Unesco Global Geoparks
in Europe - star n. 46 - Apuan Alps Geopark
Since 2001, the initiative
for the Apuan Alps
recognition as Geopark
In 2011, in Langesund
(Norway), the admission
among the EGN-GGN
members has been defined.
In 2015, the acquisition of
"Unesco Global Geopark" status
There are very few places in Italy and Europe - as the Apuan
Alps - which can boast such a natural heritage
rich in landscapes, environments and naturalistic elements.
This holds true not only for flora and fauna, which are rich in
endemic species, but also for rocks, minerals, fossils, tectonic
structures, superficial and hypogean morphologies, which provide
unusual, varied and widespread elements of environmental value.
The Apuan Alps are especially
a highly suggestive orographic complex, both for
the imposing feature of the main range and the high relief energy,
accompanied by a harsh morphology of carbonate crests, towers and
walls, with deep valleys abounding with water. The rough and harsh
physical landscape of the main ridge is very different from the
gentle slopes of the nearby Northern Apennines.
The Apuan Alps are famous thanks to their beautiful marbles, deep
abysses and large karst underground cavities.
geographical location of the Apuan Alps, their vertical development,
exposure and the different nature of rocks have created diversified
and contrasting environments rich in animal and vegetal populations.
The whole territory is characterized by a high biodiversity as a
result of a complex biological evolution occurred in the context of
a large territorial biodiversity deriving from a complex geological
history. Habitats and vegetal and animal species of Community
interest enabled the identification of a large SPA and ten SCIs
directly linked with the physical landscape and the geological
substrate with crests, cliffs, carbonate or siliceous ridges and
screes, limestone pavements and lithosols.
A Regional Park protects its territory, preserves the natural
heritage and enhances every feature.
The geological heritage of the Apuan Alps is
particularly valuable and arouses all types of interests, from global to
local (according to the cases), as the territory preserves remarkable
numerous and widespread traces of the geological and evolutionary history of
the continent and the Mediterranean region. Moreover, the use of geological
resources here has a universal scope and value.
The importance of the geological heritage is particularly evident:
in the structural
geological context with the peculiar tectonic
window at the centre of the Apuan ellipsoid;
in the occurrence of the
oldest geological formations of the whole
in the great variety of
mineralogical attitudes and mineral species,
a significant number of which has been discovered in the Apuan
in the karst phenomena, especially
hypogean, which render Mt.
Corchia a karst system of global value;
in the traces of the
great climate change which brought about
glaciations and associated prehistoric settlements;
in the ecological importance of a
large number of geosites which
are rich in endemic species of plants and animals and are often
natural habitats of Community interest and in some cases also of
in the archaeological
and historical-cultural remains and finds
linked to mining and quarrying activities.
Apuan Alps Regional Park
55032 Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (Lucca)
phone: +39 0585 799433
fax: +39 0585 799444