The "Fossa della Garofala" in Palermo: a geological site rich in cultural heritage

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The Fossa della Garofala is a short, narrow valley, enclosed by sub-vertical banks, which was carved out by the Kemonia creek on the calcarenitic table that makes up the bedrock of the Plain of Palermo. It forms the outermost hem of the Conca d’Oro landscape where, set in an urban area, geologic and geomorphologic features of value join historical cultural values dating from the Punic period to the XIX century. This combination places the entire area in one of the most significant, albeit little known, pages of history: the history of traditional suburban landscape. This rare synthesis of natural and anthropic landscapes offers the opportunity to create theme itineraries of great cultural and tourist interest, in a city where, like in any densely built-up area, it is almost impossible to decipher the features of the original landscape: i) a geologic and geomorphologic itinerary: from a marine domain to a continental domain; ii) a hydro-geologic and hydraulic-technological tour: from groundwater to supply and irrigation; iii) a botanic tour: from pastures and farmed fields to pleasure gardens; iv) a historic-architectonic itinerary: from quarries to artefacts; v) materials and technology science tour for the diagnosis of building materials and their decay. For the first time, this work presents both natural and man-made landscapes together, to underline the dangers that threaten our cultural heritage; dangers which are to be referred primarily to stability conditions. It further proposes that the public, from students to the scientific community, be allowed to take part in these itineraries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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