Stelvio National Park
Stelvio National Park, Italy's largest historic park, lies at the heart of the Central Alps and includes typical valleys shaped by the action of ice and water that descended from the mighty Ortler mountain range. The landscape of the park is formed by majestic peaks, lush forests and verdant grasslands of the high mountains carved by sparkling streams that flow from the glaciers.
The morphological variety of the landscape, created by the considerable differences in height, allows for the existence of large ecosystems with many rare species of animals and plants. Villages and farms, scattered throughout the valleys and on mountain slopes, complete the scene and constitute fascinating examples of rural and religious architecture, in complete harmony with the environment.
Numerous species of Alpine wildlife thrive throughout the Stelvio National Park where herds of deer inhabit the dense woods and roe deer live on the edge of the forests. At higher altitudes you see chamois and in certain valleys the ibex has made its return. Look out for the fox, marmot and ermine along with numerous squirrels and hares, rarer badgers and weasels.
The park is also inhabited by numerous species of birds, such as the chough, raven and crow. There are also woodpeckers, grouse and hazel grouse, and predators: the buzzard, the sparrow-hawk and owl. Several pairs of nesting golden eagles have settled on the vertiginous walls and for some time now there have been sightings of the bearded vulture. Last but not least there are the inhabitants of the ponds and streams, and of course the insects that help to complete the food chain.
The area that spans between the lowest point of Mount Ortler and its peak in the Stelvio National Park constitutes the habitat for numerous plant species. From wetlands to detrital areas, from calcareous to siliceous terrains, every piece of ground is covered with a varied and colourful flora. The Stelvio National Park is also an amazing cultural adventure where you can visit the historical centres of its towns, from towers and castles, to churches and abbeys or by walking the halls of museums scattered throughout its territory.
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