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    Ibax in the mountains

    Much famed for its historic monuments, churches, museums, palaces, and masterpieces of Renaissance, Italy is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Europe. But not many know of its vast and surreal national parks that are an ultimate escape for wildlife lovers, nature admirers and photographers. Every year, these incredible national parks in Italy allure offbeat travelers and landscape & wildlife photographers.

    Best national parks in Italy that’ll take your wildlife love to the next level

    1. Stelvio National Park – The largest national park in Italy

    Stelvio National Park

    Location: Via de Simoni, 42, 23032 Bormio SO, Italy

    Nestled away in the protected areas of Central Alps, Stelvio National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Italy. Located at the border of Switzerland and Italy, Stelvio National Park lies near Lombardy in the Valtellina region.

    Spread across an area of 1500 sq. miles, makes this zone, the largest national park in Italy. Famed for its beautiful topographical collage of mountains, thick forests, and alpine meadows, Stelvio National Park overwhelms every visitor with its varied wildlife population such as ibex, deer, chamois, stoats, foxes, and golden eagles.

    Opening hours: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2: 30 pm to 6:00 pm on weekdays and 2: 30 pm to 6:00 pm on weekends. The national park is closed on Mondays.
    Tickets: INR 483/person
    Best time to visit Stelvio National Park: June and July


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    2. Cinque Terre National Park – Oldest national park in Italy

     Cinque Terre National Park

    Location: Riomaggiore Province of La Spezia, Italy

    Considered to be one of the best national parks in Italy, Cinque Terre National Park is popular amongst travelers for its vast expanse and scenic vistas. Encompassing five cliff-side coastal villages namely Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, this national park sprawls over 4300 acres of land. With typical Mediterranean vegetation comprising of pine, chestnut, Aleppo, and corks, this is one of the most pristine national parks of Italy with a habitat of wild animals like a mole, weasel, wild boar, marten fox, and a rat snake.

    The coastal villages have beautiful churches, monasteries, castles, and villas and offer guided trails for all who wish to explore this medieval wonder. And all these have helped Cinque Terre National Park get listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

    Opening hours: Round the clock
    Tickets: INR 604/person
    Best time to visit Cinque Terre National Park: Mid-May to mid-September

    Must Read: 16 Essential Italy Travel Tips That Will Save You Money, Time & More

    3. Gran Paradiso National Park – Home to unique topography & exotic fauna

    Gran Paradiso National Park

    Location: Valle d’Aosta, Italy

    Tucked between Aosta Valley and Piedmont, Gran Paradiso National Park is the home to 968 types of flower species, including some rare and endangered varieties as well. Named after Gran Paradiso Mountains, this national park is known for unique topography and exotic fauna. From Alpine ibex, hare, weasel to Eurasian eagle-owl, Alpine Accentor and chough, the list is endless.

    Other than admiring the scenic vistas of Gran Paradiso National Park, one can enjoy trails, excursions and indulge in exciting activities like photography and trekking in summer and cross-country skiing in winter.

    Opening hours: From June 30th to July 20th and 20th August to 9th September. The park is open from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. From 21st July to 19th August, the park is open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The national park is closed on Wednesdays.
    Tickets: INR 241/person
    Best time to visit Gran Paradiso National Park: May to October

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    4. Majella National Park – It’s unbelievably spectacular

    Majella National Park

    Location: 67030 Pacentro Province of L’Aquila, Italy

    With the backdrop of carbonate mountains of Majella, Morrone, Porrara, Pizzalto, and Rotella, separated by karst valleys; Majella National Park is another natural wonder of Italy. Centered around Majella Massif, this national park with its pool of diversity is a haven for any nature lover just like all the national parks in southern Italy.

    Majella National Park is the home to rare species of wolves like Wildcat and Pine Marten and boasts of diverse flora like beech trees, Turkey Oak, Hope Hornbeam and Downy Oak. Along with wolves, one can easily spot a Marsican Brown Bear, European Honey Buzzard and White-backed woodpecker. This national park believes and follows forest management strategies, recycles and reuses woods and preserves rare to nearly-extinct flora and fauna species.

    Opening hours: 24 hours
    Tickets: Entrance free
    Best time to visit Majella National Park: May to November

    Suggested Read: Italy Vs Spain: A Guide You Need To Read Before You Hit The Road

    5. Gargano National Park – Best known as ‘Spur of Italy’

    Gargano National Park

    Location: Province of Foggia, Italy

    Established in 1977, Gargano National Park comprises of Mount Gargano, an archipelago of Tremiti islands and Foresta Umbra- a protected forest. Covering an area of 15,000 hectares, this exotic bioreserve includes white cliffs, karst landform, caves, and sun-kissed beaches and accounts for Italy’s one third plant species like Aleppo pine and coastal pine etc. But what makes Gargano National Park an interesting hotspot for all is the historic villages, in the park area and their traditions.

