apuan alps unesco global geopark






Environmental education

between formation and naturalistic teaching



Every year the Park Authority offers courses entitled Tra ambiente e tradizione: conoscere, sapere e fare (Between Environment and Tradition: Knowledge, Skills and Actions) for primary and secondary schools located both inside and outside the protected area. It provides introductory classes in schools and excursions in the Apuan Alps with the help of the Park’s Tour Guides. The programme envisages initiatives on the tradition and culture of the Apuan territory as well as activities promoting the understanding and knowledge of landscapes and environments in the protected area. With regards to bio and geodiversity, the offer for 2010-2011 includes educational paths entitled Alla scoperta dei geositi apuani (Discovering Apuan Geosites) and Vivere il Parco (Living the Park) with the aim of raising students’ awareness on the preservation of the environmental heritage through its rational use. The initiative is coupled with a competition, Il Parco nel quaderno (The Park in the exercise-book) requiring schools to create stories, tales, interviews, recipes, drawings, pieces of poetry or itineraries regarding elements of the naturalistic, geological and cultural heritage of the Park.

Training course

he geological heritage
of the Apuan Alps



A Centre of excellence in the Park

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Book series "The Guides of the Park"

Acta apuana

and other sciences


It is the yearly scientific journal of the Park Authority. It draws from the daily technical and administrative experience of the Park for reflections and discussions of documentary and methodological value which are published in memoirs and written communications. The Park’s activities and initiatives are always preceded by studies and research which, in certain cases, are published in scientific reviews.
Moreover, the Review contains articles of experts who cooperate on the Park’s initiatives, have carried out research in the protected area or its surroundings or intend to do so. Clearly, research focuses on the territory which needs to be discovered in every single physical phenomenon and cultural element, from naturalistic and geographical features to archaeological, architectonic, urban characteristics, etc.  The scientific Review deals with a vast array of subjects but has always given priority to studies, research and considerations on geology because of its relevance for the Apuan Alps. Every miscellaneous issue contains articles on geology and geomorphology with a particular emphasis on the history of the geological research in the area.
Acta Apuana also comprises of two supplements based on the proceedings of the 2001 workshops on the subject of Geositi, tra valorizzazione e conservazione della natura (Geosites, between nature enhancement and preservation). The first volume is more general and is entitled Dalla conoscenza alla gestione dei beni geologici (From knowledge to the management of the geological heritage), whereas the second, entitled La geodiversità delle Alpi Apuane (The Geodiversity of the Apuan Alps) is more focused on the territory and illustrates its typical features.
Finally, other two monographs of the scientific journal have been dedicated to archaeological and archaeometric studies on the excavation and use of Apuan metalimestones during the pre-Roman, Roman and medieval periods. The monographs gather scientific contributions presented on the occasion of two different meetings (2003 and 2005) entitled Ante et post Lunam: I, splendore e ricchezza dei marmi apuani (l’evo antico); II, reimpiego e ripresa estrattiva dei marmi apuani (l’evo medio) [Ante et post Lunam: I, splendour and richness of the Apuan marble (ancient times); II, Apuan marble reutilization and mining
activities recovery (Middle Ages)

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The Park Authority’s journalistic and information activities have also produced several naturalistic guidebooks illustrating categories of biological and abiological phenomena widespread in the Apuan Alps.
In its first period, the publishing series focused especially on botanical subjects, with single volumes on the flowers, mushrooms, orchids and officinal plants of the Apuan territory.
2009 saw the publication of the first geological guide, entitled Minerali del marmo delle Alpi Apuane (Marble minerals of the Apuan Alps), written by Paolo Orlandi (University of Pisa) and Antonino Criscuolo (geologist of Carrara’s marble Office).
It provides an exact and complete picture of the mineralogical heritage preserved in metalimestones and metabreccias, traditionally subject to mining activity.
The book thoroughly and accurately describes 117 mineral species with more than 300 coloured images, grouping them according to the location of marble fields.
Another guide on fauna with the title of Rapaci delle Alpi Apuane (Birds of prey of the Apuan Alps) was published in 2010.