Università degli Studi di Firenze Comune di Firenze Istituto per la Protezione delle Piante


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Saturday 12 October

Guided Tour to “Crete Senesi” and “Foresta di Vallombrosa”

Crete senesi
The Val d'Arbia is a large area south-east of Siena, also known as the "Crete Senesi”, bordering Chianti. It is historically famous because of the battle between Florence and Siena in 1260, as recounted by Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. This area covers the territories of the municipalities of Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d'Arbia, Rapolano Terme and San Giovanni d'Asso..
It is a very particular hilly area where the clay composition of the soil is due to its ancient nature of sea basin, in which settled sand and mud. The area was submerged by the sea until about a million years ago. After the withdrawal of water, the irregular deposits of layers of clay and sand came to light with their numerous fossils of molluscs of various kinds. The erosion of these soils has meant that they formed numerous coves, called "calanchi", and "biancane", small dome-shaped hills, on which in turn has surfaced, following exposure to the sun, the sulfate sodium which gives them a characteristic light color.
On this substrate a few tree species are able to growth, among which elms, cypresses and flowering ash.

Here it will be possible to observe the impressive impact of DED on natural and semi-natural elm stands. The disappearance of elms is leading to environmental and landscape changes.

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