Italy is not only known for interesting cities and beautiful beaches – the diverse country also has breathtaking natural landscapes to offer. But the green side of Italy is often neglected – there are numerous national parks here of unspoilt beauty, which form an extraordinary backdrop for everyone who wants to spend a holiday in Italy close to nature. In my article today, I am dedicated to the most beautiful national parks in the country.
Stelvio National Park
The Stelvio National Parkis located in the heart of the Alps and is the largest historical reserve in Italy. It includes the entire Ortler-Cevedale massif with its side valleys, touches the Swiss Engadin National Park in the north and borders the Adamello Regional Park in Lombardy in the south. Here you will find breathtaking peaks, lush coniferous forests, mountain lakes formed by glaciers and high-altitude meadows that invite you to linger. There are also numerous mammals such as ibex, roe deer, deer and marmots. These can be observed in the beautiful Zebrutal. Further highlights of the national park are the Fornital with the glacier panorama and the Rabbital with several waterfalls. The park is an absolute paradise for active vacationers, as there are over 200 hiking trails as well as numerous mountain huts and bivouacs.
Gran Paradiso National Park
According to intershippingrates, the Gran Paradiso is the oldest and most famous national park in Italy. It is located in the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions and has made a major contribution to saving Alpine ibex. Today around 4,000 ibex live in the nature reserve. You will also find the highest mountain in Italy, Gran Paradiso, after which the national park was named. The park extends over a total area of 70,000 hectares and offers numerous meadows, stone deserts and glaciers. In addition to ibex, there are also chamois and marmots that can be observed in their natural environment. The mountain lakes above the Nivolett Pass and the numerous waterfalls are particularly beautiful.
Belluno Dolomites National Park
In the southernmost part of the Dolomites you will find a beautiful national park that houses many hidden treasures. In the Belluno Dolomites National Park, over 1500 different types of plants and 40 trees await you, just waiting to be discovered. The two man-made lakes Mis and La Stua in the Canzoi valley are also interesting. A rich fauna has settled around these two lakes over time. About 130 species of birds as well as polecats, chamois and deer live in the park. In terms of landscape, the national park offers not only the typical Dolomite mountains, but also lush forests, alpine meadows and plateaus such as the Piani Eterni.
Abruzzo National Park
The Abruzzo National Park was established in 1923 and is located in the heart of the Central Apennines. It extends over 50,000 hectares and includes a total of 25 communities. If you pay a visit to Abruzzo, you can look forward to impressive mountain ranges, beautiful rivers and diverse wildlife. Here you will find brown bears, golden eagles, deer and even wolves, among others. Further highlights are the beautiful Fondillotal, the Camosciara and the Val di Rose, which leads to the remote high elevations of the park. Also worth seeing is the Brera Lake, where you can observe rare species of birds such as the gray wagtail and the gray heron.
Sila National Park
The Sila National Park stretches along the provinces of Cosenza, Crotone and Catanzaro in Calabria and offers breathtaking landscapes. It is the oldest national park in Calabria and attracts many visitors with its untouched nature. Hikes are particularly popular in summer, during which you can pick mushrooms, chestnuts and forest fruits. But you can also rent bicycles and enjoy an exit along the many paths on the plain. The area also has numerous facilities where you can practice various sporting activities. There are also numerous meadows with orchids, violets, buttercups and many other colorful flowers that are perfect for a picnic.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park
In southern Campania lies the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park , the second largest national park in Italy. The park stretches from the Tyrrhenian coast to the Vallo di Diano at the foot of the Apennines Campania-Lucania and houses the archaeological sites Paestum and Velia as well as the Charterhouse Certosa di Padula, which were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998 . The landscape of the national park is characterized by impressive mountain peaks and a long coastline with white sandy beaches, steep cliffs and beautiful bays. Incidentally, the Cilento is also home to the Mediterranean diet, which was also included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage in 2011.