The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park is located mostly in Abruzzo in the middle of Appennini and consists of three mountain groups: Gran Sasso d'Italia chain, Laga massif, and Gemelli Mountains. Established in 1991 and has an area of 2,014 square km (778 sq mi).
The Park has the highest peak of the Apennines, Corno Grande (2,912 m.) On this chain there is the one and only glacier of the Apennines, the so-called Calderone, which is also the southernmost glacier in Europe.
Many species of wildlife live there, including rare animals such as the Abruzzo chamois, wolves, Marsican brown bear, roe deer, wildcats, foxes, wild boars and squirrels. Notable birds include the golden eagle, the white-backed woodpecker, the goshawk, the common buzzard and the peregrine falcon.
The fire salamander is black with yellow spots or stripes to a varying degree; some specimens can be nearly completely black while on others the yellow is dominant. Fire salamanders can have a very long lifespan; one specimen lived for more than 50 years in Museum Koenig, a German natural history museum.
The 150th Anniversary of the Expedition of the Thousand