MADONIE GEOPARK (Italy)
Madonie Geopark celebrates the geological and cultural history of Sicily, one of Italy’s most remarkable regions.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
The Madonie Geopark is located in Sicily, in the middle of the Mediterranean region, among the most beautiful landscapes of special interest from a geologic and geomorphologic, as well as from a didactic, point of view. It represents nearly all aspects of Sicilian geology, has a very complex history that started over 220 million years ago, and is mainly composed of dolomitic limestone evoking unknown and vanished worlds. Interesting karstic morphologies, both at surface and underground, developed more recently, 23,5 Ma ago.
The Geopark also preserves a very rich and rare natural heritage. In a very small area, about 2 percent of the surface area of Sicily, over half of the species of the most evolved flora grows: about 2,600 plants, almost the same number as the species present in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. In Madonie there are also hundreds of endemic plants which are unique in the world; often there are very few exemplars of these, so that they risk extinction. The best known and most "courted" is the Nebrodi fir, but there are plenty of others.
Equally interesting are the signs left by man in the landscape: fields, watercourses, village and hamlets bear witness to the thousand ways in which communities have lived in Madonie, leaving indelible prints there and expressing the intrinsic reasons of a culture.
This is why the Geopark activities are managed and supported by the University of Palermo, non-profit associations and environmental education centres that give support to local and sustainable development. 300 km of trails can be enjoyed that include urban geological paths, museums, didactic and sports activities, demonstrating that Madonie Geopark has encompassed resources and potentialities of a proud identity and places founded on rocks from which culture has emanated.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States