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Gran Paradiso National Park
"On sprockets glittering peaks skip the chamois, the avalanche thunders of enormous ice rolling down to the crunchy forests but from the blue poured silence going out in the sun the eagle, and stretches late in the black wheels sloping solemn flight.
Hello Piedmont! To you with a sad melody far from resonance, like the epic songs of your good popol, going down the rivers."
Ceresole Reale, July 28, 1890
About Gran Paradiso
- Type of Area: National Park
- Region: Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte
- Zona: North-West Italy
- Coordinates: 45°31′07″N 7°16′02″E
- Surface: 71.043,79 ha
- Height: 4.061,20 m
- Chain: Alps
- Web site: Official Web Site
The National Park Gran Paradiso is established in 1922. This is the oldest National Park in Italy together with the National Park of Abruzzo, introduced a few months later. It is located between the two regions of Italy: Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont and it is managed by the National Park Gran Paradiso, located in Turin. It covers an area of approximately 71 044 ha of mostly mountainous terrain.
National Park Gran Paradiso is one of the most beautiful park not only in Italy, but also in Europe and on the world. You can find many and rare species of flora and fauna of our days there.
Gran Paradiso offers you marvelous place for hiking in the high mountain, spectacular large landscapes, ever covered ice mountain, many beautiful lakes, waterfalls, animals like Alpine Ibex, chamois, marmots, foxes, stoats, eagles and many other types of birds, and of course many different kind of flowers that makes the summer months seems like a beautiful picturesque carpet. Many of varieties of the flora and fauna you can find here are rare and endangered.
A little History of the National Park Gran Paradiso?
The history of the Gran Paradiso National Park is closely intertwined with the protection of its emblem: the Alpine Ibex (Capra Ibex, Stambecco).
On 21 September 1821 the King of Sardinia, Carlo Felice issued the Royal Patents with which ordered: "The place remains even now prohibited hunting mountain goats in any parts of kingdoms domains." This decree saved the Alpine Ibex from extinction, but it was not inspired by the value of the environmental protectionism, not covered in the mentality of the time, but by mere speculation hunting. The rarity of these specimens made them chase a luxury hunting that only the king gave to himself.
Even the successors of Kings: Vittorio Emanuele II, Umberto I and Vittorio Emanuele III waged long campaigns hunting in the reserve. The last royal hunt took place in 1913.
Vittorio Emanuele III, better educated and less friendly with the villagers of his grandfather, decided and changed the direction and in 1919 he gave to the State the territory of the Gran Paradiso with his property rights, indicating a condition that would take into account da idea of establishing a national park for the protection of flora and fauna there.
On December 3, 1922 King Vittorio Emanuele III, in the early days of the Mussolini government, signed the decree that established the National Park of Gran Paradiso.
In the Article 1 of States Decree is written that the purpose of the park is to "preserve the fauna and flora and to preserve the special geological formations and the beauty of the landscape."
Article 4 stipulates that the management is entrusted to the Royal Commission of the National Park of Gran Paradiso. Following a series of rules: the perimeter of the park are prohibited hunting and fishing, access with dogs, guns and bombs that serve these purposes, the Commission may suspend and adjust grazing in some areas. The security service was entrusted to the Royal Corps of forest rangers who reinstated all the old reserves who made the request.
When the Peace returned in the park the Alpine Ibex were reduced to just 400 animals. On August 5, 1947, by decree of the Provisional Head of State Legislative Enrico De Nicola, it was established the Gran Paradiso National Park Authority with a governing board composed of 13 elements and a body guard for its direct dependencies.
Stambecco (Alpine Ibex) is the Symbol of the National Park Gran Paradiso.
How did they survive in Gran Paradiso?
Their story is very interesting, take a look at it here:
Battles in Gran Paradiso, Piedmont, Italy
Take in consideration also that in July and August in this place the traffic is stopped in Sundays and you should get the special bus that will bring you up for hiking.
Never forget to have a suitable clothes for rain even in the hot summer there, useful gadgets and enough food. Usually in the afternoon it is possible to rain there and you can get a big fog also there. So make sure before to start to have all you need!
Read the special Advices for visiting Gran Paradiso!
How to go to National Park Gran Paradiso?
The better way to go and visit the park is by car or bus. There are some points in the high mountain like Colle del Nivolet where you can go with a car and then to leave it there and go hiking or simply walking.
- By Air
The most close to Gran Paradiso from the south part of the Park is the International Airport of Turin.
For more information visit the Torino Caselle - International Airport Turin web site.
- By Train
You cannot go to the National Park Gran Paradiso via train. But you can reach Torino, Valle d'Aosta or nearest to Alps cities like Ivrea to go by train. Then the better solution is to rent a car and to go to Gran Paradiso.
For more information visit the Italian Railway web site.
- By Car
As it is written it is the better solution to go there by car, your own or by rent. You can reach the Park via a car to some point in Valle delle'Orco, the small villages as Locana, Noasca, the beautiful lake Ceresole Reale, then the lakes Serrù and Agnel till the point of Colle del Nivolet, 2612 m, where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful large view in Europe.
On the side of Valle d'Aosta you can easily go to Valsavarenche, Val di Cogne, Val di Rhêmes, Val Soana.
And then in the high mountain you can go only by walking. Take a look at advices of TravelMapItaly here!
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Map of Gran Paradiso