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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2013.36.20


Geosites within Rome City center (Italy): a mixture of cultural and geomorphological heritage.

Pages 241-257


Rome has been an international destination for thousands of years.
Visitors that are attracted by well-known historical and cultural sites can also find a wealth of natural and geomorphological features in the city.
These characteristics, which are some of the main contributors to the success of Aeterna Urbs, are often hidden or have been modified by millennia of urbanization. This «man-made layering» is unique from other cities around the world, but the features are still recognizable among the usual tourist attractions.
In this work, we present the results of a geomorphological analysis conducted within Rome that led to the production of a geomorphological sketch of Rome and an inventory of the geosites in the city center. We identified two new geosites that are essentially geomorphosites because they are of geologic interest and are also typical expressions of the evolution of the relief. In the first case, Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island), the geomorphosite is evidence of the paleogeographical conditions present when Rome was founded, while the second, Testaccio Mount, is a geomorphosite that today represents a significant man-made hill built by landfill activity by an advanced society two thousand years ago.
The results of the investigations led to the proposal of an urban geotourist trail that shows the geomorphological evolution of the area and the geologic and climatic framework that has contributed to the historical development of the city. Moreover, the itinerary demonstrates how the history, urban planning and geomorphological characteristics of the area are connected; thus, it is intended to popularize geo-knowledge of Rome, whose main attractions have been traditionally related only to its historical heritage.

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