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6 Things You Can Spot while Hiking in the Italian Alps

 

The Alps are naturally gifted with the most beautiful forest landscapes we’ve ever seen, and our Alpine Hotel is blessed to have endless views of these woodlands. Whether it be the fertile soil, the unique terrain or climate – the Alps attract extraordinary flora and fauna incomparable to the rest of the world. So if you ever decide to take a trip to the Italian Alps, look out for these things in the wilderness; they are both a great photo opportunity and an experience to etch in your mind.


Gentian Flower  (Gentianaceae).

Gentian Flower (Gentianaceae).

Flowers

Adorning the valleys and mountains, you will find the rarest and most beautiful flowers blooming. The most extraordinary fact about Alpine flowers is that they they flourish in such a challenging environment - the alpine mountains make it hard for plants and flowers to thrive in, due to factors such as lower temperatures, dryness, UV radiation and the short flowering season. Despite this, they continue to flourish and appear breathtakingly beautiful among the backdrop of the mountains. Some common flowers you may find in the alps are gentians, rhododendrons and the glacial buttercup; but if you are lucky, you might even find the famous edelweiss - the floral symbol of the Alps. It is extraordinary that in difficult climates, nature still finds a way to add its flair.


 Animals

There are many animals that have called the Alps their home (About 30,000); prospering in higher altitudes among the Alpine forests. Many of these animals are considered to be iconic of the mountains, however, a lot of them are under the threat of endangerment. Many conservation efforts try to maintain and protect the lives of these Alpine animals, ensuring that they do not go extinct in the area. Some animals that can be seen in the Alps include the majestic chamois (a type of mountain goat), the alpine marmot, the bearded vulture, wolves and brown bears. In particular, the brown bears are being protected by Project Ursus, to ensure that they being protected and avoid extinction.


Porcini mushrooms in a basket.

Porcini mushrooms in a basket.

Mushrooms

Thanks to the unique climate of the Italian Alps, the area flourishes with mushrooms. What mushroom exactly? The gourmet Porcini Mushroom! It is a key ingredient in various Italian recipes which includes pasta and risotto as examples. Near our alpine hotel, many people go out to pick porcini mushrooms out in the forests as they are very abundant. It is supremely delicious once prepared as a meal; you will often find baskets of these being sold in markets because they are a great ingredient. If you want to give Mushroom Picking a-go, come to the Italian Alps between June-October as these are the prime months you can find the most porcinis flourishing. But of course, you may also find other mushrooms that aren’t edible, so make sure that you know what you are picking before consuming!


Lakes

It is well known that Northern Italy is home to a range of lakes; famously, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Iseo as examples. But often, while hiking, you might even stumble upon a smaller lake, like Lago di Piccolo found in Corteno Golgi; or even Lago Belviso in Teglio. These are all naturally formed lakes that likely were created by glaciers in the last ice age. They give you an excellent opportunity to go Fishing in the Alps once you have a permit, as many fish thrive in alpine waters.


Nuts

Did you know chestnut trees grow well in the Italian Alps? During October to November, chestnut trees begin to produce nuts and are the perfect time to get your hands on harvesting the nuts. Once you collect them, you can take them home to bake, boil, roast or turn into confectionary. Encountering chestnuts on a hike is perfect, you can step on the prickly outer skin of the nuts and reveal the brown nut inside.

Chestnuts.

Chestnuts.


Above were just a few examples of the things you can find in the Alps while hiking. To truly have the authentic alpine experience, book a trip to Italy, stay in Albergo Miramonti and explore the alpine forests! Once you come back from your hike, have a relaxing time at our Alpine spa and the most delicious Italian Cuisine at our Alpine restaurant.

 For more articles about the Italian Alps, read our blog:

·             Mountain Yoga: Why You Should Try Doing Yoga in the Alps

·             The Alps are Important – Why Protect it

·             5 Destinations in the Italian Alps You Need to Visit This Summer