10 National Parks You Have to Visit in Italy

ClickTravelTips 9 Min Read

Italy is a beautiful country known around the world for its history, culture, and Arts. However, the  natural beauty of the landscape is often forgotten. Luckily for us, certain areas of land are protected and  have been declared a national park. In total, there are 25 national parks in Italy. Check out this list of the  10 most breath-taking parks in the beautiful country of Italia.  

1. Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso

Alpine emerald lake and mountains at springtime, Gran Paradiso Alps, Italy, near border with France

Located on the border of the regions of Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont, Gran Paradiso National Park is the  oldest park in all of Italy. It was established in 1922. Gran Paradiso National Park takes its name from the  tallest peak in the park. Even more impressive however, is that from inside the park you can view the  famous mountain, the Matterhorn. Gran Paradiso National Park is a favorite destination for expert  hikers during the summers, and skiers during the winter. No matter the time of year, this park is also a  great destination if you want to see animals, especially the ibex.  

2. Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio, e Molise

Lake of Campotosto in Abruzzo, Italy. A huge artificial lake at 1400 meters above sea level, in the heart of the Appennini mountains, province of L’Aquila

Close to the capital city of Rome, in the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise, lies the -aptly named Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise National Park. This long-named park is more commonly known by its former  name: Abruzzo National Park. It was established in 1923. While it is not the oldest park in Italy, it is the  oldest park in the Apennine mountain range. Abruzzo National Park is beloved for its focus on wildlife  conservation – specifically, for the protection of Italian wolves, Abruzzo chamois, and Marsican brown  bears. The park is also beloved for its forests and mountains. This is the perfect destination for all of  your favorite outdoor activities, from horseback riding and canoeing in the warm months, to skiing in  the colder months.  

3. Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio 

Stelvio National Park – Valle del Braulio – Aerial view

Established in 1935, Stelvio National Park is a favorite destination in the regions of Lombardy, Trentino Alto Adige, and Sudtirol. If you have a desire to see the Alps from the Italian point of view, this national  park is the park for you! Being the largest national park in Italy, this area is abundant in hiking trails.  There are exciting trails for expert hikers, as well as enjoyable hikes for beginners. The park’s greatest  attraction is Stelvio Pass, from which it takes its name.  

4. Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi 

Beautiful landscape with alpine lake and mountains. Lago della Stua, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, Italy.

The Dolomites are both a European treasure, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are also, in part,  a favorite feature of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. Located in northern Veneto since 1988, this  national park is a favorite for hikers and rock climbers. The park is also well known for its efforts to  preserve the natural flora and fauna found in the region.  

5. Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano 

The Beach of Sansone on Elba island in Italy without people. Tuscan Archipelago national park. Mediterranean sea coast. Vacation and tourism concept.

One year later, in 1989, Tuscan Archipelago National Park was opened. “Archipelago” is a scientific  term for “chain of islands”. This archipelago is located on the western coast of Tuscany. The national  park features seven main islands: Elba, Isola del Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri, and  Gorgona. The park as a whole covers both land and sea, including the beautiful blue waters surrounding  the dotted islands off the coast of Tuscany.  

6. Parco Nazionale del Gargano

Tremiti Islands (Apulia). August 2021. Glimpse and summer landscape

Gargano National Park is not only a national park, but also a UNESCO site. It was first established in  1991 in Apulia. This beautiful area has mountains and coastlines all in one park, making it a marvelous  destination for nature-lovers. The park is known for its push to extend environmental awareness. The  biggest attraction in Gargano National Park is the San Felice Arch: a large, uniquely arch-shaped rock  formation that extends over the water.  

7. Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga 

One of the largest protected lands in all of Europe is the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.  It is located in the regions of Marche and Lazio, but it mostly falls inside Abruzzo. This park, established  in 1991, contains mountainous ranges and glorious Alpine plains. It even features a glacier. During the  summer, this park is popular for horseback riding and birdwatching. It is also a great skiing destination  when it snows. The biggest attraction is the tallest peak of the Apennine Mountains: the Gran Sasso,  meaning “Great Rock” in English.  

8. Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio  

Aerial view of Mount Vesuvius crater at sunset, a volcano in Naples, Campania, Italy.

The infamous volcano of Vesuvius is located in Campania. Vesuvius National Park was established in  1991. A visit to this volcano is called for after a trip to the ancient archeological ruins of Pompeii. This is,  in fact, the very volcano that erupted and covered Pompeii in ash all those years ago. Today, you can  hike right up to the summit – and it’s not even that hard of a climb! Even beginner hikers can complete  the whole trail in just over an hour.  

9. Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago di La Maddelena 

Landscape with Sardina de Galda and North Beach Sardina, north Gran Canaria, Spain

For beach-lovers, Archipelago di la Maddelena National Park is a must-see. This park, located in  Sardinia since 1994, is known for its stunning beaches. You can take a boat trip to see the sights from  the water or take a walk around Caprera Island.  

10. Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre 

Manarola village popular european italian tourist destination in Cinque Terre National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site, Liguria, Italy on sunset

Last on this list is possibly one of the most well-known tourist destinations that many people don’t even  know is a national park! Cinque Terre National Park is located in Liguria and was established as a  national park in 1999. It is also a UNESCO World Heritages Site. Cinque Terre (“five lands” in English) is a  small park but densely inhabited in its five little villages. These five cliff-side villages are the  headquarters to the main attraction. People love hiking along the cliff sides and enjoying the unique  view of the land suddenly plunging in to the sea below. The national park aims to help find a healthy  balance in sustainable tourism that won’t destroy the natural beauty of the Cinque Terre.

Share This Article
Leave a comment