/ / The Maiella national Park: photo description (Parco Nazionale della Majella)

The Maiella national Park: photo description (Parco Nazionale della Majella)

The Maiella national Park is one of the relatively young protected areas of Italy. It was established in 1993 year and is spread over an area of 86 thousand hectares in the provinces of Pescara, Chieti and L'aquila in the Italian region of Abruzzo. The steep mountain slopes, deep valleys and canyons, combined with the extensive plateaux are home to a vast number of species of flora and fauna - it is home to about 45% of the total species diversity of Italy!

More than half of the national Park - 55% - lies at an altitude of over 2 thousand meters above sea level. Mountain peaks can be seen everywhere - the main is called Monte Amaro and rises up to 2793 meters (this is the second highest peak in the Italian Apennines). The local mountain ranges are characterized by deep picturesque valleys Vallon del Orfento, Valle del Foro, del Silverman Vallon, Valle delle Mandrelle, Valle di Santo Spirito and vallone di Taranta. The most famous gorge is the Grotta del Cavallone. The main rivers of the Park are called Orta and Foro - these and other streams form numerous waterfalls that adorn the rocky landscape.

The legend says that the name of the Park Majella - comes from the name of goddess Maya, rude and domineering woman, which, however, he loved his children and spent years in search of his only son. It is here, in these mountains, Mayan and died. According to another version, the word Majella come from the local names of broom Mayo, which in the flowering period, it paints the mountains and valleys in gold color.

It is believed that the first inhabitants of the Maiella, there were tribes of hunters and gatherers who lived here about 800 thousand years ago. Later in the Park began to develop agriculture, forestry and ranching and cattle. People began to build monasteries and churches - San Clemente Casauria, San Liberatore and San Salvatore in Maiella, San Tommaso in Paterno and others. Also has a separate secluded hermitages of Sant'onofrio, serramonacesca, Santo Spirito, San Bartolomeo di Legio, Sant'onofrio al Morrone and San Giovanni al Orfento. Came to us and numerous monuments of history and architecture - churches, castles, cave paintings, etc.

As for the wildlife Park, it is extraordinarily diverse. Among those who found refuge here - the chamois, red deer and ROE deer. Once these animals are in many lived throughout the territory of Abruzzo together with the wolves, and brown bears. However, the uncontrolled and thoughtless human activity has put them on the brink of extinction. Only thanks to the timely intervention of environmental organizations managed to save many species that today feel at ease in the territory of the Maiella. Here you can meet otters, wild cats, ferrets, various reptiles and amphibians and more than 130 species of birds! A recent account of the flora showed that in the Park there are more than 1800 species of plants, representing Mediterranean, Alpine, Balkan, Iberian, and even the Arctic flora. On the mountain slopes and valleys dnah you can see oaks, maples, beeches, yews, birch, mountain ash, blueberry, white ash and Holly. The most characteristic plant of the Park is the Italian black pine, which can be found in the most remote places like CIMA della Stretta, vallone di Marcialonga and Valle d Orfento.

Throughout the national Park there are several visitor centers. Paolo Barrasso, for example, there is a Museum, one section of which is devoted to the natural aspects of the Maiella, and the second is made here to the archeological finds. In the visitor centre of Fara San Martino also features a Museum whose exhibitions are designed for people with disabilities - its audio and video reproducing sounds and pictures of nature. And in the center of Lama dei Peligni there is a historical section and a section exclusively devoted to the chamois. The Park also has wildlife, which is mostly otters, Botanical garden, aviary, the reconstructed Neolithic village and herbarium.