In 1856, King Victor Emanuel II declared part of the current park area a Royal Hunting Reserve, thus saving the ibex, whose population was drastically reduced in those years, from extinction. The King created a specialised guard and had paths and mule tracks created that are now hiked by park rangers and tourists. In 1920, King Victor Emanuel III donated the 2,100 hectares of the hunting reserve to Italy to create a national park. Two years later, on December 3, the Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso, the first Italian National Park, was established. The protected areas was managed by an autonomous commission until 1934, then by the ministry of agriculture and forestry until the end of the Second World War (suffering serious damages during the war) and again by an autonomous institution from 1947. An outline law on parks has been in place since 1991.

The Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso covers a vast mountainous area in the Valley d’Aosta and Piedmont, ranging from altitudes of 800 meters at the valley floor to the 4,061 meter high Gran Paradiso peak. Larch and pine woods, vast alpine prairies, rocks and glaciers create the ideal settings for the rich and varied fauna and for a glimpse of the wonderful mountain world.

The protected area in Valle d’Aosta extends across three valleys: Cogne, Valsavarenche and Rhêmes.
The Park provides different opportunities in each season. The park is in full bloom in late spring and summer and is perfect for mountain climbing The leaves turn colour in the fall and the ibex and chamois enter their mating seasons In the winter, the park is covered in snow and is perfect for walks with snow shoes or cross country skiing when it’s easy to see the animals who climb down to the valley to feed.