Legend has it that Canyon Gorropu is an act of ‘divine love’ whilst being the deepest canyon in Europe and one of the most spectacular natural sites in the world.
It is said that this deep canyon was created by a thunderbolt sent by God in response to the prayers of Urzulean shepherds, who were frequently attacked by bandits from Orgosolo. The outcome, for all intents and purposes, became a natural boundary between Urzulei and Orgosolo, the dividing line between Ogliastra and Barbagia.
Besides the myth, the Gorropu gorge is the result of the incessant erosion of the waters of the Flumineddu stream, which over time has carved out the limestone rock of Supramonte for a total length of 1.5 kilometers, leaving us with an authentic treasure chest of biodiversity: only here, for example, does the Aquileia nuragica, or Aquilegia di Gorropu, flourish, an endemic botanical species found nowhere else in the world.
The fauna is typical of the Supramonte, with mouflons and small foxes, but the presence of the golden eagle, which majestically flies over the woods of millenary yew trees, captures the attention.
The high walls and narrow paths of the canyon have always had a natural and valuable strategic and defensive function, as evidenced by the presence of numerous surrounding nuragic complexes, such as the nuraghe Sa domu de s’Orcu, located at the immediate entrance to the valley, the nuraghe Presetu and, upstream, the majestic nuraghe Mereu.
Ancient stones enlivened by folk tales and legends passed down through the centuries. Frightening stories, such as that of “Sa mama de Gorropu” (The mother of Gorropu), a frightening creature that lives inside the canyon, and of Sos drullios, evil creatures that during stormy nights come out of the canyon and drag away men, animals and buildings of Supramonte, an island version of the Norse tales of trolls and woodland elves.
More linked to the Christian cult is the belief that ‘Sa Tentassione’ (the Devil) lived in Gorropu, receiving greedy men in the canyon who offered their souls in exchange for earthly riches, but then regretted it and, overcome by despair, ended up committing suicide.
In Gorropu, magic is a recurring element: it is said that there is a precise point from which the stars can be seen in broad daylight and that, at night, the magical flowers of the male fern bloom, capable of pacifying the human soul and putting an end to wars.
Gorropu is a continent apart, a snapshot of a remote era, a natural wonder to be experienced and explored with awe and respect, a divine scar in the ancient heart of Sardinia.