Full immersion experiences in nature
2 National Parks, Gran Paradiso and Val Grande, 77 Parks and Regional Natural Reserves and 7 Special Reserves for the protection of Sacri Monti of Piedmont. There are also 4 UNESCO MAB Reserves (Man and the Biosphere), special area of conservation, sites of Community importance, WWF Oasis, and natural conservation areas.
The unspoiled nature in Piedmont is extensive and close-at-hand, and it offers immersive experiences between picturesque landscapes and a great variety of flora and fauna. A world to explore through extensive network of trails and paths, in the tour centres and through the numerous initiatives targeting tourists.
In Alto Verbano, between the Parchi dell’Ossola e della Valle di Binn, there is the most northerly natural area in Piedmont wedged in Ossola Valleys: the Natural Park of Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero. Wide pastures bordered by larch forests, undergrowth of rhododendrons and blueberries that fade into the high-altitude meadows. These are perfect places for hiking and climbing, mountaineering, and walking, even on mostly flat trails, such as the 3 Nature Trails or the loops of Lake Devero and Lake Pojala in Devero Alps, Lake D’Avino and Lake Bianco in Veglia Alps.
In the Aree protette Alta Valsesia you can explore the highest park in Europa (4.559 metres). People who have more experience can climb in the company of mountain guides to the Capanna Osservatorio Regina Margherita, the highest mountain hut in Europa at Punta Gnifetti, in the Rosa massif. It is open in summer and has a well-stocked library and Wi-Fi service. Inside the park, in the area included in the UNESCO GeoPark Biosphere Reserve, on the glaciological Trail you can discover different phases of expansion and retreat of glaciers on the south-eastern side of Monte Rosa. Going down from Valsesia towards the hill, Monte Fenera Park offers a karstic landscape that opens into an underground network of caves and tunnels.
In the Aree Protette del Ticino e del Lago Maggiore, the Natural Park of Ticino is the largest river protected area in Europa, world heritage in the trail UNESCO MAB, with its variety of environments rich in biodiversity. To the north there is the wetland area of Lake Maggiore, with ancient peat bogs and reed beds, where aquatic and marsh species nest. In Biella there is the Burcina “Felice Piacenza” Park, an historic garden of extraordinary botanical richness with marvelous blooms, particularly rhododendrons.
The Aree protette delle Alpi Cozie, in the province of Turin, include a water park, Laghi di Avigliana, with a wetland area of Mareschi and three mountain nature parks: Val Troncea, Orsiera Rocciavrè, and Gran Bosco of Salbertrand, that protect typical alpine environments and historical traces such as military roads, famous places for ancient battles, typical products, mines, and glaciers: the extensive network of hiking trails and many reception facilities encourage nature tourism and the discovery of traditional cultures.
Monte Viso is protected by a cross-border biosphere natural reserve and the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reserve also protects the Bosco dell'Alevè, the largest and oldest stone pine forest in the Alps, located in the Varaita Valley. The Maritime Alps, located less than 50 km from the Côte d'Azur, consist of 24 mountains over 3,000 meters high. The landscapes are wonderful: magnificent glaciers, more than 80 exceptionally blue lakes and an outstanding variety of flora and fauna. Over 400 km of accessible trails, 10 mountain huts and 7 bivouacs.
The area that we find within the Aree Protette dell'Appennino Piemontese institution is located in southeastern Piedmont, on the border with Liguria. This area, which stretches from Ovada (a small town in the province of Alessandria) and its surroundings to Val Borbera, includes the Parco Naturale delle Capanne di Marcarolo natural reserve with the Ecomuseo di Cascina Moglioni museum, the Riserva naturale del Neirone natural reserve, a Sito di Importanza regionale (Site of Regional Importance), five Siti di Importanza Comunitaria (Sites of Community Importance) and two Zone di Protezione speciale della Rete Natura 2000 (Special Protection Areas of the Natura 2000 Network). The grassland full of rare orchids and the geological and mineralogical peculiarities are only some of the naturalistic characteristics of the area.
Nature, the river landscapes, the migratory corridors for the birdlife and history have linked humans to rivers for centuries. In Piedmont there are 8 nature reserves on the Po River: the Parco naturale del Po piemontese, the Parco naturale del Bosco della Partecipanza e delle Grange vercellesi, the Parco naturale della Collina di Superga, the Riserva naturale di Castelnuovo Scrivia, the Riserva naturale del Torrente Orba, the Riserva naturale del Bosco del Vaj, the Riserva naturale del Mulino Vecchio and the Riserva naturale dell'Isolotto del Ritano. A unique landscape that merges with the city of Turin.
In the western part of the city of Asti there is the Parco paleontologico astigiano, a 930-hectare area that tells very ancient stories, when these hills were submerged by a tropical sea during the Pliocene. In fact, among these hills, in the Riserva naturale della Valle Andona, Valle Botto e Valle Grande natural reserve, it is possible to see fossils, shells and remainsterre of terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. There is also a 200-year-old beech tree (Parco naturale di Rocchetta Tanaro) and wild orchids (Riserva naturale della Val Sarmassa).
The Aree Protette dei Parchi reali (Nature Reserves of the Royal Parks) are also worth seeing. This area is located north of Turin and is characterized by the natural landscape of the plain, the moors and the valleys crossed by the river Stura di Lanzo. The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy are also places of historical interest and they include the following areas: the of La Mandria Regional Park, the Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi, the Riserva naturale del Ponte del Diavolo natural reserve, the Riserva naturale della Vauda natural reserve, the Riserva naturale Madonna della Neve sul Monte Lera natural reserve and the Area contigua della Stura di Lanzo natural reserve.