We spoke to Salvatore Peralta, a mining engineer at McGill University, who’s originally from the town of Padria in Sardinia.
What is the Italian canyon?
"It’s called Gorropu Gorge and it’s situated between Urzulei and Orgosolo, in Supramonte. It reaches the Orosei Gulf. In particular, the Supramonte of Urzulei is the wildest part.
Photo by James Ashwell Hall
It’s an area that’s been eroded by the river Flumineddo. At first glance it may look like a dry, inaccessible, difficult zone, but then it opens up in all its splendour, somewhat like us Sardinians who seem initially diffident but then reveal our best part."
How big is it?
"It’s around 500 meters deep, which is why it’s considered to be the tallest in Europe. The various width from zone in zone, can be a few meters to about ten meters. But another peculiarity concerns the fauna. There’s an animal species known as the Sardinian leuprotto, the rarest in Europe and it’s found only in this area as is the amphibious geotritone of the Supramonte, which is not found in any other part.”
Photo by Antoni Sedda
The Throat of Gorropu is a perfect destination for those who want to discover the beauty of Sardinia and also for rock climbers. "You proceed for three, four hours until you reach the sea afoot. The landscape is simply beautiful."
Gorrupo, due to its special formation, has for a long time been a strategic place of defence. In fact, it was impossible for enemies to cross it because once inside, where the canyon is narrower, the Sardinians had the advantage.
We don't know precisely how deep the Sardinian gorge is, but we know certain that in an exact point in the Gorrupo it is possible to see in the daytime the stars, at least according to the stories.
Photo by Gianni Curti