Benevento 18/22 settembre 2012
Saturday 22nd September
9.30 Floristic-cultural post-conference excursion to the Cipresseta of Fontegreca and to the paleon-tological park of Pietraroja (Sannio Beneventano)
The tour will depart from the Cipresseta of Fontegreca and conclude in the territory of Pietraroja, located at the foot of Mount Mutria, one of the main peaks of the Matese mountains.
Fontegreca, on the western slopes of the Matese in the province of Caserta, was founded a thousand years ago by the shepherds of Gallo and Letino that used the winter pastures of the valley for their flocks. The Cipresseta stretches for about 70 acres, including the Forest of Zappini and the valley of the river Sava. The forest formation is totally atypical, 90% of which is cypress horizontalis, among the few species to resist the disease, cancer of the cortex, which has endangered the survival of these trees in other areas. The Forest of Zappini, along this stretch of the river Sava - which runs through a gorge of limestone from the steep profiles - is presented as a mixture of deciduous hornbeam and oak.
At an altitude of 400 kilometres above sea level, the cypresses extend downstream to dominate the area. Their rapid spread to the detriment of the existing copse of oak, holm oak and manna ash determines the unique characteristics of this forest which is also significant in terms of wildlife due to the presence of families of mammals and birds of prey.
The limestone massif of Matese on the Benevento side (Pietraroja) represents an interesting area of transition between the central and southern Apennines; here communities of trees and shrubs can be observed, sub-mountain and mountain grasslands and meadows, the vegetation of rocky outcrops, and limestone cliffs.
A site visit to the geo-paleontological park of Pietraroja is also scheduled, where in 1981 the fossil of a baby dinosaur named Scipionyx samniticus was discovered. A carnivorous dinosaur, currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Benevento and known by the nickname "Ciro". During the visit to the paleontological site it will be possible to see marine fossils dating from a period between the Triassic and Cretaceous periods.