The literature on restorative environments (Hartig, 2004) has consistently shown the cognitive and affective beneficial effects deriving from people-nature transactions in a variety of environments, ranging from human-made to completely wild ones. An issue which has not been empirically addressed yet has to do with the restorative potential of natural settings showing differences in terms of natural (water, plant and animal species) and environmental (openness, view, accessibility, human-made features) elements. Van den Berg, Vlek and Coeterier (1998) found positive responses to biodiversity in natural sites, even though differences between groups of users emerged. Horne, Boxall and Adamowicz (2005) argue that preference for biodiversity in natural recreation sites should be matched with the specialisation of settings management, in order to fulfil the users’ different needs. We developed a research project in the Cilento National Park (the largest protected area in Italy), supported by the Municipality of Moio della Civitella, a small town settled within the Park boundaries. The aim is to explore the restorative potential of different typologies of natural settings in the Park (in relation to variables such as presence of water, plants and animals, human-made elements, openness, view, accessibility, etc.) across different groups of users, and the role played by different experience modalities (contemplation, picnicking, walking, hiking, etc.) in the restoration process. As a preliminary step of the project, we conducted semistructured interviews in order to explore the restoration experience of different stakeholders in the Park (visitors, residents, forestry experts, politicians, etc.), and to identify the specific sites in which positive outcomes can be better experienced. Interviews were content-analysed, and relevant environmental and experiential features emerged. Respondents stressed the role of biodiversity, natural sounds, peacefulness, perceived safety and accessibility/walkability of areas to promote restoration. Sites showing a high restorative potential were selected and classified in terms of relevant environmental features identified through the interviews. They will be compared in terms of restorative potential in the ensuing phases of the research program (still in progress). The project will be carried out through two subsequent phases: 2) Laboratory study: photos and videos gathered from the selected sites will be used as experimental stimuli in order to assess the role of specific environmental features (presence of water, human-made elements, natural sounds, animals) in the restoration process. Both psychological and physiological measures of stress will be considered as dependent variables. 3) Field study: the restorative effect of on-site experiences in the different sites will be tested in a field study involving groups of actual users. Both psychological and physiological measures of stress will be considered as dependent variables. // The findings will be used to help the Park and Municipality authorities in developing more sustainable and restoration-oriented management strategies for the area.