The 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 Monte Sole mountain
, in German "Sonnenberg", stretching from Parcines/Partschins near Merano/Meran to Malles/Mals in the Upper Venosta Valley. The temperature difference between and day and night are extreme, at the zenith the soil temperatures can reach over 50°C. On the slopes of the Monte Sole mountainside there is extensive steppe-type vegetation, with downy oaks and holm oaks, sloes, rose hips and sea-blackthorn bushes. The arid grassland vegetation is home to many insects, scorpions, bird species and reptiles, including the green lizard, or the aesculapian snake, the symbol of pharmacists.
The green Monte Tramontana mountain
on the opposite site of the valley offers completely different climate conditions. It is a green alpine valley with a great variety of plant and animal species and a wealth of water, from wild streams to waterfalls, a true hiking paradise
on hot summer days.
The extensive high alpine Stelvio National Park
is yet another completely different world, 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.