Gran Paradiso National Park is situated on an
Italian side of the European Alps. Its history begins in 1856
then Victor Emmanuel, first king of unified Italy designed an
area in the mountains as a Royal Hunting Reserve for the Ibex
mountain goat. Unfortunately locals have been hunting these
beautiful animals to near extinction since its body parts were
considered magical talismans against all problems in life.
Another Italian king Victor Emmanuel III continued the work of
his grandfather by expanding the area and establishing first Gran Paradiso
National Park in the
history of Italy. Currently there are about 4,000 ibex in the
area of the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Gran Paradiso or Grand Paradiso park is easily
accessible from Italy, France and Switzerland. There are hotels
and restaurants just outside of the park boundaries. The best
time to visit Gran Paradiso is from April to October. Families
and casual visitors prefer the northern park of the park because
of its high mountains, spectacular views and large number of
accessible paths as well as places for picnics. If you prefer
more rugged tourism and climbing then south part of the national
park will suit you better. Campgrounds, shelters and mountain
huts are spread all over the area and can be open year round.
The park has a web of hiking trails of variable difficulty.
Although high tourist concentration in some areas have cause
garbage piles and noise pollution that scares all animals away.
Gran Paradiso also attracts skiers and snowboarders in winter.