Are you interested in visiting some national parks on your next holiday to Italy? Do you want to know where the best national parks in Italy are? Our guide to national parks in Italy gives you the facts & information you’ll want to know.
Italy has an abundance of national parks. Officially, Italy has 21 national parks scattered across the length and breadth of the country; however, Italy also has more than 400 separate areas that are considered to be nature reserves or wetlands. Such areas in Italy are ideal places to spot rare animals and do some bird watching. Below we’ve chosen what we think are the best national parks in the north, centre and south of Italy.
National Parks in the North of Italy
One of the major national parks in the north of Italy is the dello Stelvio national park. This national park is located amidst the section of the Italian Alps that are close to the border with Austria. The Main Italian cities which are closest to this national park in Italy are Venice and Verona, both of which are about 100-150km south of the national park. This national park is home to valleys and mountain peaks, some of which tower to nearly 4000 metres above sea level. Skiing is a popular attraction for this national park not only in winter, but even during the spring and summer months. Skiing is possible all year round in this national park because it is also home to the largest glaciers in Europe, which of course do not melt. This national park is also a popular walking destination and several charming little Italian villages can be seen this way.
National Parks in Central Italy
The main national park in the centre of Italy is the Monti Sibilini National Park. This national park is located approximately in the middle of the Apennine mountain chain which runs from the north of Italy in Genoa to the Calabria region of southern Italy. The main cities in Italy which are closest to this national park are Rome which is about 100km east of the national park, while Perugia and Assisi are located approximately the same distance to the north of the national park. Monti Sibilini separates the Lemarche region of Italy in the east from the Umbria region of Italy in the west. Although the peaks of the mountains in this national park are only about half the height of mountains found in the Alps, this national park is the most popular skiing destination in central Italy during the winter months. This national park is also home to an impressive array of animals and visitors have the chance of spotting wolves and falcons if they are lucky.
Abruzzo national park is another important park in the central region. Located in the middle of the Apennines, this park is particularly noteworthy for several reasons. Not only is the park the only known home the rare and endangered Marsican brown bear, but visitors to this park may also be lucky enough to spot Apennine wolves roaming their natural habitat. In addition to the abundance of breath-taking natural scenes, the national park is also home to several old villages with the original constructions dating back hundreds of years still in place.
National Parks in the South of Italy
The main national park in the south of Italy is the Del Pollo National Park. This national park is the gateway to the Calabria region in the south of Italy and must be traversed if travelling to Sicily from mainland Italy. This national park is situated at the end of the Apennine mountain range so mountain peaks are not as high as those in national parks in other parts of Italy. In addition to mountains, this national park also has plenty of canyons which make for interesting viewing. Mountain biking, walking and canoeing are all popular activities at this national park in Italy.