Category Archives: Geo-cultural heritage

Italy: A History of Earthquakes

 Italy braces itself once again in the wake of a M 6.6 jolt that shattered the town of Norcia, in the Southeast of Umbria, causing major damage to the Monastery of St. Benedict, one of many Italian architectural jewels that are prone to seismic activity in the central part of the peninsula. Continue reading Italy: A History of Earthquakes

Science vs Religion at Mauna Kea, Hawaii

There’s nothing really new in the clash between science and religion. In fact, many of us are aware that, as far back in time as 1633, Galileo Galilei, one of the greatest scientists of all time and the founder of modern science, went on trial for his controversial views about the solar system.

A giant telescope on the top of a scoria cone, Mauna Kea Volcano's summit. Picture by Federico P. Mariotto
The CFH Telescope on the top of a scoria cone, Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. Picture by Federico P. Mariotto

Continue reading Science vs Religion at Mauna Kea, Hawaii

The world’s oldest geothermal power station in Larderello, Tuscany

Tuscany is known globally for its Middle Age and Renaissance architectonic and artistic jewels, from Florence to Siena to Pisa and Lucca, just to name a handful of places where millions of tourists from all over the world have a chance to admire works of art like Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, Piazza del Campo in Siena.

Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy
Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy

Continue reading The world’s oldest geothermal power station in Larderello, Tuscany

The “Gole della Breggia” Geopark : A jewel nested in the heart of the Southern Alps

The Breggia River, in southern Switzeland.

In southern Ticino (Switzerland), within the erosive cut of the Breggia river, a 1.5 km-long strecth at the very end of the Valle di Muggio (Muggio Valley) preserves one of the most stunning stratigraphic series in the Southern Alps. Continue reading The “Gole della Breggia” Geopark : A jewel nested in the heart of the Southern Alps

Pompeii: Crumbling Cradle of Volcanology

With Pauls W.S. Anderson’s blockbuster “Pompeii” still in movie theaters, it may be the right time to reflect upon the need to do whatever it takes to protect Italy’s stunning cultural heritage sites.

Indeed, Pliny the Younger’s description of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which buried Pompeii, Ercolano and Stabia under a thick cover of ash and pumice deposits, might well be regarded as marking the birth of volcanology. Continue reading Pompeii: Crumbling Cradle of Volcanology