bianco e nero della sede dell'ente Parco a Pescasseroli (foto PNALM)
Black and white of Park Head Office in Pescasseroli

Already royal hunting reserve since 1872 for its rich natural, zoological and vegetal beauty, this part of the central Apennines in the Upper Sangro was repeatedly proposed for protection. The federation Pro Montibus et Silvis, after years of studies, promoted the idea of a park in 1917, with wider boundaries than current ones. The scientific initiative joined with the enthusiasm of local personalities.

Camosci (foto Romano Visci)
Abruzzo chamoises

The first nucleus covered an area of 500 hectares in the Camosciara (Val Fondillo, Opi). A steep stretch and of stunning biodiversity where animals find refuge, such as the Marsican brown bear, the Abruzzo chamois, the Apennine wolf, the golden eagle, and other species unique in the world.

depliant del 1933 sul Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo
Brochure of 1933 on the National Park of Abruzzo

In 1921 the Autonomous Board National Park of Abruzzo was founded. The inauguration took place on September 11, 1922 with a grand ceremony at the Fountain of San Rocco. The Italian State, by Decree-Law 257 of 11/1/1923, officially recognized the Park, which together with the Gran Paradiso is the oldest in Italy and one of the first in Europe. The territory covered an area of 12 thousand hectares, plus another 40 thousand of external protection.

ErminioSipari nel discorso inaugurale del Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo, 9 settembre 1922 (foto PNALM)
Erminio Sipari in the inaugural speech of the Abruzzo National Park, September 9, 1922

The Member of Parliament Erminio Sipari (1879-1968) conceived with wisdom and foresight the model of the park, assisted in the planning by academics and environmentalists (Sipari Report, 1926). The protected area grew to the current 49,680 total hectares. This is an anthropized park, famous and enjoyed by Italian and foreign tourists according to clear rules. Flora and fauna have been studied, protected and saved from extinction.

faggio (foto Valentino Mastrella)

The park has had leading presidents and directors, with a period of presidency moved to Rome. Since 2001 it is called National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, considering the extension over the three regions. It has administrative bodies such as the executive Council and the Park Community, with representatives of all institutional bodies included the protected area.

Logo of the NPALM

Always, symbol of the park has been the bear. In its history it has had various graphic marks, according to the taste of the period. The famous emblem we see today was designed by the graphic designer Salvatore Felici. The logo of the Park is also a symbol of quality for companies that stand out in doing ecotourism in the area.

Giulietta e Romeo, due famosi orsi del Centro visita (foto PNALM)
Giulietta and Romeo, two well-know bears of the Visitor Centre

Among the 25 towns there are area offices, visitor centres, museums, mountain huts, and a trail network with 150 routes. With the maxim “Here, nature is protected,” the NPALM produces studies and research and is involved in various projects on the environment. Website:

Guardiaparco in divisa storica (foto PNALM)
Park rangers on historic uniform
Iris Marsica o giaggiolo marsicano (foto Valentino Mastrella)
Marsican Iris
'La pastorizia', una delle opere dell'artigiano don Peppe in una sala del Museo naturalistico del Parco (foto Stefano Dark)
"The sheep farming", one of the works of the craftsman don Peppe in a hall of Park naturalistic Museum
Lupo appenninico (foto Valentino Mastrella)
Apennine wolf
Orso bruno marsicano (foto Valentino Mastrella)
Marsican brown bear
Giardino appenninico nel Centro visita del Parco (foto Stefano Dark)
Apennine garden into Visitor Centre of the Park
primo emblema del Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo
First emblem of the Abruzzo National Park
proposta della Pro Montibus nel 1917. L'area protetta immaginata è più ampia di com'è il Parco oggi
Proposal of the Pro Montibus in 1917. The protected area imaged is wider than it is today the Park
Scarpetta di Venere, uno dei fiori del Parco (foto Valentino Mastrella)
Scarpetta of Venus, one of the flowers of the Park
L'orso Sandrino nel Centro visita. A guardarlo ci sono la moglie dell'ex Capo dello Stato italiano Sandro Pertini con accanto l'ex direttore del Parco, Franco Tassi (foto PNALM)
The bear Sandrino into the Visitor Centre. It looked at by the wife of the former Head of italian State Sandro Pertini with the former manager of the Park, Franco Tassi.
Logo of the NPA

Text by Stefano Dark – Images by Valentino Mastrella, Romano Visci, PNALM and Stefano Dark

RESERVED REPRODUCTION – All rights are of the respective owners