THE LINE BETWEEN MAN AND BEAST

Mystical Serpents

Valle Varaita in Italy is home to a fascinating variety of snakes. One of the most common species is the Aesculapian snake, which can grow up to two meters in length and is known for its distinctive yellow and black markings.

Another snake commonly found in Valle Varaita is the European four-lined snake, which is easily identified by its four longitudinal stripes along the body. The region is also home to the smooth snake, which is one of the smallest snake species found in Italy and is characterized by its smooth, shiny scales.

Other snakes you might encounter in Valle Varaita include the grass snake and the common viper. If you're an avid snake lover or simply interested in the reptile world, a trip to Valle Varaita is a must-do experience.

Night Howlers

italian wolf valle varaita
italian wolf valle varaita

Italian wolves are a subspecies of the grey wolf that can be found across valle variata and whole of north Italy, we have more wolves than whole of Sweden!

They are known for their unique variety of howls and their ability to adapt to their habitat, which includes dense forests and steep mountainous terrain. Unfortunately, their population has been threatened by habitat loss, illegal hunting, and conflict with humans.

In recent years, conservation efforts have been made to protect and restore their habitat, and their population has slowly started to recover. The Italian wolf plays an important role in the ecosystem by controlling populations of prey such as deer and wild boar. They are also a symbol of the cultural heritage of Italy and have been historically revered in Italian folklore and art.

Elusive Lynx

italian lynx valle varaita
italian lynx valle varaita

Nestled within the stunning landscapes of Italy, a true emblem of the untamed wilderness thrives—the Italian Lynx. This majestic and elusive feline, with its distinctive appearance and mysterious nature, captures the hearts and imaginations of nature enthusiasts and conservationists alike.

The Italian Lynx, scientifically known as Lynx lynx, is a medium-sized wild cat characterized by its striking features. Its robust build, muscular legs, and tufted ears give it an imposing presence in its natural habitat.

The Italian Lynx is classified as a critically endangered species, facing numerous challenges to its survival. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and illegal hunting have significantly impacted its population.

As an apex predator, the Italian Lynx plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. By regulating herbivore populations, such as deer and wild boar, the lynx indirectly influences the vegetation and overall biodiversity of its habitat

Abundant Boars

italian wild boar valle varaita
italian wild boar valle varaita

The Italian wild boar, known as Cinghiale, is a revered animal in Italian cuisine and culture. It is a large and powerful creature that is often hunted for its meat, which is used in traditional dishes such as pasta with wild boar ragù and roasted wild boar.

The meat is dark and flavourful, with a slightly gamey taste that pairs well with rich sauces and bold seasoning. Wild boars are also considered a pest in many parts of Italy, as they can cause damage to agriculture and natural habitats. However, they remain a symbol of strength and resilience in Italian folklore and are often depicted in art and literature.

In recent years, efforts have been made to protect the wild boar population and promote sustainable hunting practices.

Majestic Ibex

italian ibex mountain goat valle varaita
italian ibex mountain goat valle varaita

The Italian ibex, or Capra ibex ibex, is a species of wild goat that is native to the mountains of the Alps. These majestic animals are known for their impressive horns that can grow up to one meter in length.

The ibex is a herbivorous animal that feeds on grasses, shrubs, and lichens found in the rocky terrain of its habitat. They are agile climbers and can move quickly on steep slopes and rocky cliffs.

Unfortunately, the Italian ibex was once hunted to near extinction, but conservation efforts have helped to increase their population. Today, the species is protected in Italy and is a popular sight for hikers and mountaineers who venture into the Alps.

Birds of Prey

brown eagle valle varaita
brown eagle valle varaita

Valle Varaita is home to a variety of birds of prey. One of the most commonly seen species is the buzzard, which can be seen soaring high in the sky.

Another bird of prey found in this area is the kestrel, which is smaller than the buzzard and recognizable by its long tail and pointed wings. The valley is also a great place to photograph these birds, with species such as the golden eagle, goshawk, and peregrine falcon commonly found in the area.

Due to the diverse landscape of the region, including forests, mountains, and rivers, these birds have plenty of habitats to thrive in. Visitors to Valle Varaita can experience the thrilling sight of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Valle Varaita a photographer's dream

Cheeky Marmot

marmot valle varaita
marmot valle varaita

The marmot is a furry rodent that can be found living in Valle Varaita. Known for their burrowing abilities, marmots create intricate underground tunnels and chambers that can reach up to six feet deep.

These creatures are active during the day and hibernate during the winter months. They are social animals and can be seen in groups of up to twenty individuals. Marmots are herbivores, feeding on grasses, roots, and other vegetation.

While they are generally not a threat to humans, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. Visitors to Valle Varaita are advised to admire these animals from a safe distance and avoid approaching them too closely.

Wildlife Photography

wild life photography valle varaita italy
wild life photography valle varaita italy

Valle Varaita is a fantastic location for wildlife photography. The region is home to a wide variety of animals, including deer, foxes, wild boars, and even wolves. The beautiful landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for capturing stunning shots of these creatures in their natural habitat.

In addition, the valley is also a great place to photograph birds, with species such as the golden eagle, goshawk, and peregrine falcon commonly found in the area.

The best time to visit for wildlife photography is during the spring and summer months when the animals are most active and the scenery is at its best. Whether you're a professional photographer or just starting out, Valle Varaita is sure to provide you with plenty of opportunities to capture some incredible shots.