apuan alps unesco global geopark



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 Apuan Alps: global geological heritage

Unesco Global Geoparks in Europe - star n. 46 - Apuan Alps Geopark

Since 2001, the initiative
for the Apuan Alps
recognition as Geopark
has started.
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.

The 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
   Apenninic range;
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
conservation priorities;
in the archaeological and historical-cultural remains and finds
   linked to mining and quarrying activities.

contact us


Apuan Alps Regional Park
c/o Fortezza di Mont'Alfonso
55032 Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (Lucca)

phone: +39 0585 799433
fax: +39 0585 799444



"Apuan: the water mountains" by Valter Torri       full movie (53')


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