National Park System, Italy
In 1922, to protect the Alpine Capra ibex (a wild antelope species), the Gran Paradiso National Park was established as the first national park in Italy. There are currently 24 national parks in Italy with a total area of 15,000 km2, which accounts for approximately 5% of Italy’s total land area. Pollino National Park (nearly 2,000 km2) is the largest national park in Italy, and the smallest is Cinque Terre National Park (only 38.6 km2). In 1998, Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, together with the nearby archaeological sites and cultural landscapes, was added to the World Heritage List. Italy’s national parks, natural parks, and regional parks are inter-connected and linked with many towns, which promotes the conservation of natural resources and provides important places for outdoor recreation and natural tourism.