The National Park of the Gran Sasso and the Laga Mountains is important for its beauty, variety and the vastness of its natural habitats which include typically Alpine features. Although the Gran Sasso has little afforestation, at the lower levels there are oak woods, which give place to magnificent beech woods at about 1000 metres. The beech woods predominate up to the Alpine meadow line and also contain holly and fir trees. The Laga Mountains together with the Capannelle Pass massif have beech trees, small oaks, chestnut trees, maples and service trees. The park’s wildlife includes chamois, roe deer, wolves, wild cats, stone-marten, weasels and hares. The numerous species of birds include the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, the greater red woodpecker, the ring dove, Alpine and coral choughs, the woodpecker, the Alpine hedge sparrow, the spioncello and the Alpine chaffinch.
Provinces: ASCOLI, L’AQUILA, PESCARA, TERAMO and RIETI
Number of communes: 57
Area: 203,000 hectares
Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Informazioni e Soccorso, Monti della Laga,
tel. 0861 63154
The Gran Sasso Mountain, 2912 m at the Corno Grande peak, is the highest in the whole of the Apennine range. It is not its height (which is just above the average height of the Alps) which gives this mountain its special character, however, but its steep sides and forbidding appearance. Sudden differences of level are frequent in the “aprutino” sub-Apennines and create a landscape which, at first sight, is strangely reminiscent of the Dolomites. The group can be divided into two parts. The first, in the north, is more rugged and imposing with a more sharply Alpine morphology. The second is more like the mountain range. The Laga Mountains are not very high but they have craggy spurs and sharply rising cliffs.
Excursions in the park with Alpine guides and trained leaders. Hill walking on most days, climbing and cross country skiing.