National Park of Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains

The National Park of Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains, established in 1991 with headquarters in Assergi, a borough of L’Aquila, covers an area of ​​approximately 150,000 hectares, mainly mountainous. The park is divided into 11 cultural, historical and nature districts: 1. Between the two Kingdoms, mainly in the municipal areas of Civitella del Tronto and Campli, where once it passed the border between the Kingdom of Naples and the State of the Pope, 2. Falls and woods; 3. Main Road, following the route of State road 80 to Gran Sasso of Italy; 4. Sicilian Valley; 5. Great Abbeys, from the number of old churches and monasteries in this district; 6. Tirino Valley; 7. Lands in the Barony, where many typical villages of Abruzzo are situated (Calascio, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Castel del Monte, Navelli, Caporciano, etc.); 8. High Peaks; 9. High Valley of Aterno; 10. Sources of the Tronto River, 11. Salt Way.

The flora in the park is very heterogeneous. Major shrubs and plants at high altitude are the Apennine edelweiss, magellensis buttercup, the bear ear primrose, the curved adonide, the astragalus from L’Aquila, the alpine poppy, the anemone of Apennines, juniper and gentian. Among the tree species stand out beech, pine, fir white fir, yew, holly, oak, almond, turkey oak, oak, ash, wild apple tree, dogwood, laburnum and the mountain ash. In locality Fonte Vetica there is a birch forest. Many species of mushrooms grow in the shade of beech (edible boletus) or in the large pastures at high altitude (field mushrooms, puffballs, drums bats).

In Gran Sasso National Park there are chamois, Apennine wolves, wild cats, foxes, deer, wild boars, roe deer, rodents (the snow vole is a relic of the last glaciation) and mustelids such as badgers, stone martens, martens, stoats and polecats. The presence of the Marsican bear and Apennine lynx is irregular. Among the birds of prey there are golden eagle, eagle owl, peregrine falcon, lanner falcon, goshawk, sparrowhawk, kestrel and the hobby, while high altitude passerines are the snow finch, the meadow pipit, the water pipit, the redstart, the rock partridge, the Alpine chough and the red-billed chough. The main species of reptiles are the rare Orsini Viper, the Aesculapian snake, the coronella austriaca and the four-lined snake. The population of amphibians includes valuable species like the spectacled salamander, the crested, common and Italian newts and the cave salamander, while in Monti della Laga there are common frogs and Alpine newts.

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