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Geo-itineraries in the Cilento Vallo di Diano Geopark: A Tool for Tourism development in Southern Italy

N. Santangelo (1) & P. Romano (1) & A. Santo (2)


1 Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell’Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Largo San Marcellino 10, 80138 Napoli, Italy

2 Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile ed Ambientale, Università di Napoli Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio, Naples, Italy

 Geoheritage , DOI: 10.1007/s12371-014-0133


Geo-itineraries in the Cilento Vallo di Diano Geopark: A Tool for Tourism development in Southern ItalyThe Cilento Vallo di Diano National Park  (Southern Italy)  was recently awarded the designation of ‘Geopark’. Situated in the Southern Apennine chain in a typical Mediterranean environment, it is noted for a high degree of geological diversity: coastal and mountain areas made-up both by carbonate and terrigenous successions give rise to a landscape alternating between steep mountainous districts and hilly areas. This territory preserves a large number of geosites, which have been identified and described by previous authors. This paper illustrates two basic geo-itineraries which can help to explain the high potential interest of the area in geotourism terms and which can provide a valid example for further geo-itinerary planning. The itineraries can be used for teaching purposes at different educational levels (students of high school level, school teachers, geotourists and geopark guides), as well as for university courses. In addition, non-geologists may follow the itineraries and discover the geological heritage of the park.

The first itinerary is located in the inner zone of the geopark. It runs throughout the Alburni massif and explains how karst processes act within a carbonate massif and how they influence underground water storage and circulation. The second is located in the southern coastal sector of the park. It sets out to describe the main Quaternary eustatic sea level fluctuations and the main coastal morphologies. In both cases an educational box at the beginning and a reflection box at the end of each itinerary are proposed to facilitate comprehension of the main concepts for visiting non-experts and to convey the main messages of the trip better.


Key-words: Geosites, Geotourism, Karst, Coastal morphologies, Cilento and Vallo di Diano Geopark, Southern Italy.