Alpine Symphony – Exploring Northern Italy


At the start of summer, Europeans heading for Lake Garda or the Adriatic Sea for their vacations pass through the mountains and valleys of Northern Italy. Yet this unique area has its own spectacular and impressive highlights to offer; this two-part wildlife documentary is a journey through South Tyrol, the Dolomites, and the most beautiful and oldest mountainous national parks in Italy: Gran Paradiso, Stelvio, and Val Grande.

The Series
The first episode is set in spring and summer, and the second part in autumn and winter. Our hugely experienced camera teams bring us close to nature – dancing with ibexes on the mountain’s edge, hovering with golden eagles over the wild summits, and we might even encounter a big brown bear behind Monte Bondone.

Episode 1 – Spring & Summer
High in the mountains of Northern Italy, with the beginning of spring, the snow melts – but this massive snowmelt doesn’t just fill countless streams and waterfalls, and nourish Alpine meadows and clear lakes, it can also be a threat. Researchers suspect climate change could dramatically alter the summits of the Northern Italian Alps.

But how would animals and plants adapt to these changes? Marmots simply relocate their burrows to higher elevations, to keep their rhythm of hibernation and summertime.

At the end of May, the chamois retreat to inaccessible areas to give birth, and females and kids now live separately from the bucks. Then, in summer, they all migrate to higher regions, where they climb breathtakingly steep areas in search of juicy grasses and herbs. The ibexes in the Gran Paradiso National Park are very special: the Alpine ibex only survived here in a small population of 50 to 100, and today, all ibexes in the Alps descend from this small group.

Episode 2 – Autumn & Winter
In the Adige Valley, after the sweltering summer with its violent storms, relief comes to the glens of South Tyrol. In the west of Trentino, rare brown bears accumulate as much fat as possible, feasting on nuts, seeds, and sweet berries, before settling in for the winter in rock crevices. It’s unlikely they’ll encounter a tourist, but bears are under strict observation here.

The color of the landscape changes from brown to white, and to be camouflaged in the snow, the white ptarmigan, Alpine hare, and ermine also change color. Barely visible in the snow, only their tracks remain – a glimpse of their presence until the next snowstorm…

Marmots sleep safely in their burrows so, in winter, young golden eagles must settle for carrion – but they’ll compete with bearded vultures. So, who wins out at a carcass? They’re both so huge, these birds jointly rule these skies, circling high above the snow-covered peaks in northern Italy.