apuan alps unesco global geopark




Apuan Alps Regional Park
the geosites census

full list of apuan geosites
most important geosites
geosite form (*)
geosite form guide (*)

(*) edited by ISPRA
(Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research)


The Park Authority carried out the first systematic census of the Apuan Alps geosites in order to better assess the environmental and landscape heritage of the area. The census was carried out during the drafting of the Plan for the Park framework (1996-2001), and was then resumed for a subsequent planning assessment stage aiming at defining specific rules on the safeguarding and preservation of geosites. First of all, the census provided the opportunity to underline the interest in the geological heritage of the Apuan Alps shown by the scientific community. Secondly, it has spread information on the high geodiversity, enabling public opinion to recognize its value and participate in conservation and enhancement strategies.

The identification of the most relevant sites in the Apuan geological heritage achieved the goal of rendering them fundamental elements of landscape and environment and protecting them from anthropic modifications. As a matter of fact, the Plan for the Park considers the registered geosites “structural invariants”, that is natural elements which ought to be protected from negative changes or overexploitation, which may pose a threat.

During the first census more than 250 geological and geomorphological sites were identified. These sites can legitimately be considered geosites according to the ProGEO criteria and the ISPRA form (the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research).

Geosites are elements, areas or places of geological interest that have an important naturalistic value and are important witnesses of the Earth’s history.  

They make the places and areas “unique” due to their specific physical, morphological, climatic and structural factors. Identifying, cataloguing and evaluating geosites is a preparatory activity for their protection and conservation.

The census of geosites will take place by compiling a specific form containing the geographical, geological, mineralogical and typological identification parameters of the sites of interest.