The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise – the oldest national park in the Apennines
Founded back in 1922, the The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise covers a total of 497 square kilometres and spreads over all three regions – Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, however the largest part is in Abruzzo region.
It is also known simpler as The National Park of Abruzzo (Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo) and is considered to be the oldest national park in the Apennines and has been developed in order to preserve a number of dwindling species.
Sunset in the National Park of Abruzzo, Italy by Marco Tersigni
Today, the national park is covered with birch trees but also has several different pines species growing in it.
It was the environmentalist Erminio Sipari who worked on creation of the national park shortly after the end of the World War I.
The park quickly grew up year after year following its founding. However, in 1933, the The National Park of Abruzzo was abolished under the rule of the then Fascist government only to be re=established in 1950.
Monte Meta, National Park of Abruzzo, Italy by Desmatron
The tallest points within the The National Park of Abruzzo can be found at Mount Petroso reaching an attitude of 2,249 meters above sea level, Mount Marsicano at 2,245 meters, Mount Meta which is 2,242 meters above sea level and Mount Tartaro at 2,191 meters.
The Sangro River first flows into the Lago di Barrea before it finally exits at the northeastern edge of the park’s boundaries.
Lake of Barrea, National Park of Abruzzo, Italy by rainwiz
While there are many species within the park, perhaps one of the most elusive is that of the Eurasian Lynx. Throughout the years, a number of people have reported having heard the lynx call out, but very few people have actually reported to have seen one.
At one time, the White Wolf was also very scarce within the park but in recent years the wolves have flourished.
Italian wolf, Abruzzo National Par by Guido Mastrobono
The easiest animals within the The National Park of Abruzzo to see include the Mountain Hare, Red Fox, Western European Hedgehog, Least Weasel as well as the Wildcat.
Many people who visit the park have found quills of the Crested Porcupine along the many paths which dot the landscape. There are also a multitude of other common animal species that can be seen throughout the park.
Lake Castel San Vincenzo and Mainarde mountains, Abruzzo National Park by Fabio Pitisci
You can also expect to see a number of birds throughout the national park. The most notable inhabitants of the The National Park of Abruzzo are the Golden Eagles which can be seen soaring over head.
There are also a number of other birds within the park that include the Eurasian Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons, Eurasian Sparrowhawks, Goshawks and the Kestrels.
The stream Scerto in Camosciara, Abruzzo National Park by Wento
If you are out towards the setting of the sun, then you will also hear the calls of the Tawny, Barn and Little Owls which inhabit the park.
One of the best ways on how to explore The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise is on the horse back. There are lots of other things that you can do during your visit like cycling, hiking, canoeing, bird watching, and during the winter also cross country skiing.
The gorges of the river Sangro near Barrea, Abruzzo National Park by Gand
There are two other national parks protecting the territory of Abruzzo region – Maiella National Park covering the area of 741 square kilometres and Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park covering the area of 2,014 square kilometres.
It is often referred to as the greenest part of Europe! So if you love nature, Abruzzo region will definitely be ideal for your next vacations!