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National Parks of Italy

By: Cityseeker
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Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise

Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise, also known as the Abruzzo National Park, is a stretch of forest land. The forest is mainly full of tall coniferous trees like silver birch, mountain pines and black pines although a lot of low level ferns and scrubs also grow here. The park has a number of lakes and is cut through by the Sangro River. The park is home to many endemic and endangered species of fauna as well as common ones. Some animals found here include the Italian wolf, the Marsican brown bear, roe deer, the white backed woodpecker, an endemic goat antelope species and so on. Tours of the park can be arranged and more information is available both on their website and at their on-site visitors center.

Villetta Barrea, Italy
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Parco Nazionale dell'Alta Murgia

A 677.39 square kilometer (261.5 square mile) stretch of pristine green grasslands, rocks and trees Parco Nazionale dell'Alta Murgia is a dream destination for nature lovers. Peppered with numerous biking and hiking trails and a few campsites this park is not short of adventure or excitement. Take in the serenity of the surroundings, with nothing but the sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling with the breeze to distract you. The park also contains the ruins an ancient necropolis and hosts a number of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Gravina in Puglia, Italy
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Appennino Lucano - Val d'Agri - Lagonegrese National Park

The park was created in 2007 by the Ministry of Environment in Italy. It is very active in organizing activities for both tourists and students who are brought here on trips to the Lucania Apennines, a mountainous area rich in flora and fauna.

Marsico Nuovo, Italy
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Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park

Nestled amidst the lofty Apennine Mountains, the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park is a vast stretch of lakes, valleys and streams. It is a protected area that is home to an indigenous flora and fauna including the golden eagle, roe deer and mouflon. The rocky terrain provides a steep climb to mountain-climbers who like to visit it for the breath-taking views on offer. Biking, trekking and horse-riding are the main activities on offer. One can also indulge in skiing and other winter sports. The visitor centers provide tourists with more information about the park.

Collagna, Italy
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Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park

The Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park spans the the seven main islands and the scores of islets that speckle the Bocche di Bonifacio. These seven islands are the summits of a valley, now submerged beneath the waters off the coast of Italy, between Sardinia and Corsica. Apart from the island of La Maddalena itself, most of the islands of the archipelago are entirely uninhabited, replete in curious rock formations shaped by the water and wind. The park protects a vast stretch of land and sea, protecting a fragile ecosystem that sustains numerous plant, animal, bird and marine species. The sculpted rocks, sprawling seascapes and untouched wilderness of the outer islands paint a paradisaical picture drenched in sunshine, while the villages of the archipelago boast a rustic charm of their own, forever brimming with a celebratory air. From the pink-hued panoramas of the Spiaggia Rosa to the historic fortifications of La Maddalena, the national park's vistas are vast and varied.

La Maddalena, Italy
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Arcipelago Toscano National Park

The Arcipelago Toscano National Park protects the islands of Elba, Isola del Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona, as well as the several rocks and islets of the Tuscan Archipelago. The park encompasses 56,766 hectares of sea and 17,887 hectares of land, earning it the title of Italy's largest marine park. Each island is spectacularly different from the others, together presenting a vibrant collage of ecosystems that range from wooded terrain awash in blooms to stark, rocky outcrops carved by the elements. While the islands sustain disparate plants and birds, the waters of this stretch of the Mediterranean are home to multitudes of marine species including dolphins, groupers and moonfish. From sun-dappled beaches to grottoes and caves, the Arcipelago Toscano National Park is a medley of natural wonders.

Portoferraio, Italy
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Asinara National Park

Established since 1997, Asinara National Park is located on the Asinara Island which is known for its scenic views. This island is known for housing around 700 different types of vegetations. In addition to the flora, this park features 80 species of animals and is popular for siting the rare Albino Donkeys and is a popular bird watching spot. Apart from the natural beauty, this park features the ancient prison used in World War I. Feel close to the nature as you visit this park which also provides guided tours for the nature enthusiasts. Check out their seasonal timings on the website.

