Although sometimes overlooked by foreign visitors, Italy’s nature is on the par with its artistic and cultural heritage. There are twenty-four national parks that cover about five per cent of the country’s territory, each of them with a unique landscape and character. Here we pick some of the best national parks that can be visited during your znaeshprivate holidays in Italy!
The smallest national park in Italy, Cinque Terre, packs a punch with its spectacular sea views, picturesque bays, and small beaches. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage, the park’s five villages, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, carefully preserve unique terraced vineyards precariously clinging to the steep slopes, traditional rural buildings and local craftsmanship. The marine area around the Cinque Terre is also protected as it is often visited by various species of rare whales and dolphins.
Less than a two-hour drive from Rome, Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise National Park is the most popular one among Italian tourists who head there in search of tranquility, authentic mountain villages and excellent traditional cuisine. With only one paved road and 150 walking and cycling trails the park is a paradise for nature lovers. You can observe the Golden Eagle, rare Brown Marsican bear, wolves, and chamois.
Gran Paradiso National Park is the oldest in Italy. It boasts some spectacular summits with the highest, Gran Paradiso peak, reaching 4,061 meters. There are 450 miles of marked trails and tracks for nature lovers and hikers, many restaurants, trattorie, holiday farms, mountain huts, and hotels. The mountains, dense woodlands, lush alpine valleys and glaciers are home to many rare birds and animals.
La Maddalena Archipelago National Park is another magnificent place to visit. It includes a group of 62 islands between Sardinia and Corsica most of which are inhabited or have a handful of residents. Here you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy such as Cala Corsara, Cala Granara, Spiaggia Rosa, although the latter can be only admired from a boat. Be one of the nature enthusiasts and flock to the islands on your private holidays in Italy for bird-watching as many rare species nest here!
Photos via Flickr by: Lassi Kurkijärvi, Fulvio Spada, Bruno Cordioli.