Italy's Most Stunning National Parks

The gorgeous Italian landscape
The gorgeous Italian landscape | gaspa/Flickr
Ione Wang

A mountainous country surrounded by seas, Italy is full of stunning natural beauty. The 22 national parks in the country cover just about 5% of its land mass. These areas are more than just untamed wilderness — they are places where people live and work, running guest houses, restaurants, ranches and farms. You’ll be able to escape into pristine landscapes during the day and come back to a delicious meal of local food in the evening.

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Monti Sibillini

Situated comfortably in the middle of Italy, the Monti Sibillini encompasses the regions of Le Marche and Umbria. It’s an incredibly lovely place, full of hikes and bicycling trails and popular for paragliding and hang-gliding. Hike up Monte Vettore, or visit the gorgeous flowering fields of Castelluccio.

Gran Paradiso

Gran Paradiso is one of the oldest protected areas in the Alps. With the majestic landscapes and sweet Alpine villages dotting the mountainsides, this park certainly lives up to its name — Great Paradise.


Extending into the three regions of Abruzzo, Molise and Lazio, this park is just a few hours’ drive from Rome, and it’s home to an endangered species of brown bear as well as the Italian wolf. The thick beach forests and lush slopes make this a gorgeous place for an excursion.

Cinque Terre

One of the more famous national parks in Italy, the Cinque Terre refers to five villages perched on the Ligurian coastline. They’re difficult to reach by car, so most visitors will arrive by train, boat or even on foot. You can hike along the trail that passes through the gorgeous villages, but to avoid the crowds, take an alternate route that goes into the mountains.


This unique island off the coast of Sardinia is virtually uninhabited except for the population of wild albino donkeys. Having once been a prison camp, a quarantine area and a maximum security prison for the Mafia, it’s now been converted into a wildlife and marine preserve.

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