, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 195–219 | Cite as

The GeoCaF Project: Proposal of a Geosites Network at Campi Flegrei (Southern Italy)

  • Valentina Armiero
  • Paola PetrosinoEmail author
  • Lucio Lirer
  • Ines Alberico
Original Article


Campi Flegrei is a 75-km2 volcanic area located to the west of Naples, Italy. Declared a regional park in 1997, this area combines fascinating geology with its unique long natural history, unique customs and outstanding ancient Greek and Roman civilization. Campi Flegrei comprises a substantial number of sites that are remarkable in terms of their scientific quality, rarity, aesthetic appeal and educational value, most of which are valuable for their geological heritage, although their interest to scientists and the general public may also be archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural. The Campi Flegrei volcanic fields also represent one of the highest volcanic risk areas in the world. However, this fact is not fully appreciated by the inhabitants of the towns located within the area. All of these features make Campi Flegrei a very suitable area to be designated a volcanological Geopark, which would help to promote knowledge of the importance of active volcanoes in this area. A new detailed geological survey of the area has allowed us to identify many sites that are of high pedagogical and educational value. Using this survey as a starting point, we draw particular attention to seven geosites, namely, Cuma, Averno, Monte Nuovo, Solfatara, Piperno, Monte di Procida and Procida (GeoCaF network). All of these sites are also of lively archaeological and historical interest, as testified to by the numerous ancient documents collected and investigated during the research. Each geosite satisfies the criteria adopted for the most recent Italian geosites, i.e. representativeness, scientific interest, rarity, landscape value, educational value, accessibility, preservation and vulnerability. We therefore hypothesize a Campi Flegrei Geopark that includes these seven geosites, which are linked by roads and, occasionally, by collapsed tunnels that were dug in Roman times for military purposes. This geopark could represent a step forward in terms of the promotion of the geological heritage of this area by increasing the awareness of locals and visitors to future volcanic risks.


Geosite Geopark Volcanic risk perception Campi Flegrei 



The authors wish to thank two anonymous reviewers, whose suggestions greatly improved the manuscript. The editor in chief J. Brilha is also thanked for his courtesy. Finally, a grateful thank you goes to all the headmasters and teachers of the schools involved in the volcanic hazard education program.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Armiero
    • 1
  • Paola Petrosino
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lucio Lirer
    • 2
  • Ines Alberico
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Naples Federico IICentro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca Ambiente (C.I.R.AM.)NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Scienze della Terra DepartmentUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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