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Character stone country villa beautifully restored in Abruzzo.

Country stone villa beautifully restored for sale, surrounded by 2.300 sqm garden. Very private location, in Abruzzo, Italy.

Beautiful country property of 300 sqm restored to very high standards. 2,300 sqm land, very private location. 200.000 €. View Property.

Lovely restored country house with character, near the coast.

Beautifully restored stone country house for sale: three bedrooms, fantastic vaulted ceilings and outdoor space. 19km from the coast and 40km from the airport. Abruzzo, Italy.

Three bedrooms, fantastic vaulted ceilings and outdoor space. 19km from the coast and 40km from the airport. Abruzzo. 189.000 €. View Property.

Charming apartment with terrace for sale in Molise, Italy.

Elegant apartment of 120 sqm with terrace for sale, situated in an historic building, in Molise region of Italy.

Beautiful elegant apartment of 120 sqm with terrace, situated in an aristocratic building dated back to the beginning of the 1800s. 65.000 €. View Property.

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The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park

Posted by on in Holidays in Abruzzo and tips

 According to Wikipedia, Abruzzo is considered the greenest region in Europe as almost half of its territory, the largest in Europe, is set aside as national parks and protected nature reserves. There are three national parks, one regional park, and 38 protected nature reserves.

The three national park are: The Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park located mostly in northern part of Abruzzo region, bordering with Lazio and Le Marche region; The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise in the North – West area of Abruzzo, bordering with Molise and Lazio; and the Majella National Park in the southern part of Abruzzo.

The Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park includes the territory of three regions (Abruzzo, Marche and Lazio), five provinces (L’Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, Rieti and Ascoli Piceno) and forty-four communes; it cover a surface of 150,000 hectares.

The park has been established in 1995, the area holds the highest pick of the Apennine, the Gran Sasso d’Italia, 2912 m, the beautiful Campo Imperatore plateau, the largest in Italy, Lake Campotosto, the largest artificial basin of the continent and the Calderone glacier, the unique in the Apennines and the most southern in Europe. The park contains one of the most biologically diverse areas of Europe. Visiting the Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park means experiencing biodiversity, culture and excellent wine-and-food tradition.

The extent and array of altitude and lithology are reflected in the diversity of landscapes in the Park. At high altitude, where the peaks reach three thousand meters, we find the kingdom of wilderness, with endemic fauna and flora and also glacial relicts.

Lower down at the foot of Corno Grande we find the extraordinary plateau of Campo Imperatore, known as Little Tibet with its endless pastures surrounded by high picks and moraines, a pseudo “Tibet” in the heart of the Mediterranean.

On the southern slope of Gran Sasso the territory is scattered with fortified villages, castles, traditional hamlets rich in heritage, agricultural landscape and open fields.

Travelling toward the coast but remaining in the protected area of the Park we can meet delightful small towns, historic abbeys, vineyards, olive groves and orchards, all along the clear waters of the Tirino river.

This is the area called Monti della Laga, an area rich of water, waterfalls, streams and water springs, all surrounded by impenetrable forests of oak trees, chestnut groves and birches, originally planted during Roman times.

The fauna of the Park is very rich with 2400 species, with deer and roes and the symbolic animal of the Park, the Apennine Chamois reintroduced in the Park after a century from his extinction from Gran Sasso, the chamois has repopulated the mountains, today we count approximately 500 of them.

Another animal symbolic of the Park is the Apennine wolf, amongst other mammals such as wildcat, polecat, marten, hedgehog, beech marten, badger.

At very high altitude lives the snow vole, a small rodent, relict of the last glaciation.

The Park is also kingdom of rare birds such as golden eagles, eagle-owl and at higher altitudes snow-birds and rock pipit amongst many other protected birds.

The Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park is one of the European protected areas with the highest biodiversity in vegetation. The Park’s flora amounts to 2642 species. The most precious floristic component is linked to high altitude environments, where “glacial relicts” and endemic plants still live, plants and flowers that can be found only in this part of Italy, like for example the Adonis vernalis, that grows only in the Gran Sasso.

The area of Monti della Laga is covered by forests, while the area of Gran Sasso is characterized by pastures.

The villages and rural centers of the Park are very interesting for their architectonics and cultural peculiarities; they provide unique authentic experiences of rural life for an unrepeatable journey.

In the L’Aquila province are worth to be mentioned the villages of the medicean Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Castel del Monte and Rocca Calascio, with the famous fortress, both of them set of several movies, Barony of Cappelle, not far from the town of L’Aquila.

At lower level, in the Navelli Plateau famous for its saffron cultivation, we find Capestrano, with the famous statue of the warrior of Capestrano, symbol of Abruzzo and Ofena, known as “the oven of Abruzzo” for its peculiar climate.

But also many beautiful others such as Pescosansonesco, in the area of the Benedictine abbey, and Assergi and Camarda, gripping in the rock and rich of artistic and archaeological values.

In the area of the Park, located in the province of Teramo, we can mention the town of Castelli, well known for its traditional ceramic art, Civitella del Tronto with its Borbonic fortress and many other villages set amongst blooming forests and characterized by sandstone houses.

The Park territory is very rich in traditions, heritage, culture varieties elsewhere disappeared and is also an exceptional deposit of typical products such as Pecorino cheese from the village of Farindola, Canestrano cheese from Castel del Monte, the lentils of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, the mortadella of Campotosto, these excellences are aptly represented by the four Slow Food presidia which are present within the protected area.

In this area we also find autochthonous livestock selectively bred over centuries.

Thanks to targeted conservation projects ancient varieties nearly extinct have been rescued, for example the Patata Turchese, a potatoe with turquoise colored skin. The agriculture ingrained into tradition has preserved ancient varieties of legumes, cereals, vegetables and the famous saffron that are still produced following traditional methods.

From a touristic point of view, the Park offers numerous attractions, one is the Lake of Compotosto. The lake is the largest artificial basin in Abruzzo and the second in Europe, it extends for 1400 hectares and it is surrounded by 200 hectares of beaches. The lake was created during the 30s to supply the electric power station of the Vomano valley.

Nowadays the lake is a famous attractions for tourists, in summer to enjoy its fresh water, or to practice outdoor activities such as hiking, walking, windsurfing and biking, the road that runs around the lake is perfect for cycling, in spring and autumn the area offers the possibility to enjoy bird watching while in winter the spectacular and beautiful  icy surface of the lake attracts photograph lovers and visitors.

All together the landscape, the uncontaminated environment, the rarety of the fauna and flora, the architectonic rural beauty, the typicality and anthropological value constitute an unique mix that characterize the Park, Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga.