Italian National Parks II


Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre


In the Liguria region, it is listed in the UNESCO environmental and cultural, worldwide patrimony, which has to be guarded and improved. Coastlines hanging over the sea, coves and small beaches, thousands of kilometres of dry built walls bordering terraces on which grapevines are grown, medieval boroughs, shrines and panoramic promenades on the sea and hillsides: this is all to be enjoyed in the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre.  Beside the beauty of the landscape, the area is known also for its local wines, food and craftworks. 



Italian Nationa Parks: Cinque Terre



Parco Nazionale del Gargano


This park is in northern Puglia and comprises the Mount Gargano promontory, the Tremiti Islands and the Foresta Umba. Of a calcareous nature, it's rich in typically karstic features, such as caves and sinkholes. Originally, the promontory was covered with forests, now, unfortunately, it has 15% less. The popular San Giovanni Rotondo (place of pilgrimage and worship for Saint  Padre Pio attracts millions of religious visitors every year), and Vieste are located in this area.


Monte Sant'Angeolo, in the Gargano National Park in Puglia. Ph. flickr/globetrotter_rodrigo



Parco Nazionale del Gennargentu e Golfo di Orosei


Located in Sardinia, in one of the wildest and most picturesque areas on the island,  the Gennargentu mountain group  withdraws towards east and south of the Flumenosa river valley, while the part known as the Supramonte is a vast area covered with ancient forests, deep gorges, and an incredible amount of caves.

Finally the coast of Orosei, with its mountainsides diving directly into the sea, completes the breathtaking array of landscapes within the park.  Being a very isolated place, it has a great variety of indigenous species and sub-species as the Papilio Hospiton, a gorgeous, protected, butterfly. Many indigenous reptiles are also present in the Corsica Island and in the Tuscan Archipelago.
We can also find the moufflon, the Sardinian deer, wildcat and fox, the dormouse and various other species. Many birds such as the griffon hawk, the queen’s hawk, royal eagle, Sardinian goshawk, sparrow hawk and buzzard. The flora is very widespread with centennial hollies and local species as the Euphrasia Genargetea and the Ribes Sardum. These species are only present only in this area of the world.


Italian National Parks: Golfo di Orosei, Sardinia


Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso


Located between the Val d’ Aosta and Piedmont regions, it was the first Italian national park created (1922). It sits on 70,318 hectares of high mountainous terrain ranging from the 800 meters of the valleys to the 4,061 meters of the Gran Paradiso peak. Pine trees and larch woods, vast alpine prairies, rocks and glaciers are the right scenario for a various and rich, high mountains, fauna and flora life.


Italian National Parks: Gran Paradiso (4061m) Ph. flickr/Francesco Sisti


Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga 


In the Abruzzo Region, the park has 150,00 hectares of extension, making it one of the largest of Italy. It's various and rich in nature and runs between three mountain groups: Gran Sasso - the highest peak of the Apennines Mountain Chain, rises 2,912 meters above sea level - Massiccio della Laga and the Monti Gemelli. This mountain chain is the only one with a glacier in the entire Apennines, known as the ‘Calderone’.


Italian National Parks: The Gran Sasso


Parco Nazionale della Majella


Also in the Abruzzo Region, the mountain of the Majella was named by the Latin writer Pliny the Elder, known as the ‘father of the mountains’. High, massive and wild, this mountain group is part of the World Patrimony of National Parks. It is composed by four main mountaineous groups: the Majella, the Porrara, the Morrone and the Pizzi Mountains, all with its valleys and karstic plains. It’s a national park which, because of its geographical position, size, prominence, and its changing climate, is the only one in its kind. It encloses wide lands, with its peculiar wildlife and its biodiversity of European and worldwide importance.


Italian National Parks: the Majella in Abruzzo. Ph. flickr/Federico Robertazzi


Parco Nazionale Del Pollino


Its the largest protected area in the country. It sits between the mountain peaks of Dolcedorme and Cozzo del Pellegrino - on the mountain chains of Calabria and Basilicata, overlooking the Tyrrhenian and Jonian seas.


Bosnian Pines in the Pollino National Park in Calabria. Ph. flickr/Stephan Summerer


Parco Nazionale della Sila


Within it lays one of the most evocative and wild areas of Calabria, with vast and beautiful forests stretching out on the Pollino Park and  the Aspromonte. It includes vast areas on the Jonian and Tyrrhenian seas where the Eolie Islands can be seen in the distance.

Lago Cecita in the Sila National Park. Ph. flickr/Luca Galli




See also:

Italian National Parks part I

Italian National Parks part III