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Ridge of Mt Valestra - Mt Fosola


Valestra - 42033 Carpineti

How to get there:

The route begins in the fraction of Valestra, directly below the spectacular eastern wall of the same name mount, 7 km from the administrative capital. You get there taking the SP 7 and the SP 64.
Few location s of the Reggiano Apennines are characterized by such a high concentration of interesting features, as is the case for the ridge of Mt Fosola, situated in the town of Carpineti. Along with purely geological aspects, there are also paleological ones, vegetation, and faunistic, historical - archeological and scenic, which all together make this area environmentally very significant.

Tourist Area:

Tourist Area
Matildic zone

Geographic Area:

Geographic Area

Analytical text:

Geological setting
The Mt Valestra - Mt Fosola ridge is directed transversally compared to the main Apennine ridge and its origin is essentially due to the marginal rising of the wide arenaceous synclinal of the Tresinaro valley which spreads out over a wide stretch of the medium height Reggiano mountain in the Carpineti territory. The Mountainous ridge of Valestra - Fosola we can say, has a "tectonic" origin, i.e. it was formed after the rocky layers which make up the more superficial layers of the earth's crust moved.
This rising is quite visible if you follow the provincial road which from Baiso leads to Carpineti: Mt Valestra rises under the form of a sharp pinnacle which on the eastern side precipitates jutting out onto the Secchia valley, while on the opposite side it descends more softly towards the bottom of the Tresinaro valley. All this created a very particular morphology, with remarkable environmental differences which run between the overhanging walls, the more softened slopes, the strong sun expositions, to the sheltered areas on the northern side, where there are very distinct environmental conditions. This wide variety of environments entails a just as different ecosystem: for example, the rocky masses were very soon fractured on their sides due to erosion, which decomposed and eroded the underlying layers of clay and marl. Thus numerous natural cavities were formed in which faunistic "troglobie" have been noted or in any case habitats connected to natural hypogeums. Another aspect, strictly tied to the geological aspects, regards the rich paleontological wealth which is found inside the limestone formations which make up the backbone of the mountain ridge: there are in fact examples of bi-valve gastropods, echinoderms, shark teeth and other remarkable remains of antique marine organisms that are well fossilized. They can be seen inside the sandstone of the mountain and naturally surface through atmospheric agents along the less steep sides. It's interesting fauna, percentage-wise represented mainly by echinoderms which lived on the bottom of the antique tertiary sea where sediments accumulated and then formed the current "Valestrina" sandstone. This was once a hot sea, of the sub-tropical type, as is attested by the particular types of fossils which have so far been found. Vegetation Vegetation also represents unique aspects as the entire Mt Valestra - Mt Fosola ridge is clearly different on each side. The rocky sides exposed on the east which are arid and sunny, are mainly covered by an Oak forest dominated by common oak, juniper and flowering ash.
Instead, the opposite sides, on the north-west, are covered by a thick wood of "mesophyllic" type, dominated by the presence of black hornbeam, mountain maple, ash trees and locally "pioppo tremulo". It's here that you can see chestnut woods once widespread along the entire ridge and now sill cultivated only near Monchio di Felina. Inside the woods you can still see however, here and there, specimens of remarkably big chestnut trees. Fauna
It's exactly the presence of these above -mentioned "big trees" which allows for a considerable number of animal species which elsewhere have become rare or almost extinct; along the Mt Valestra ridge, for example the royal owl (Bubo Bubo) is still perhaps present while numerous mustelids and other predators reproduce in the area, also favored by the concomitant presence of abundant slits in the rocks and detrital heaps which offer refuge. Also the sheer steepness of the eastern side, especially on the side facing the village of Valestra, constitutes one of the last shelter and reproduction areas for important birds of prey: besides the kestrel and the buzzard, the pilgrim hawk has also been seen in this area. Possibility of use
Awareness of these various aspects is favored by the existence of a convenient network of routes, which follow ridge paths, making the Mt Valestra - Mt Fosola ridge also a place particularly suitable for excursions and environmental education.
(G. Cervi)
Last update: March 8, 2021


Piazza Matilde di Canossa, 1
42033 Carpineti (RE)
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