The DELOS Initiative

The Wetland Of Colfiorito In The Karst System Of The Plestian High Plains

The Wetland Of Colfiorito In The Karst System Of The Plestian High Plains

The wetland and the marsh of Colfiorito are part of a system of tectonic-karstic plains, called Plestian (or Colfiorito’s) High-Plain. Karstic phenomena make this plateau one of the most interesting areas in the whole Appennino Umbro-Marchigiano mountain range in Central Italy.  The area is crossed by the Lauretana pilgrimage route.  Nowadays, that ancient path can be recognized in the course of Strada Statale 77 or della Val di Chienti (Chienti Valley State Road), which joins southwest/northeast-wards the Italian regions Umbria and Marche. The wetland of Colfiorito, with an area of nearly 100 ha, stands out as the apex of ecological richness in the whole Basin. Its floristic and faunistic diversity makes it one of the most interesting and noticeable areas in all of Central Italy. The ecological value of the Park is largely due to the presence of a number of wetland ecosystems.

The local population from the various villages across the seven Plains periodically paid pilgrimage to those holy places, treading the local route network, which had derived from the ancient routes of transhumance. These pilgrimage practices, however, seem to have gradually decreased. Nearly all therapeutic shrines are dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The studies carried out on the topic have enabled to re-elaborate several maps, which illustrate the location of the main therapeutic shrines. Such maps, together with other ones illustrate the system of natural and socio-cultural resources of the Plestian Basin. The sustainable management of this area and its historical, cultural, spiritual and ecological richness would be important also from an international point of view, in the perspective of an overall restoration of the ancient Via Lauretana.


Chiara Serenelli