The Arouca statement (2011) defines Geotourism as follows:
“… a form of tourism that supports and promotes the identity of a territory, taking into account its geology, environment, culture, beauty, historical and artistic heritage and the well-being of its inhabitants. A key tool for conservation, contributing to the dissemination of the history of the Earth, it involves those who live on the territory and visitors, promoting what is authentic and unique. This guarantees environmental integrity, social justice and sustainable economic development. ”
The UNESCO Adamello Brenta Natural Park Global Geopark, with the European and World Geoparks Networks, promotes sustainable development at the local level by increasing geo-tourism and enhancing the area linked to the geological heritage.
Geotourism is a fundamental resource of the Park’s and Geopark’s sustainable economic policy. Several thematic itineraries are the emblem of the territory’s identity expressed in the perfect mix of nature, culture, men and traditions. Among the summer activities, each year geo-tourism experiences are offered accompanied by the Park operators. See the section Visit the Park – What to do
Here are the key points of Geotourism in the Adamello Brenta UNESCO Global Geopark Nature Park: the trails of the Val Genova, the Brenta Dolomites and Vallesinella, the Val di Fumo and the Val di Tovel.
|Val Genova||Theme: One of the most spectacular valleys of the Adamello Brenta Natural Park UNESCO Global Geopark, known as the “Versailles of northern Italy” for the great wealth of water.
Geological landscape: The valley was shaped by ice and water. It is full of spectacular waterfalls, such as the Nardis Waterfall and the Lares Waterfalls, which flow from the side valleys that are suspended after the glacier retreat. The valley groove, 17 km long, is carved in the hard tonalite, presents the typical elements of the glacial and periglacial morphology, such as the U-shaped profile, the succession of steps and floors, the suspended valleys, the rocks, the moraines and other evidences linked to the evolution of glacier retreat. At the head of the valley you will find yourself in front of the glaciers of the Lobbia glacier and Adamello / Mandrone, the largest glacial area in the Italian Alps.
Cultural landscape: Presanella’s copious tears swell the Nardis waterfalls, according to the legend about the love between her and Vermiglio, petrified in the Cima Presanella and the Cercen Pass from the pain of separation they were forced to. Not only the legend about the origin of the peaks surrounding the Val Genova, but also the ancient production of wood that the Sarca transported to the valley and the extraction of the tonalite, enrich the landscape of the valley with culture.
Tracks: Nature Tracks – Val Genova |waterfalls track; SAT tracks|0214 (Lares waterfall); Val di Nardis track.
Geological landscape: The valley has a shape shaped by ice and water, it is rich in spectacular waterfalls, such as the Nardis Waterfall and the Lares Waterfalls, which flow from the side valleys that remained suspended after the glacier retreat. The valley groove, 17 km long, is carved in the hard tonalite, presents the typical elements of the glacial and periglacial morphology, such as the U-shaped profile, the succession of steps and floors, the suspended valleys, the rocks, the moraines and other evidences linked to the evolution of glacier retreat. At the head of the valley you will find yourself in front of the glaciers of the Lobbia glacier and Adamello / Mandrone, the largest glacial area in the Italian Alps.
Cultural Landscape: The copious tears of Presanella swell the Nardis waterfalls, according to the legend about the love between her and Vermiglio, petrified in the Cima Presanella and the Cercen Pass from the pain of separation to which they were forced. Not only the legend about the origin of the peaks surrounding the Val Genova, but also the ancient production of wood that the Sarca transported to the valley and the extraction of the tonalite, enrich the landscape of the valley with culture.
|Dolomiti di Brenta||Theme: Brenta Dolomites, UNESCO World Heritage Site, panoramic view from Grostè to the Tuckett and Sella Mountain Huts
Geological Landscape: the karst plateau of Grostè is made up of limestones and dolomites, sedimentary rocks deposited between 250 and 60 million years ago. Here you have a natural balcony on the scenery of the high-altitude landscape: pinnacles and stratified towers, memory of the seabed that originated these rocks, surrounded by scree and debris, evidence of the modeling due to frost, thaw and gravity. For example the Frane del Brenta, large accumulations of large limestone blocks detached in the post-glacial period following the tension release of the rocky walls. The deep action of the water that infiltrates is recognizable in the entrance cavity of the karst caves, such as the Cave of Castelletto di Mezzo.
