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Address Riolunato MO
Telephone 0536/72134

Accessibility by car

Last update 10/09/2014 (ref.575)
by the local editorial office of Comunità Montana del FRIGNANO

DESCRIPTION: It contains the entire modenese crest, from the Regional Park of the High Apennine Region to the Bologna Corno alle Scale, with very diversified environments and a few cases of great mountain heights. Some rise from 500 m to over 2000 m in altitude, such as Mount Cimone (2165m), the highest summit of all the northern Apennine. From the summit one can enjoy the wide panorama and admire the splendid surrounding landscapes of valleys furrowed with brooks and thick forests of beeches and conifers, blueberry heaths, grassy clearings and stretches of clear water. Of particularity are the meadows of high altitude. They have damp zones and rocky emergences and host a variety of very rare and protected botanical floras. On the mountain group of Libro Aperto, for example, one can find gentians, columbines, sassafras and the more southerly stationed rose-bay; a specimen typical of the Alps. In the delicate peat moss of Lago di Pratigno grow round-leafed sundews, that seem to stand guard over blades of vegetation of the nival small valley. Under the steep sandstone walls of these mountains are beautiful lakes which are the favored destinations of hikers and excursions. They are Lake Santo, Lago Baccio, and the smaller Lago Torbido and Lago Turchino. The stretches of water of the higher altitude have two interesting amphibians: the Alpine Newt and the "temporary" frog. The summit meadows are host to snow field mice and marmots. There are many varieties of avifauna including specimen that live among the middle and Upper Mountain. There is also frequent historical evidence of the mountain architecture, like the so called "capanne celtiche" at Doccia. GEOMORPHOLOGY -The sandstones: "Walking along I saw from here and to the frightful torrent layers of strata rocks# Their mixture, and all the stones on Cimone, and around, it's the same: it's all a micaceous sandstone# a union of quartz granules, small, miniscule, big and even huge, but many, tied together by one gluten that even envelopes the mica#" That's how Lazzaro Spallanzani in 1789 described the alpine scenery of the Modenese Mountains. They are dominated by wide rocky emergence of brownish grayish colors whose stratification is owed to the rhythmical alternations of sandstone and clay rocks. The layers have an origin of 30 to 17 million years ago, from the sedimentation, in good part, sand deposited rapidly on the bottom of profound marines from the stream of the Torbida. Similar to avalanches of mixed sedimentation of water, these currents, moved by earthquakes, flooded rivers or underwater landslides reached the deep chasms, where they deposited their load progressively exhausting their energy. The first material abandoned by a flood water stream was the heavier: sand and pebble that in general from the inferior part of the layer. At a later time finer materials, such as silt and clay, deposited. That's why the stratum that has an origin from a flood is often made up of pairs of different rocks. AS in this case sandstone and marne. A study of the granules later revealed that the sandstones come from alpine rocks that eroded. The sand was sustained for a period in a shallow sea environment, at the edge of the ancient rises of the Alpine. The repetitive flooding led to the accumulation of almost 3000m of sediment in the Apennine pre-pit, the deep basin that stretched in front of the chains in formation. -Clay, clay rocks and marne: In the upper modenese valley the continuity of the sandstone outcroppings is interrupted by dark gray clay rocks, sometimes in red and greenish colors also, whose major erodeability caused smooth slopes to develop. These are rocks that were formed from clayish particles that lay at the bottom of deep seas. Their mixed up aspect, where sometimes lighter fragments (limestone) show up, is explainable by the deformation quickly after the orogenic phenomenon.