National Parks in Italy: the most Important, Beautiful and Famous!

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Among all the peculiarities that make the world we live in fantastic, probably the ones that most manage to amaze tourists and passionate travelers are the natural wonders.

Who has never happened to reflect on the greatness of mother nature even just looking at a photograph on the web? Formerly called Mother Earth, she is the personification of nature itself that with its strength has created incredible beauties scattered all over the planet.
In Italy among other things, there are really many places that have a huge naturalistic value, and the most important of them are often concentrated in Natural reserves And in the National Parks. And we want to dedicate an excursus to the latter, a brief overview of all the territories most important, protected by the Italian government for the high concentration of endemic species and for their incredible wealth.

Here is the ranking of Most beautiful and important National Parks in Italy!

6 - Cinque Terre National Park

  • Where it is: It is located close to the Ligurian Riviera di Levante, on the stretch of coast known as the "Cinque Terre". It extends over the territory occupied by the municipalities of La Spezia, Monterosso, Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Levanto.
  • Fauna and Flora: The Mediterranean climate favors the growth of maritime pines and aleppo pines, but also chestnut and cork trees. Its environment is the natural habitat of numerous animal species including the herring gull and the wall lizard, but also mammals such as stone martens, foxes and wild boars.
  • Curiosity: It is divided into two distinct territorial areas: the marine area and the coastal one. Since 1999 he is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

5 - National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago

  • Where it is: As the name suggests, it includes the islands of the Tuscan archipelago
  • Fauna and Flora: It has large forests of holm oak and chestnut, and other plant species typical of the Mediterranean scrub. The site of theGiglio Island (sadly known for the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia), whose flora is characterized by rare Tyrrhenian species. As for the fauna, however, there is a massive presence of martens and wild rabbits. Also on the island of Giglio there is one of the rarest species of bats: the Molosser of Cestoni.
  • Curiosity: With its extension of 74,653 hectares (total between sea and land) it is the Largest Marine Park in the Mediterranean.

4 - Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park

  • Where it is: It occupies a vast area that embraces five provinces and three regions, of which Abruzzo is the most affected.
  • Fauna and Flora: The decidedly varied climate from one end of the park to the other has also greatly influenced the development of the flora.
    They range from wooded areas with black pines to huge green pastures, passing through stretches of fir and birch trees.
    Among the typical floral species we find the Edelweiss of Gran Sasso. These places are inhabited by a large population consisting of mammals such as the Abruzzo chamois, but also reptiles and insects, including the Apollo butterfly.
  • Curiosity: Among the largest in the nation, it is the third largest park in Italy.

3 - Sila National Park

  • Where it is: The Sila Park is located in the Calabria region and includes 21 municipalities belonging to three different provinces.
  • Fauna and Flora: In its territory there are several species such as the wolf, the owl and the fire salamander. The flora is rich and varied, ranging from Mediterranean scrub to pine and beech woods. The presence of floral species is remarkable, including various endemic types of orchids.
  • Curiosity: The current area includes part of the former Historical Park of Calabria established in 1968.

2 - Gargano National Park

  • Where it is: It is located in Puglia, precisely in the province of Foggia, in the "Sperone d'Italia", the stretch of coast closest to Croatia.
  • Fauna and Flora: The flora of the park varies from beech and pine forests to the Mediterranean scrub of the coastal area, naturally passing through the exceptional karst plateaus. The park is also famous for the presence of over 80 species of wild orchids. On the "Montagna del Sole" there are many species of birds and in the rest of the territory there are reptiles and mammals, including the Italic roe deer.
  • Curiosity: In Monte Sant'Angelo, one of the municipalities of the park, there is one of the three sanctuaries dedicated to San Michele, a place of religious pilgrimage of considerable value. The other two are the Sacra di San Michele in Val di Susa and Mont Saint-Michel in France.

1 - Gran Paradiso National Park

  • Where it is: It takes its name from Mount Gran Paradiso and is located in the Alps near the Po basin, extending into the regions of Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont.
  • Fauna and Flora: The environment is characterized by an alternation of dense forests and alpine meadows. The deeper you go, the more the density of spruce and white fir trees increases. Among the animal species we find the Alpine Ibex, symbol of the park, and other mammals, but also birds such as buzzards and partridges.
  • Curiosity: Established in 1922 is the very first National Park in Italian history, as well as the most famous and appreciated.

Ranking of the largest parks

  1. Cilento Park: 178.172 hectares
  2. Pollino Park: 171.132 hectares
  3. Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Park: 141.341 hectares
  4. Stelvio National Park: 130.734 hectares
  5. Gargano National Park: 118.144 hectares
  6. National Park of the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu: 73.935 hectares
  7. Sila National Park: 73.695 hectares
  8. Gran Paradiso National Park: 71.043 hectares
  9. Monti Sibillini National Park: 69.722 hectares
  10. National Park of the Lucanian Apennines Val d'Agri Lagonegrese 68.996 hectares

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