Cultural landscape: The high peaks of the Dolomites were inaccessible and veiled with sacredness for the local inhabitants until mid 1800. They knew well this environment: mountains were important for pastures, hunting and wood cutting. This led European explorers to choose them as Alpine Guides. Today numerous mountain places and many mountain huts are called after those guides and explorers. For example, the Rifer Graffer, Tuckett and Sella. The fever of discovery plagued many nobles in the second half of 1800, including the Emperors of Habsburg. Sissi and Franz were frequent visitors to the Brenta Dolomites and a few steps from Grostè there is still the memory of the Queen vegetable gardens (Orti della Regina). Here grow the flowers and herbs that the Queen collected, just next to the boulders with the fossils of Megalodon, witnesses of the marine origin of these mountains.
Tracks: SAT track | 0331 (up to Rif. Graffer); SAT track |0336 (Orti della Regina and Cima Vagliana); SAT track| 0316; Sentiero SAT | Via Ferrata 0303, 0305B (to Tuckett-Sella, Castelletto di Mezzo and Frane del Brenta).
|Vallesinella e le sorgenti carsiche||Thema: Vallesinella woods and springs return the karst infiltration water of the Brenta Dolomites
Geological Landscape: The Springs of Vallesinella seasonally drain the water infiltrated into the subsoil and collected from the vast basin placed hundreds of meters further upstream. The waters flow into the gorge of the Sarca of Vallesinella torrent through the spectacular High, Middle and Lower Falls, whose streams flow directly from the fractures into the carbonate rocks.
Cultural Landscape: The valley is one of the most suggestive of the Geopark, due to the presence of the forest, the richness of water and the glimpses of the Brenta Dolomites among the tops of the fir trees. It has always been the gateway to the highest altitudes and therefore to some of the most popular mountain huts in the Brenta. Along the valley run the cableways that supply the huts, typical structures of the lower altitudes of the Alpine valleys.
Tracks: Nature Tracks| Vallesinella, dalle Cascate Basse alle Cascate di Mezzo; Sentieri Natura | Vallesinella, sentiero dell’Arciduca; Sentieri Natura | Vallesinella Cascate Alte.
|Val di Fumo||Theme: Uno dei più eclatanti esempi di valle di erosione glaciale, scolpita nella tonalite.
Geosites: Val di Fumo (18)
Geological landscape: Tonalite is the rock that constitutes the Adamello batholite and takes its name from a local toponym. This area is affected by exclusively tonalite outcrops. This uniformity has meant that glacial erosion resulted in perfect and spectacular shapes. Such as the “U” transversal profile, the wide surfaces of smoothed and striped mottled rocks in the sliding direction of the glacier and the two splendidly exposed glacial shoulders..
Cultural landscape: the imposing dam of the valley for hydroelectric use recalls another ancient barrier along the valley whose remains are still visible. The valley was blocked with stones in order to accumulate the timber and energy. When the current got free, it transported the trunks downstream. The valley has always been important for pastures. Some say that the name of the valley came from the smoke rising from the fires set by the shepherds to create new pastures.
Tracks: SAT tracks | 0240; tracks with guides |Rifugio Val di Fumo
|Val di Tovel||Theme:Foamy waters and Red Lake
Geological Landscape: the morphology of the Val di Tovel has been shaped by ice, landslides and water. The ice has deepened the valley so as to generate the basin in which today the lake lies. A forest with trees is submerged in its waters. Its surface has become more extensive following a landslide that has blocked its emissary, the Tresenga Torrent. This continues to engrave the valley giving it the typical V shape.
Cultural Landscape: Tovel Lake is a destination full of attractions such as colors, the submerged forest and the memory of the Red Lake. Today the colors range from an intense green to blue. But in the past, the numerous pastures on the slopes around the lake enriched its water with nutrients that made a particular seaweed (in summer) grow, whose pigments made the lake surface red (see the Valleys section – Val di Tovel ).
In the recent past, the thick forests of the valley have been a remarkable resource for the construction of large infrastructures. The ruins of numerous and ingenious sawmills along the Tresenga stream tell us about it.
Tracks: Guided tracks | Lake tracks, Val di Tovel; Track of ancient sawmills.