Valli Cupe Canyon is a rare geological formation deeply embedded in a substratum made up of polygenic conglomerate – of extraordinary scenographic effect – which originated as a result of the slow digging action exerted by the homonymous torrent, which rises about 700 m above sea level on the southern slopes of Crozze Mount, with the splendid votive Church on the top of it erected at the end of the twenties of the last century and whose northern slope develops directly opposite the historical center of Sersale.
From the first part of its course, Valli Cupe torrent flows in a deep gorge that soon assumes the characteristic deep incision known as Valli Cupe Canyon and it dives into the waters of the Ionian Sea at the town of Sellia Marina after a path of about 15 km. The course of the torrent develops among the lush scrub that surrounds both banks, along the ridges that connect Mount Crozze to the majestic Mountain Raga, a real stronghold of the Mediterranean forest that covers almost entirely the slopes, forming extensive woods for a few hundred hectares. Along the western slope, Mountain Raga is flanked by the river of the same name which leads into Uria River after a path of about 4 km.
Moreover, Valli Cupe torrent is a natural canal that collects the waters of numerous short torrential rods that thickly furrow the sides of the basin. The course of the torrent develops mostly in the territory of the Municipality of Sersale and, in the final part – near the town of Calabricata – it continues in that one of Sellia Marina.
The city quarters –called “contrade” – along the canyon and a quite large part of Valli Cupe torrent are bordered by an important arterial road, that is to say the municipal road Sersale-Sellia Marina that connects these two centre as well as those of Cropani, Zagarise and Soveria Simeri. This confirms that the ridge that extends from Mount Crozze to Mountain Raga has represented a natural and important link between the hinterland and the coast since the past centuries.
The territory surrounding the tract from Valli Cupe torrent to Mount Raga bears traces of ancient human settlements. Suffice it to say that the impressive remains can still be seen in San Nicola, a locality at the downstream rural village of Tribisina, where there are the remains of an ancient castle and medieval monastery dating back to the Byzantine and Norman-Swabian period. In fact, not far from this tract, the important historical center of Cropani rises with a well-preserved medieval village, the cathedral and numerous enchanting churches. Moreover, on the slopes of Mountain Raga the presence of Basilian settlements is widely documented, so as to make them consider a place of predilection for the construction of famous monasteries, among which we recall those of “Santa Maria della Sana”, “San Basile” and “San Giorgio”. On the one hand, in the areas near the tract aforementioned, the presence of the medieval village of Marcaglione is of considerable interest, although it has been abandoned since more than half a century, and the monastery of “San Lorenzo”, near the village of Cropani. On the other hand, the mighty bridge that crosses Valli Cupe torrent at the rural village of Tribisina is of significant interest from a urban and infrastructural point of view because it is an admirable example of high engineering work carried out during the Twentieth century along the rural road Cropani-Soveria Simeri.