Italy is a lot more than just art, history, and architecture. There are some extraordinary landscapes, lots of wildlife and a bunch of beautiful national parks in Italy. These amazing parks protect the jaw-dropping wild, rugged corners in and natural wonders of the Italian landscape.
It is surprising and, frankly, incomprehensible how few foreigners and tourists explore the great Italian outdoors. When one discusses Italy, they end up discussing those famous museums, great food, and interesting wines. Italy does have plenty of all of that, but it has a lot more packed within it. Just look for comfortable and affordable rentals in Italy to lodge yourself and explore those wonderful national parks in Italy. You can enjoy mountaineering, skiing, and skiing in between all the historic cities and towns.
6 Awesome National Parks in Italy
Cinque Terre National Park
Cinque Terre, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is one of the most popular national parks in Italy. Set along the Ligurian coastline, the park encompasses five coastal villages—the Cinque Terre. You can hike on the famous trail that connects those villages. The breathtaking Ligurian coastline and the towering hills of Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, are all included within the park.
This is a real pedestrian paradise as all those towns and villages are linked by footpaths traversing through terraced vineyards and olive groves. It is a stunning region and, therefore, make sure to do it justice and spend more than one day in Cinque Terre National Park.
Gran Paradiso National Park
Established in 1922, Gran Paradiso National Park was the first park to be created and extends into Piedmont and the Val d’Aosta. It has played an instrumental role in saving the ibex, a rare mountain goat species that had almost become extinct. You can spot the goat around the Nivolet Pass.
Discover uncontaminated nature in the forests and backcountry as you walk through protected valleys. Enjoy skiing and mountaineering during the snowy winters.
Abruzzo National Park
Abruzzo National Park is made up of three regions—Molise, Abruzzo, and Lazio. It has helped save three endangered species, Abruzzo chamois, Marsican brown bear and the Italian wolf. Mountain chains, rivers, and streams characterize the park that boasts beautiful landscapes, a rich flora, and varied fauna. There are plenty of birds of prey in the park, such as peregrine falcons, kestrels, golden eagles, goshawks and several species of owls. Apennine wolves and lynx inhabit these lands as well.
Pescasseroli, the birthplace of Benedetto Croce, the famous philosopher lies within the park, while the pretty town of Civitella Alfedena consists of typical gray houses and stone buildings.
Vesuvius National Park
Vesuvius National Park is another famous park, and it includes the massive Mount Vesuvius, which was responsible for burying the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Mount Vesuvius still looms over Campania and the Naples countryside and is still active. The national park has always been of great geological and historical interest as it offers an example of successful relationship between man and environment.
The territory is rich with unique agriculture and historical-naturalistic beauties of great variety and originality. Varied vegetation, literally hundreds of different plant species, covers the slopes of Vesuvius and Mount Somma. The fauna of the park is particularly interesting, and you can spot fox, wild rabbi, dormouse, beech marten and hare.
Stelvio National Park
The huge park boasts of an incredible variety of flora and fauna and amazing landscapes. You can hike through the dramatic Alpine peaks and visit glorious museums, castles, as well as other historic sights. Stelvio Pass, with more than 70 switchbacks is very popular with cyclists and motorists.
The landscape of Stelvio National Park is filled with alpine areas and lush forests, while rural architecture dots the mountain pastures, meadows and farmlands. In terms of biodiversity, this is a fascinating region as well. Colorful flora and countless plant species sustains animals like marmots, ermine, alpine ibexes, ravens, woodpeckers, herds of deer and squirrels.
Gran Sasso National Park
Gran Sasso National Park, located in the Abruzzo, Lazio, and Le Marche regions, is home to the highest peak in the Apennines—Gran Sasso. There are plenty of long trails that are just perfect for horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and there’s skiing in the winter.
The Calderone on Gran Sasso is the only Apennine glacier, making this park unquestionably unique. Fauna consists mostly of birds, including eagles, falcons and the more common buzzard. Other bird species you may spot are rock partridge, nuthatch, and the Alpine accentor. Sweet chestnut trees, turkey oaks, beeches and silver firs along with many wildflowers make up the wonderful variation in vegetation in the valleys.
So, it is safe to say that Italy is not just a land of culture and food for travelers but also a diverse range of flora and fauna. The national parks in the country has been supporting this ancient country for centuries and they deserve to be rightfully protected and nurtured. With so many varieties in these parks, it is not hard to imagine people exploring these areas and getting their fill of excitement as well.
From volcanic mountains to spectacular drives to heritage parks, the country has got everything. And it will always have something for everyone.
With so much scenic beauty around, it can safely be said that “come for the culture and stay for the experience”.