Porto Torres, Sardinia, Italy
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Aspromonte National Park

The aspromonte National Park is located in the southern part of the Apennine mountains in Calabria. The park is situated near the sea and is surrounded by high mountain peaks. The fauna of this place includes the peregrine falcon, the goshawk and the wolf. Considerable area of the park is occupied by forests having silver firs, beech, Mediterranean maquis, black pines and chestnut trees. It is also the home to a couple of rare species: the Bonellis eagle and Woodwardia radicans.

Santa Cristina D'aspromonte, Italy
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National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano

The mountains of Cilento dip dramatically to meet the Tyrrhenian Sea while its higher reaches are bound by the Vallo di Diano. Declared a national park in 1991, the region was soon after recognized by UNESCO for its extraordinary cultural heritage. In 1998, the national park, along with the archaeological remains of Paestum and Velia, were officially awarded the designation of a World Heritage Site. The spectacular landscape is marked by evidence of human habitation that spans the ages, beginning in prehistoric times, right through to the Middle Ages. Ancient trade routes traverse the landscape, with several groupings of settlements and sanctuaries along the way. The rugged terrain is replete with gorges, cliffs and caves, hidden away amid lush greenery with numerous trails to explore. Superlative scenery and rich cultural experiences make the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano a jewel of Southern Italy. The park lies in the Province of Salerno, in the Campania region.

Vallo della Lucania, Italy
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Cinque Terre National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also Italy's smallest National Park, and arguably one of its most scenic. Perched at the cusp of land and sea, the Cinque Terre straddles the rocky Ligurian coast, with the shimmering, turquoise waters of the sea at its feet. The National Park is composed of the five seaside villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, each a picturesque medley of historic architecture tucked away down narrow streets. The bare walls of the stony cliffs shelter the bay and its terraced vineyards, olive groves and sandy beaches, traversed by hiking trails with breathtaking vistas at every turn. The Cinque Terre National Park is a place where time itself seems to slow down and life takes on a more leisurely pace. The local specialty is a wine called Sciacchetrà best enjoyed with fresh, local seafood.

Vernazza, Italy
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Circeo National Park

Circeo National Park spans an impressive stretch of the Coast of Lazio. From the coastal dunes and littoral lakes, to the forests and promontory of Circeo, the park preserves a truly unique set of biomes. The Selva di Cerce is reputed to be Italy's largest plain forest, teeming with native wildlife like the wild boar, while the coastal dunes are a rare and intriguing sight to behold. Interspersed in between these dramatically variant terrain are quintessential small towns that chronicle the steady passage of time through relics left behind the Romans, the Medieval Knights Templar and the feudal lords of Caetani amongst others. With the hulk of the Circeo Promontory rising above it all, this National Park is a vast and varied landscape that inspires awe. The park is a favored choice for outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing and kayaking, as well as cultural tourism.

San Felice Circeo, Italy
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Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

A little over 80.46 kilometers (50 miles) away from Venice, the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park occupies the southernmost reaches of the Dolomites. Sprawling amidst the rolling hills and valleys of the Southeastern Alps, the stunning natural park was entirely covered by glaciers about 100 decades ago, their retreat leaving behind a landscape that supports scores of rare species. Established in the 1990s, this national park ensures the survival of a vast repository of the unique and rare flora and fauna that call it home. Spread over 32,000 hectares (79073.7 acres), the park features many archaeological, geological, biological and anthropological marvels, as well as several trails for hiking and ample opportunity for a variety of outdoor activities. Bewitching panoramic vistas of verdant hills, snow-capped peaks and meadows awash in a myriad colorful flowers come together at the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. Manmade points of interest include the Certosa di Vedana and the several small churches and the Medieval architecture of Val Cordevole.

Dolomiti Bellunesi, Italy
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