A Park fit for a King, history and territory

Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime

The Maritime Alps

Among the Colle di Tenda and the Colle della Maddalena rises the last great castle of crystalline rock in the Alps: these are the Maritime Alps. Mountains disputing between glaciers and the sea, a picturesque and wild region, that of the beauty of the Alp and the fascinating myths of the Apennines, which tempt the climber with the seduction of its steep mountains and offers to the scholar and the artist, a wide field of view, with unexpected contrasts. A strange region where high peaks and rugged rocks are mirrored in the lakes among the eternal snows, and down into the valleys grow flowering roses and olive trees on the coast, just as climbers wrote in the nineteenth century. On the northern side, the Piedmont Valleys, like the fingers upon a hand, converging neatly into the Po Valley, joining not far from Cuneo, a small child city of the mountains that surround it. There are three valleys within the Parco delle Alpi Marittime: the Valle Vermenagna, the Valle Gesso and the Valle Stura.

A great oasis of protected nature

The Parco naturale regionale delle Alpi Marittime, with its 28.455 hectares, is the largest protected area of Piedmont, created to protect an area of great charm in the Alpine landscape and exceptionally rick in terms of biodiversity.

A park fit for a king

The Park was founded in 1995 from the merger of the Riserva del Bosco e dei Laghi di Palanfré (instituted in 1979) and the Parco naturale dell’Argentera (1980). These are the most recent stages of a story that was previously characterized by the creation by Vittorio Emanuele II of a Royal Hunting Reserve, which, after the fall of the monarchy, would be run by a Consortium headed by the Province and Chamber of Commerce of Cuneo, along with the concerned municipalities.

The current Board of Management also administers two natural reserves that are located in the immediate vicinity of the park: the Riserva naturale di Rocca San Giovanni-Saben and the Riserva naturale delle Grotte del Bandito. The first protects the northernmost population of Juniperus phoenicea, a plant that survives here, along with other endemic warm and dry species, thanks to the favourable climate of the limestone cliff that rises above the village of Valdieri. The second was created to preserve the fragile environment of the larger karst system of the Park, where colonies of bats survive the winter.

The “Uomini e Lupi” Wildlife Center, The Rye Ecomuseum, The Valderia Botanical Garden

The park is on the territory between two locations (Valdieri and Entracque) and with three visitors centres. Another important property is the “Uomini e Lupi” in Entracque, the first wildlife center in the Italian Alps entirely dedicated to the Wolf, with two tour routes and an enclosure which houses of wolf specimens. Sant’Anna di Valdieri is the heart of the Rye Ecomuseum, which includes a route, a shop/bar, events space, a community oven and a museum born of the aspirations and knowledge of the citizens of the Gesso Valley. Also important is the Valderia Botanical Garden at the Terme Valdieri, created by the Park with scientific and educational activitys. The name is derived by the endemic Viola valderia, discovered right along the stretch of the River Gesso, now included in the garden. Inside are more than 450 species, identified by special badges, a real “sample” of Maritime flora!

For more information : http://www.parks.it/parco.alpi.marittime/

Parco naturale Alpi Marittime - Piazza Regina Elena, 30 - 12010 Valdieri (CN) Italia. P.IVA: 01797320049 C.F.: 96009220045 | Privacy | Cookie