Regional Park Sirente Velino
Hotels Regional Park Sirente Velino
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According to Dionysius of Halicarnassous, the name "Velino" comes from the Greek word Hetos, which means "swamp". Though its present barren aspect makes it impossible to believe, at the beginning of the Quaternary period the massif contained a series of high altitude lakes, whose traces give the landscape an enchanting look. The karst phenomena are especially noticeable here. They produced the Grotte di Stiffe, in the district of S. Demetrio ne' Vestini. An underground river, lei by the sink-holes water of the karst plateau of the Rocche, runs across the caves. Inside you can admire several small lakes and falls up to 20 m high. In the various sections of the caves, besides the stalactites and stalagmites, you can enjoy the marvellous visual and sound-effects produced by the water. Outside you can admire the falls created by the water flowing out from the caves.
THE FAUNA - At least two herds of wolves live among these mountains. There are also foxes, weasels, and stone martens. The avifauna is very rich, with four couples of golden eagles, buzzards, sparrow hawks, kestrels, and a number of birds of passage among which, in some seasons, storks, cranes, and herons.
The presence of the Orsini's viper, the green lizard, and the salamander is also of interest. The porcupine also populates the area, while the European wild cat is rather rare, and the bear has been seen occasionally but regularly; it is not sure whether the latter spends the winter here or not. There are many herds of wild boars. Given the widespread presence of carnivorous and the limited presence of ungulates, the reintroduction of deers, roe deers, and chamoises has been programmed by the Park in order to reestablish the biological balance in the area.
THE FLORA - The great variety of environments characterizing the Park, from the lowest altitudes around 600 m to the summits of 2.000 m, from the river environment of the Aterno to the areas with a particular microclimate like the "Gole di Aielli-Celano", makes the area very rich in floral species: from the most common ones which are typical of the Apennine, to the rare and also endemic ones which can be found both on the Sirente and on the Velino. Among the most common but also most characteristic flowers there is the narcissus, which during the late spring covers the plateaus of the "Rocche". There are also many medicinal plants, fruits, mushrooms, and truffles.
At Regional Park Sirente Velino there is tourist accommodation available in hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, mountain chalets, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites and tourist villages.