With more than 1.5 million hectares of protected areas Italian national parks make up the country’s green heart. From the high peaks of the Gran Sasso to the green coast of Circeo, the protected areas are ideal destinations for nature lovers, offering activities and sport amidst fresh air and beautiful sceneries. Here are some of the most amazing national parks in Italy.
Parco Nazionale dell’Abruzzo
This is the most famous national park in Italy preserving nature in three regions: Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. The park was established in 1923 and extends for about 195.68 sqm. It is recognized worldwide as an example of preserving nature and the environment. The park holds a great variety of fauna: 60 species of mammals, 300 varieties of birds, 40 types of reptiles, fishes, amphibious species and a wide variety of insects (a paradise for entomologists). The flora is also very nice, including lady’s slippers and a nice variety of mushrooms.
Location: Abruzzo, Lazio, Molise
Nearby sights: Rocca Calascio, Ponte del Mare, Il Lago di Scanno
Nearby hotels: B&B La Casa dei Nonni, La Terrazza sul Cerrano, Grand Hotel Panorama
Parco Nazionale Dell’Alta Murgia
This landscape was formed by millennia of continuous erosion. It’s located in the Puglia region, in Southern Italy. Deep ground depressions created by erosion, next to the Altamura area are quite impressive, being between 70 and 100 meters in depth. Even if the park has been modified by man, the fauna and flora of the Alta Murgia area are still of great interest.
Location: Via Firenze, 10, Gravina in Puglia
Nearby sights: Gravina Di Puglia, Gravina Sotterranea, Chiesa del Gesu
Nearby hotels: B&B Palazzo Ducale, Le Stanze del Console, Relais Peucetia
Parco Nazionale Tosco-Emiliano
Located between the passages and the wooded ridges which divide Tuscany from the Emilia region, a true mountainous environment comes to life. The peaks are over 2,000 meters above sea level where the forests give way to rocky mountains, spectacular lakes and high mountain prairies. This park has an extraordinary richness of various, mixed, environments. From moor lands, which host wild blueberries, to the most unreachable peaks, and again, its lakes, waterfalls, and mountainside creeks.
Location: Comunale, 23 Sassalbo di Fivizzano, 54010
Nearby sights: Piazzale Michelangelo, Siena Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery
Nearby hotels: Biondi Hotel, Podere Terreno, Baia Imperiale
Parco Nazionale del Cilento
Established in 1991, the park is the second largest one in Italy. Along with its territory being extremely heterogeneous, it’s full of very ancient history. The most interesting landmark of the park is the city of Paestum, a Greek colony with a perfectly intact temple, very similar but in much better condition than the Parthenon in Athens.
Nearby sights: Paestrum, Baia Infreschi Marina Di Camerota, Cala Bianca Beach
Nearby hotels: Happy Village, Marulivo Hotel, Hotel Calanca