Val Grande National Park
|Parco Nazionale della Val Grande|
Monte Zeda as seen from Pic Laurasca
|Area||150 km2 (58 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Ministero dell'Ambiente|
Val Grande National Park (Italian: Parco Nazionale della Val Grande) is a protected area located in Piedmont, in the north of Italy, at the border with Switzerland. It is most notable for landscapes of the High Alps.
Administratovely, the park located in Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola of Piedmont and is shared between ten municipalities: Aurano, Beura-Cardezza, Caprezzo, Cossogno, Cursolo-Orasso, Intragna, Malesco, Miazzina, Premosello-Chiovenda, San Bernardino Verbano, Santa Maria Maggiore, Trontano, and Vogogna.
The park lies entirely in the drainage basin of the Po River. It is located between the valley of Vigezzo in the north, the valley of Cannobina in the northwest, the valley of Ossola in the southwest, and Lake Maggiore in the southeast. The park is not populated and is often described as "the largest wilderness in the Alps".
Val Grande and Val Pagalla, two principal valleys inside the park, with the former running southeast and the latter running south, drain almost the majority of rivers in the park. These valleys combine into Torrente San Bernardino, a tributary of Lake Maggiore. The majority of the area of the park is forested.
Shepherds populated Val Grande since at least the 13th century, and the timber production was active since the 15th century. However, at the end of World War II all population left the area, followed the actions of German troops against the Italian resistance in the area in June 1944. The idea to create a national park in Val Grande dates back to 1953. In 1967, the area was designated the Strict Nature Reserve and became the first conservation area with this status in the Italian Alps. In 1974, the Association Italia Nostra developed a detailed plan to establish a national park, and in the 1980s, the preparation started. The park was established on March 2, 1992. On June 24, 1998 the area of the park was extended.
As of 2012, the park had three visitor centers (located in Santa Maria Maggiore, Cossogno, and Premosello-Chiovenda), two museums, and a number of nature itineraries, which should be followed accompanied with a guide.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Val Grande.|
- "Parco Nazionale della Val Grande". Ente Parco Nazionale Val Grande. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- "Mappa" (in Italian). Official site of the National Park. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- "Parco Nazionale de Val Grande" (in Italian). L'Associone Italiana nelle Wilderness. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "La storia del Parco" (in Italian). Parco Nazionale Val Grande. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Museums and Visitor Centers". Val Grande National Park. Retrieved 5 June 2013.