Italian land and nature: The Stelvio National Park
- WTI Magazine #145 Nov 13, 2021
The Stelvio National Park was established in 1935 and its 134,620 hectares in the heart of the Central Alps, which include the entire Ortler-Cevedale mountain range, make it the largest Italian park.
It covers the four provinces of Trento, Bolzano, Brescia and Sondrio and offers a unique scenery of glaciers, waterfalls, glacial lakes and waterways, extensive woodlands, cultivated areas, mountain farms which are inhabited the whole year round, Alpine villages and distinctive villages.
The landscape of the national park is characterized by the presence of intact alpine areas and areas which have been cultivated for centuries. Here one may indeed meet lush forests, green mountain meadows, pastures and farms and examples of rural architecture, but also factories, sawmills and mills preserved all over the valleys. The landscape diversity ensures there are vast ecosystems rich in flora and fauna.
Nature lovers may find countless plant species in the park territory, even very rare ones such as the glacier buttercup that grows at over 3500 meters above the sea level or the soldanella pusilla (snowbell). Every area is covered by a varied and colourful flora.
All the areas of the park are inhabited by numerous specimens of alpine fauna. There are herds of deer and roe deer in the dense woods, chamois can be spotted higher up, and alpine ibexes in the valleys. Foxes, marmots, ermine and squirrels are also present. There are many species of birds, such as ravens, woodpeckers, grouses, owls and golden eagles.
The so-called "park guides" accompany visitors throughout the year, even in winter, with accommodation facilities in the Park premises. In addition to nature trails, botanical trails and wildlife areas you can also follow cultural and environmental itineraries that include visits to ancient buildings, museums and strongholds.
The Park is bordered to the north by the Swiss Engadine National Park, to the south by the Adamello Regional Park of Lombardy, which, in turn, is connected to the nearby Adamello-Brenta in Trentino. To the east lies the Tessa Natural Park.