Ligurien (next date: Mar 03 - Mar 09, 2019)

Lecturers: Alessio Rovere, Thomas Mann, Jürgen Pätzold

Contact: Alessio Rovere


Liguria is a region of Italy facing the NW Mediterranean Sea, and is bordered by the Apenninic and Alpine mountain chains. Along the coastlines of Liguria are preserved several geological and geomorphological features related to past (Holocene and Pleistocene) sea level changes and to the inhabitance by prehistoric and historic populations (e.g. Neolithic, Roman). The geological history of Liguria is written in the rocks outcropping along the coast.
This field course will develop along the shorelines and the steep cliffs of Liguria, where we will learn how to interpret and quantify past sea level changes, understand the patterns of present and past human coastal occupation and identify the main geological contexts that characterize the region.
The field lectures will happen in a learn-by-doing style. Students will be encouraged to log their geological sections and make their own observations at each outcrop, reconvening with the lecturers to summarize the main findings and draw the lessons learned. Many outcrops in Liguria provide a unique window into global past changes in sea levels, coastlines and human populations.
The field days will be complemented by coastal mapping exercises.

Daily Program
Note: the program might be subject to changes due to weather conditions.

Arrival in Milano Malpensa (MXP). Collection of Vans from the car rental agency, drive from MXP to Pietra Ligure (SV). Check-in at “Perla Marina Hotel and apartments”. Address: Viale della Repubblica, 62, 17027 Pietra Ligure SV, Italy
Pleistocene sea level changes. Morning: Hiking trail in Borgio Verezzi, and overview of regional geology and geomorphology. Afternoon: visit to the marine cave of Bergeggi and surrounding late-quaternary outcrops.
Pleistocene sea level changes and human occupation of the coast. Morning: Visit to the caves of Balzi Rossi, Ventimiglia and nearby late-quaternary outcrops, coastal landforms. Afternoon: Visit to the Museo Preistorico Nazionale dei Balzi Rossi, Ventimiglia.
Morning: Varigotti, Finale Ligure and Pietra Ligure. Modern coastal occupation, human interventions on the shoreline and coastal erosion. Afternoon: visit of the beachrock between Pietra Ligure and Varigotti. If weather allows: From Varigotti to Capo Noli hiking trail. Main geological features of the karst landscape, and aerial view of the beachrocks.
Paleolithic and Neolithic human occupation of the coast. Morning: visit to the “Archeological Museum of Finale”. Afternoon: hiking towards the “Grotta delle Arene Candide” and entrance in the cave where archeological excavations were made.
All day: Arenzano, Passeggiata Europa. Coastal geoheritage, and preservation of different coastal landforms in different lithological contexts. Visit to the Beigua Geopark visitors center.
Check-out from the apartments and departure from Pietra Ligure to MXP (early morning).


The field excursion involves hiking and geologic fieldwork. We recommend to wear hiking shoes or, better, boots (access to some of the locations will not be possible without them) and comfortable outdoor clothing. It is recommended to bring a raincoat and a warm jacket. The weather in Liguria this time of the year varies a lot, and it might be either sunny and warm or cold, windy and rainy. Bring sunscreen if you normally use it.
It is recommended to bring your normal field geology gear, i.e. hammer, compass, notebook, etc. and be prepared to do some geologic fieldwork. If you have a handheld GPS, feel free to bring it to geocache locations that we will visit.


field trip report


Literature will be made available to students before the field excursion


Login erforderlich

Italian National Geo-Portal. Freely available geological and topographic maps.
Official Regional Meteo forecast