The Park of the Breggia Gorge

Castel San Pietro

The Park, whose area is 1.5 km2, extends along the river of the same name for about 1.5 km; it touches the villages of Balerna, Castel San Pietro, Morbio Inferiore and Morbio Superiore.

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Numerous components, both natural and human, are present in the Park, but the particular geological contents of the Breggia Gorge make it one of the most important geo-topes in Switzerland and the first Swiss geo-park. Along this part of the river the natural section created by the excavation of the water has brought to light a geology profile that is almost continuous between the Jurassic and the Tertiary periods (more than 80 million years).

Numerous pieces of evidence of ancient seas are present in the rocks of the Gorge: layers extremely rich in fossils, remains of underwater landslides, witness to climatic changes in eras long before  man appeared on Earth, and proof of volcanic eruptions.

These remains have enabled the evolution in very remote times of this part of the territory – the Basin of Monte Generoso – to be reconstructed; then the Alps as we know them did not exist and the rocks of which they are now composed were to be found at a depth of thousands of metres in the earth’s crust or on the bed of remote oceans. The Park also has flora and fauna of value, among which many are protected species or are registered in Red Lists.

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