Italian National Parks

Immerse yourself in the wilder side of Italia

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert


Italian national parkIt may come as some surprise to learn that the National Parks of Italy make up somewhere in the region of 5% of the country’s territory. That’s 24 designated regions of exceptional beauty away from the urban madness of Rome and Milan that have been specifically selected for conservation purposes. You may already be familiar with one or two of them – the area surrounding the fearsome yet breathtaking volcano Vesuvius and the marine pleasures of Arcipelago di La Maddalina spring immediately to mind – but you can just as easily find all you desire in some of the lesser-travelled locales. 

Whatever you’re looking to gain from your holiday experience, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Italian National Parks. With activities on hand to appease even the most hardcore outdoor enthusiast, and Mother Nature providing many a Kodak moment, it’s just a case of narrowing it down to the perfect destination for you.

 

Top five Italian National Parks


   

Gran Paradiso Gran Paradiso

Arguably the most eye-catching of the country’s National Parks, Grand Paradiso also happens to be the oldest. Handed its status in 1922 by King Vittorio Emanuele III in an attempt to preserve the threatened ibex population, the region stands firm to this day as a snapshot of traditional Alpine life. Scattered with quaint hamlets, hunting lodges and isolated chapels, its glacial valley ‘Orco’ is especially enchanting. The best views can be found at the 2,500m peak of the Nivolet, a sweeping plateau that can be reached on foot, by bike or shuttle bus.

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Abruzzo Abruzzo

The thought of spending your holiday in the company of wolves and bears may at first seem an altogether terrifying proposition – but Abruzzo National Park prides itself on its efforts to protect these magnificent creatures. Sightings of the animals are relatively rare, but even if you aren’t one of the fortunate few, you’re still sure to be overawed by this forest haven. There are hiking trails aplenty leading you through the maze of pines and beeches, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also embark on a canoeing trip down the Sangro River.

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Vesuvius Vesuvius

Everyone knows the tragic tale of the 79AD eruption that destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but almost 2,000 years on, the responsible volcano makes for a dramatic backdrop. The aforementioned towns are, of course, popular with tourists, but the chance to make an unsettling trek to the lip of an active volcano is the big selling point of the Vesuvius National Park. Its proximity to the city of Naples also renders it perfect for blending your outdoors experience with a taste of authentic Campanian urban culture. 

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Aspromonte Aspromonte

Few regions of Italy, or indeed mainland Europe, can boast so much in the way of variety as Aspromonte. On one hand, the expanse of the park along the luscious Mediterranean coastline emerges as a colossal granite pyramid, canyons and streams cascading towards the summit of Monte Cocuzzo. Travel further inland and the slopes give way to a landscape of colourful olive groves and peaceful countryside, the perfect habitat for wildlife such as otters, wild cats and eagles. 

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Arcipelago di La Maddalina Arcipelago di La Maddalina

For a more relaxing National Park experience, the Maddalina Archipelago might just be your finest option. There’s no shortage of picturesque scenery here, the seven islands that comprise the area flanked by some of the bluest waters you’re ever likely to clap eyes on. It’s this feature, first and foremost, that distinguishes the park. The alcoves and beaches surrounding the archipelago are secluded enough to unwind, but why not strap on your snorkel and go exploring? A boat cruise is the best way to see everything this Sardinian paradise has to offer.

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Holiday Rentals in Italy

CHIARO DI LUNA 8+2 / 4+2 / 4 sleeps, splendid waterfront apartment in Ravello with large terrace and breathtaking seaside view

THIS VILLA IS AVAILABLE ALSO IN 4+2 AND 4 SLEEPS VERSION, PLEASE CONTACT EMMA VILLAS. PRIVATE STRUCTURE. Chiaro di Luna is an enchanting property, spread out over three terraces, located on the splendid and famous Amalfi coast. The structure, subd...

Beautiful 17thC farmhouse with panoramic views between Verona & Lake Garda

Perfect for a relaxing rural holiday, or as a base to explore the natural beauties and cultural riches of the Veneto. 'Il Castello' is situated on the spur of a vine-clad hill in Valpolicella, a famous wine-growing region of Italy. Our lovingly re...

Home Holiday Rome Center

Located at 973 meters from Central Railway Station Termini, just enough to avoid the effects of the inevitable crowd around any large city station. In a district inhabited by residents, and then provided with all amenities, in the heart of Rome...

In beautiful villa in the countryside of the Maremma

Beautiful IX century villa of 200 square metres ,completely restored consisting of a sittingroom with a fireplace, diningroom, bathroom, kitchen with an ancient wood oven and a veranda on the ground floor; two large double bedrooms, a single bedro...

Bright and elegant furnished apartment (sleeps 5 people) in the heart of Venice

Bright and elegant furnished two bedroom (sleeps 5 people) apartment with full kitchen for vacation rental in the heart of Venice with a beautiful view of the Campo San Stin. Renovated in January 2010 and located on the first floor of a period bui...

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