From the royal hunting reserve to the creation of the Park
A short history
1857 - Vittorio Emanuele II, king of Sardegna and future king of Italy, seeing the abundance of game and in particular chamois, established a royal hunting reserve in Valle Gesso.
1860-1861 - Vittorio Emanuele II cedes Savoy and the County of Nice to Napoleone III, his ally in the war against Austria, keeping for himself the upper Roya valley and the so-called "hunting grounds" in the Vésubie and Tinée valleys.
1878 - Vittorio Emanuele II dies. Six years later, his son Umberto I is also awarded the hunting and fishing rights.
1900 - Umberto I is assassinated. The municipal councils of the Valle Gesso resolve to hand over the reserve immediately to his successor Vittorio Emanuele III.
1947 - At the end of the second world war the "hunting grounds" become French. With the fall of the monarchy, the royal reserve disappears. The Provincial Tourism authority of Cuneo proposes the institution of an "International Park" to safeguard the local wildlife.
1953 - A Consortium is set up by the public bodies interested in managing the ex-royal reserve, these are: the Councils of Entracque, Valdieri, Aisone, Demonte, the Province of Cuneo, the Chamber of Commerce and the Provincial Tourism authority.
1979 - Piedmont Region institutes the Riserva del Bosco e dei Laghi di Palanfrè in the municipality of Vernante.
1980 - The Regional council approves the institutional law of “Parco naturale dell’Argentera.
1982 - In December a public body which takes over the running of the protected area is born, it inherits the assets and staff of the ex-Consortium. Finally the Park is operational.
1987 - Mercantour and Argentera are twinned. The first common projects are set up, ranging from communication to research and from land management to sustainable development.
1993 - Mercantour and Argentera together receive the “European Diploma of Protected Areas” from the Council of Europe.
1995 - Parco dell’Argentera and Riserva del Bosco e dei Laghi di Palanfrè are united to form Parco naturale delle Alpi Marittime.
2001 - Parco delle Alpi Marittime underwrites “The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism ”.
2009 - The Regional Law n°19 of 29 June 2009 created the managing body Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime, which is responsible for the Park and the two Nature Reserves Grotte del Bandito and Rocca San Giovanni-Saben.
2013 - The Parco naturale europeo Alpi Marittime Mercantour European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) was formed. This EGTC ratified by the (EC) Parliament and Council regulation n.1082/2006 provides that European regional and local authorities belonging to different nations can form a legal super-national structure. It gives the advantage of easy management of common projects, particularly cross-border management plans.
2014 - Marittime, Mercantour, Marguareis and Alpi Liguri Parks, the Hanbury Gardens and several Natura 2000 sites in the Province of Imperia grouped together with the evocative name of Alpi del Mare have begun the process for UNESCO World Heritage Site candidature.