Natural Park of the Maritime Alps

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Ph. G. Bernardi - The Bozano mountain hut (2453 m)
Ph. L. Martinelli - Male ibix (Archivio P.N.A.M.)
Ph. F. Voglino - Man and Wolves Wildlife centre
Ph. F. Voglino - Botanic Garden Valderia (particular)
Ph. R. Gaborin - ... the thousand paths of the park
The Museum of Rye (Archivio P.N.A.M.)
Ph. A. Rivelli - The lake of Valscura (Archivio P.N.A.M.)

This is one of the largest protected area in Piedmont und furthermore it belongs to the biggest ones in Italy. A lot of peaks with an altitude over 3000 metres can be found there, for instance the Argentera (3.297m), but also many seas, willows, icings, alps fauna and botanical species. All together they represent an unique environmental heritage. The park is situated in the Gesso-, Stura-, and Vermenagna valleys and borders for 35 km on the french National park Mercantour, with whom he has formed a partnership. The park, as being the former Royal Hunting Reserve, gives the opportunity to make easy walks along the paths that were made over the past years for the King of Savoy Vittorio Emanuele II.  

The genuine richness of this territory and countryside are the 80 lakes, nearly all of glacial origin, wich lie under the cliffs or in the middle of the willows. The precious hot springs gush at the foot of Monte Matto, in Terme di Valdieri, at about 70° C.


VISITOR CENTRES   
These visitor centres are meeting places for tourist groups and school classes. They offer information and material about the reserve. In some cases they have an exhibition space and a souvenir and book shop, aswell as typical products at their disposal.

•    Men and Wolves Wildlife Centre     
The "Men and Wolves Wildlife Centre" is the first entirely dedicated to the wolf in the italian Alps. Some of the themes in the visitor centre in Casermette (Entracque) are: thow the animals arrived here, the lifestyle of herds, the hunting and the fascinating story of the young wolf, named Ligabue, that has been followed during his journey from the Parma Apennin to the Maritime Alps. The centre has a eight hectar big fenced area, where some wolves are temporarily living and recovering after being captured, but will be released as soon as possible. There is also another visitors' centre in the village of Entracque, which can be easily reached by a bus (included in the price), on foot or by bike. This centre is dedicated to the relationship between humans and wolves: it starts its story with ancient Roman myths, and it ends with the comic character called Lupo Alberto. The two sections can be visited independently: the visit of each of them requires about one hour. 


•    Visitor centre in Terme di Valdieri
This modern facility keeps a permanent exhibition about the natural reserve’s flora and vegetation. One room is available at all times for projections and outside there is a shop. It is open during summer.  Do not miss a visit to the Giardino Botanico Valderia (Botanic garden) at Terme di Valdieri (open 15/6 – 15/9) that gathers numerous plants. 

•    Visitor centre in Vernante
The centre offers a permanent exhibition about the beech forests and the activities in the alp, smaller exhibition spaces and a shop that sells articles of the park. Temporarily closed.

•    Attilio Mussino Museum
This museum is dedicated to Attilio Mussini, the famous Pinocchio illustrator, who has lived his last years of life in Vernante. One can admire some original illustrations, copies of the Pinnocchio book and other works made by the artist.

•    Rye Ecomuseum of Sant'Anna di Valdieri
This small rye ecomuseum (Ecomuseo della Segale) is situated in Sant’Anna di Valdieri. A museum that tells the history, tradition and stories about the typical rye thatched coverings of some of the habitations. Botanical aspects will be enlarged with multimedia support. It also relates to the traditional indigenous handcraft and a corresponding record vault (with books, documents, interviews) is available. Following the path you can discover the countryside and the signs of human presence, that mean „struggel for survival“ here. What the museum wants to show is the life down the mountains, the difficulties to make productions and during the daily habits.  

•    Museum of the Resistance and of the territory 
An exhibition space is situated in Valdieri in the Inner of an ancient castle near to the municipality. This exhibition tells about the president of the republic Sandro Pertini. Of important relevance ist he archeological section with proto-historical findings near the necropolis in Via delle Ripe.



Natural Park of the Maritime Alps
Piazza Regina Elena, 30 - 12010 Valdieri (CN)
Tel. +39 0171/97397
Fax: +39 0171/97542
E-mail: info@parcoalpimarittime.it  - www.parcoalpimarittime.it 

Visit the web site dedicated to the Natural Park of the Maritime Alps and to the Natural Park of Mercantour: www.marittimemercantour.eu