Each park has adopted a different animal as its logo, although these species are present in varying degrees in all of the parks. Abruzzo is represented by the Marsican brown bear, Majella by the Apennine wolf, and Gran Sasso-Laga by the Abruzzo chamois.
Abruzzo has also another minor yet recently formed Park called Sirente-Velino, as well as over forty reserves and natural oases which are administered by a combination of local institutions.
Wolves, chamois, brown bear and lynx are slowly recovering after long periods of hunting and poaching, hence restrictions concerning camping and access applies in all parks.
Specific areas have been designed for wildlife adventurers, but please check before leaving.
Gran Sasso National Park
This is the largest national park in Italy and of course in the Abruzzo region. With an area of 1,600 sq km, the park’s landscape consists of mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls and is particularly beautiful in the autumn when the region’s clear light accentuate the vibrant colours of the forests and fields.
The park also enjoys its fair share of castles, hermitages and stone villages and leaves a lasting impression with its sheer scale and size generating an exhilarating atmosphere.
Abruzzo National Park Abruzzo
This is the first Italian national park established back in 1922 in an attempt to preserve the unique but rapidly diminishing environment that is typical of the Apennine chain.
Three main massifs outline the park with its southern zone extending into the regions of Lazio and Molise. High peaks include Monte Petroso (2,249m), Monte Marsicano (2,245m) and La Meta (2,242m). Nowadays, the park covers 500 sq km, two thirds of which are covered by forests.
Abruzzo National Parks area divided into zones that are strictly monitored in order to ensure the protection both of vulnerable habitats and species, and minimise the harmful impacts of increased human activity.
Majella National Park
This is one of the most recent national parks instituted in the country. In fact it has been founded in 1993, although it stretches over 740 sq km between the provinces of Pescara, L’Aquila and Chieti.
Due to the territory conformation, Majella is the one that offers possibly the most interesting trekking paths. Majella national park is famous for its concentration of cliffs; about thirty of them exceed the 2,000m of high. The main peak is Monte Amaro, the second tallest in the Apennines with 2,793m.
The park shines for the great amount of ivers and waterfalls that tumble over the rocky landscape. These watery havens offer a home to salamanders, newts and fish, which in turn provide food for bears, otters, martens and other animals that hunt along the rivers.