APUAN ALPS GEOPARK (Italy)
The Apuan Alps Geopark is located in north-western Tuscany, Italy, within the administrative borders of 20 municipalities.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
The Geopark area is a mountainous territory of great geo-environmental value due to its flora and fauna, which are rich in endemic animals (cave salamander Speleomantes ambrosii, coleoptera Duvalius apuanus, etc.) and vegetal species (small flower Globularia incanescens, plant Salix crataegifolia, etc.) as well as in rocks, minerals, fossils, tectonic structures, karst caves and landforms. 250 geosites testify to the outstanding geodiversity of the Geopark. The geological heritage is characterized by a tectonic window at the centre of the Apuan ridge showing the oldest geological units of the Apenninic belt, belonging to the Paleozoic (about 500 million years ago). The fame of the Apuan Alps is due to the beauty of their marbles whose quarrying dates back to Etrurian population (6th century B.C.) and more significantly to Roman period. During the Renaissance many artists such as Donatello and Michelangelo turned to the Apuans to get the white marble for their sculptures.
The Geopark includes the Corchia Underground System and the Equi Terme Park, integrating tourist geosites (quicksilver mines, underground quarries, museums, speleological trails, paleontological sites and thermal springs).
Every year the Geopark proposes educational training by its qualified guides to schools and visitors.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States