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Stelvio National Park

parco-nazionale-dello-stelvio

Is one of the largest protected areas in Europe and one of the oldest Italian Natural Parks, established to protect the flora and fauna, and to promote sustainable tourism in the Alpine Valleys of Lombardy, Trentino and Alto Adige. Almost entirely mountainous territory, the center of the park is made up of the Ortles-Cevedale which includes a hundred glaciers, including that of the Forni, the largest in Italy, and 25 valleys, among which the most important are the Val Zebru, Val Rezzalo, Val of Pejo and Val Trafoi. In the great geological variety that characterizes the area, there are two predominant types of rocks: crystallines and metamorphics, originated up to two and a half billion years ago, and limestone of much more recent formation. The park is home to over 1200 species of plants. Most woodland is mainly composed of spruce, larch, Swiss stone pines and mountain pines, the latter disseminated up above 2300 meters. while higher, up to 3500 m., there are plants that are resistant to cold and frost of high mountain as the glacier buttercups. Very rich is the fauna: chamois and deers (about 4,500 animals), ibex (present thanks to a reintroduction project started in 1968), marmots, foxes, stoats and weasels. Symbol of the park is the golden eagle and it is not uncommon to see them circling in the sky of Val Zebru, of the Val Martello and of the Val Rabbi. There are other birds of prey like the goshawk, the sparrow hawk, the eagle owl and the little owl.

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