A Geopark is a protected natural area in which there are geological sites of particular interest because of scientific quality, rarity, appeal and educational value, protected by safeguards and conservation measures and regulated by national or regional laws. Given these requirements, the territory joins the European Geopark Network, an international network supported by an European program that promotes the development of such areas.
An European Geopark has also the task of promoting the environmental education and the development of research in the various disciplines of Earth Sciences, and of enhancing policies for sustainable development.
The Madonie mountains are a key point for the reconstruction of the Mediterranean area’s geological history of the last 200 million years. All the rocks that make up the Madonie were formed in the bottom of an ocean, and were subsequently deformed by the approach of the African and European plates, which caused the shortening of the Earth’s crust and gave rise to the Apennine-Maghrebide chain. Madonie mountains form part of this chain and are the second group of mountains of Sicily.
The great variety of rocks, the difference between the environments in which they were formed, and the long geological period that they represent are the reason why Madonie’s area is of great importance from a paleontological point of view, thanks to the wealth and the variety of its fossil.
In recognition of its significant geological values, the Madonie Park in 2001 was inducted into the European Geoparks Network, starting up interesting prospects for socio-economic development related to an increase of the scientific and cultural tourism.

The Geopark museum opened in 2004 in Petralia Sottana during the 5th European Congress of Geoparks, and in 2011 was named after the geologist “Giuseppe Torre” from Madonie. It contains collections of rocks and fossils of the Madonie’s area. The geological history of the park, the environments of formation of rocks and their evolution over time is presented to the visitor through various educational and interactive installations. The visit of the museum, connected to the archaeological museum which exhibits the valuable collection of A. Collisani, is an opportunity to learn in depth the territory through the observation of samples of rocks, fossils and teaching models, and represents a starting point to undertake the different geological naturalistic paths inside the park.

Geosites in the territory of Petralia Sottana

  1. Peak Prangi of Vecchiuzzo Cave
  2. Canyon Canna
  3. Sinkhole of Battaglietta
  4. Polje della Battaglietta
  5. Colonies of Corals
  6. Triassic sponges
  7. Spina Puci Mountain
  8. Canyon Faguara
  9. Catarratti Springs
  10. Upland of Carbonara
  11. Limestones and Porites of urban path
  12. Peak Sant’Otiero
  13. Numidic Flysch of Madonna dell’Alto Mount
  14. Daino Mountain

Paths in the territory of Petralia Sottana

  1. Geological Path sinkhole of Battaglietta – Portella Colla
  2. Geological Path Stones and water
  3. Urban Geological Path
  4. Geo-archaeological path San Miceli


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