Venosta Valley is the largest Alpine dry valley, with the lowest annual rainfall in the Alps. Very unique flora and fauna can therefore be found on the barren so-called "sun mountain", stretching over 60km from Parcines/Partschins near Merano/Meran to Malles/Mals. Here visitors will find veritable steppe vegetation, with gall oaks and holm oaks, rose hips and buckthorn bushes.
The temperature difference between and day and night are extreme, at the zenith the soil temperatures can reach over 50°C. The arid grassland vegetation is home to many insects, scorpions, bird species and reptiles, including the (for Europe quite exotic) green lizard, or the aesculapian snake, the symbol of pharmacists.
The extensive Stelvio National Park
is home to a substantial population of Alpine stone muflons, chamois and red deer, as well as eagles, raptors and marmots. Occasionally one can also encounter a lynx or one of the resettled brown bears.