    If you are planning to hike in such a village, do not miss to taste the awesome local food like pancotto with fava beans, orecchiette pasta, and snail soup.

    Opening hours: Round the clock
    Tickets: Free entry
    Best time to visit Gargano National Park: Late April to September

    6. Parco Nazionale del Circeo – A preservation ground for Pontine Marshes

    Parco Nazionale del Circeo

    Location: 04100 Latina, Province of Latina, Italy

    Encompassing the coastal strip of Anzio to Terracina, the island of Zannone and San Felice Circeo, Parco Nazionale del Circeo is one of the most amazing and prominent aspects of the Italy national parks map. The built-in concern of diminishing population of Pontine Marshes, this preservation ground can be segregated into 5 areas namely the forest, littoral dune, humid area, promontory, an island.

    The park also has some pretty attractions of peculiar piscine, which are small pools of rainwater, formed during the autumn season and widespread berry plantations.

    Opening hours: Round the clock
    Tickets: Free admission
    Best time to visit Parco Nazionale del Circeo: May to November

    Suggested Read: Pristine Lakes In Italy That Will Compel You To Visit Europe

    7. National Park of Abruzzo – Wilderness by the Sangro River

    National Park of Abruzzo

    Location: Abruzzo, Italy

    If you are looking for an absolute escape into the wild; then National Park of Abruzzo is the place to count on. Sprawling over 50,000 hectares of area, this bioreserve covers 25 medieval towns which can be explored by hiking. Soak in the internal beauty of the views of Sangro River, karst rocks, and high mountains and discover the local culture and traditions in one of the best national parks in Abruzzo, Italy.

    There are a lot of camping spots in and around National Park of Abruzzo to enjoy the real-time experience of living in the lap of nature and the wild.

    Opening hours: 24 hours
    Tickets: INR 4841 for a group of 5-11 tourists
    Best time to visit National Park of Abruzzo: April to June and December to February.

    8. Pollino National Park – A habitat of ‘Shy Wolves’

    Pollino National Park

    Location: Calabria, Italy

    Beech and silver fir forests, the serene lake of Lago di Monte Cotugno, verdant valleys and traditional villages define Pollino National Park, which is among the best national parks in Italy. Enjoy a leisure stay here and spot endangered shy wolves and golden eagles. But, if you are looking for some thrill and adventure, indulge in forest hikes, white water rafting, skiing in winter, canoeing down the gorges, horse riding and mountain biking.

    Opening hours: Round the clock
    Tickets: No charge
    Best time to visit Pollino National Park: May to November

    Suggested Read: 15 Best Hotels In Italy: From Classy To Affordable Ones

    9. Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park – Beautiful, scenic and splendid

    Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

    Location: Dolomiti Bellunesi, Belluno BL, Italy

    One of the finest national parks in northern Italy in northern Italy, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park was established in 1988, covering mountain ranges of Alpi Feltrine, Spiz di Mezzodì, Monti Del, streams like Cordevole, Mis, Caorame and few swamps and cascades. Predominated by rhododendron, Carduus, and other Alpine trees, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is the habitat for a wide array of wildlife like Marmot, Chamois, Black Woodpecker, Black Grouse, and Mouflon.

    This is definitely one of the popular national parks in Italy map, which was honored as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2009.

    Opening hours: Throughout the day
    Tickets: Free entry
    Best time to visit Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park: June to Mid-September

    Suggested Read: Italian Cuisine: Top 10 Dishes That Let You Taste The Authentic Flavors Of Italy!

    10. Asinara National Park – For an ultimate escape to an island

    Asinara National Park

    Location: Sardinia, Italy

    Asinara is the third largest island of Sardinia and was deemed as quarantine area and prisoners camp during WW1. Later this region was designated as a national park in Italy in 1997. Though not as famous as Gargano national park or Stelvio national park, this Asinara National Park is famous and significant for its exclusive population of endangered Asinara donkey. Other wildlife spotted here are mouflons, wild boars, magpies, and European shag.

    Opening hours: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
    Tickets: Entrance is free but guided tours are chargeable.
    Best time to visit Asinara National Park: Mid-April to Mid-June

    Tempted enough to explore the land of stunning vistas, vast vegetation, and wildlife in Italy? Delay no further and let us help you plan your Italy trip right away.

    Further Read: Honeymoon Trip To Italy: Feeling The Love Under The Tuscan Sun


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