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Berica Stone Environment

of the Berici Hills

The relationship between Berici Hills territory and Berica Stone's use can be surprising. Even casual visitors can't help noticing, as they journey down Berica Riverside Road, the remarkable aspect of the Berici rise from Villaga to Lumignano, with their unusual limestone cliff looks.

The calcarean nature of the rocks has originated many caves (covoli, Latin cuballum), especially on the steeper slopes and on those areas where limestone borders with impermeable marly soil where Karst crumbling phenomena developped. Some of these caves bear the rests of continuous human presence, from oldest times up to very recent days.

Economically speaking, the most significant human intervention in this area is the excavation of Vicenza Stone, a organogenous bioclastic calcarean material, of mellow white colour, with limonite and goethite speckles, and of Nanto Stone, of Golden Yellow hue.

In older days a kind of reddish scaly material was excavated in Mossano, Villaga and Albettone, and it was used to make bricks. Nowadays the only working quarries are to be found on the central plateau and inner area of Berici Hills, in Zovencedo, Grancona and S.Germano.

The Berica Stone environment is naturally entangled with local social and cultural history, as it becomes the history of building and living in Berici Hills: it is a story told by large villas, their architectural elements and sculptured decoration,but also by peasant fabrics like fountains and rural chapels that with unassuming beauty dot Berici Hills' landscape.