The Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio (or the Stilfser National Park) is one of Italy’s major national parks: it extends north to the Swiss Engadine and southwest into Lombardy and covers the whole Ortles (Ortler) mountain range. The park is topped by one of Europe’s largest glaciers (the Ghiacciaio dei Forni) and crossed by the Passo dello Stelvio (2758m), which misses being the highest pass in the Alps by just 12m.
Ski tourism has made its mark, and the park is as crisscrossed by lifts as anywhere in the Alps, but it’s still a remarkable place. People come here for the high trails and glacier skiing in summer, or for the chance of seeing wildlife such as the red and roe deer, elk, chamois, golden eagle and ibex. A railway line running from Merano to Malles and connecting buses from stations along the way into the side valleys makes all places of interest below easily accessible.