The mountainous relief, an impressive prelude to the mountain territory, is covered with an extensive forest which is of great naturalistic and scenic interest, as it has numerous botanical and faunistic species. Geology
Monte Duro is part of a wider outcrop of "Flysch of Mt Cassio" extending in the direction WNW - ESE so as to include, to the east, the monte Pilastro reliefs (Town of Viano) and Mt Lusino (Town of Baiso).
The formation, which dates back to the superior part of the Cretaceous (Senonian) and probably reached the beginning of the Tertiary (lower Paleocene), is made of well-defined stratifications of calcium deposits, often with a sandstone base, marne and clay: its dominating color is yellowish white, even if the clay on the top of each sequence, of relatively modest thickness, is usually gray and darker.
The origin of the flysch is tied to a deep sea environment (batholite floor), where sedimentation occurred through resedimentation. This phenomenon, which has been ascertained to repeat itself periodically even today through the same conditions, has to do with the resedimentation of vast areas of the high seabed on the part of the enormous alluvial matter masses which break away from the sides of the continental shelf or the underlying escarpments. This is what happens when earthquakes have been set off by earthquakes or by strong storms: the finer material, which remains suspended for a long time, causing the muddying of the water, ends up gradually depositing itself even at greater distances. The very regular layers, forma typical sigma crease in the area, with short spoke curves that are sharp and accentuated; the central part of the bending has relevant inclines, close to vertical. Minor resistance to atmospheric agents of Marne and clay has caused in this sector of the crease a significant phenomenon of selective erosion, with the formation of the so-called "Devil's walls" (the residual part of the layers, of calcareous - sandstone nature), easily visible along the SS 63 near Bocco.
Of particular interest is the re-emergence in the higher recent part of the formation of the "paesina stone", once referred to as "Ruiniform calcium", as it simulates the aspect of a ruined village, at times very suggestive. In the 1700's and again in the last century it was used to make polychromed tables and other valuable furnishings along with marble and hard stones (a few examples are on display at the Civic Museums) and even today you can find on the market small frames and other objects obtained from this stone, which is adequately smoothed (but the best examples come from Tuscany). Vegetation and Flora
The mountainous relief is characterized by one oft the most extensive forests of the hilly territory, the area is greatly appreciated for the naturalistic and scenic qualities, for the presence of numerous botanical and faunistic particularities. The dividing line distinctly separates forest groups: the first, facing north, is mesophile, with abundant beeches (rare at this altitude) and black carpino, the second facing south, is xerophile, and is dominated by small oak and silvestre pine.
The list of flora of Mt Duro also includes herbal species quite rare in the reggiano territory, such as Aster amellus, Staehelina dubia and Orchis ustulata. Fauna
The area of Mt Duro constitutes an important reproduction area for animals species which are becoming rare. Due to its global characteristics the Mt Duro compartment is duly protected; the characteristics of the area suggests its destinations as "natural reserve". Many animal species find refuge here, among the mammals: roe-deer, fox, badger, stone martin, hedgehog, weasel, field mouse, squirrel
among the birds: owl, little owl, barn owl, buzzard, kestrel, magpie, jay, codibugnolo, ballerina, black bird, wren, gray crow, cince, blackcap, chaffinch, averla minore, greater green woodpecker, red woodpecker, hoopoo, starling, dove Tourist itineraries
In ancient times the coast of Mt Duro was climbed by the road of probable medieval origins which connected Vezzano to S. Giovanni di Querciola Sarzano. The path broke away from Crostolo near Bettola and climbed the northern side of the Mountain reaching close to the peak and from here continuing towards Cà Schiavino, Predale.
"Villa" can also be considered as the area of Mt Duro, a place where a large building block rises which shows a certain refined architecture. The building dates back to 17809, period when the wealthy Giaroli family erected it as they became owners of the antique feud of Montalto, which once belonged to the Canossa.
It was Giaroli's intention that the "Villa" should become the new lordship palace located at the center of the "Feud", but their economic situation was soon to worsen and the work was left unfinished. The building characterized by two wide brick portals open on the opposite north and south façades. The entire building complex is made of exposed stone locally extracted.