Local Action (G.A.L.) is a Limited Liability Consortium of a both private and public nature that works in Calabria, a Region of Southern Italy. It has developed several functions – with EU Leader Program and other EU, national and regional initiatives – for years, so becoming a development agency targeted on the promotion of the territory’s endogenous growth: it encouraged the rise of employment and income prospects, and so improved rural people’s state of life.
Throughout a sort of bottom-up approach, G.A.L. promotes the planning and the management of several integrated projects, characterized by interdisciplinary interventions, which are synergic and oriented towards the environment preservation, the sustainable development, and to evaluation and promotion of local resources.
The territory where GAL’s actions are developed is constituted by an inland area placed in the central-northern part of Calabria; it comprises 30 municipalities belonging to the district of Cosenza and is located in Crati and Esaro Valleys; it is bounded on the north by Pollino Mountainous Chain, on the east by the hilly strip that leads to Sila Mountain, on the south by the Municipality of Cosenza, on the west by the coastal chain.
The whole area is surrounded by hilly and mountainous ranges that suddenly rise from the valley, reaching high altitudes in few kilometers. These high variations in altimetry cause a deep variety in microclimates and fauna.
Products and Economy
Agriculture and agricultural products’ processing of are important resources for local economy. There is a plenty of excellent local products: olive oil and wine have Quality Certifications (they are called. DOP for oil, DOC and IGT for wine).
Local figs, usually dried or prepared in different ways, a “Slow Food” presidio since 2002, are going to gain the DOP (Appellation of Protected Origin) Recognition.
Salami and cold pork meats, cheese, several bakery products, vegetables, officinal herbs, chestnuts and brushwood fruits compose the range of local products.
The manufacturing sector and, in a particular way, the traditional handicraft, hold an important position in local economy.
There are many areas of a deep environmental value: the coastal chain (waiting for the institution of a natural park), the Tarsia humid zone, the Greek Sila Mountain, characterized by a surprising biodiversity, a hiking destination for national environmentalists and an object of study for Cosenza University. In the nearby we can also find Sila Regional Park and Pollino National Park.
The 30 villages of the territory, all of which have ancient origins, preserve historical centers characterized by rural architecture and interesting monuments. Some Albanian communities settled here centuries ago and still preserve the tongue and the customs of their place of origin: this diversifies and enhances the historical landscape and the local culture’s outline. The area’s monumental heritage is characterized both by a Latin background, which is visible for Saint Mary of Matina Abbey (in San Marco Argentato village), for Sambucina Abbey (in Luzzi village), and for Humble Blessed Convent (in Bisignano village), and by an oriental origin, of which S. Adriano Monastery in S.Demetrio Corone is one of the most significant examples, and also by Norman and French influences like in the historical centers of S. Marco Argentano, with its religious and defensive architecture, and of Altomonte, with S. Mary of Consolazione and the adjoining small, but precious museum.
www.galcrati.it here you can also find the links to the 30 municipalities involved.