The Tiber river, downstream from the deep and outstanding canyon of the Forello Gorge and the quiet Corbara lake, flows in a wide and shining valley, drawing its course within the boundary between the regions of Lazio and Tuscany. In many places of this valley, sedimentary clays of the Pleistocene widely outcrop. More than one million years ago, the sea covered almost the whole area and these sediments were gradually piling up on the seabed. Around 680,000 years ago, the waters receded because of a general uplift of the area and all the lands above sea level were devastated by an intense volcanic activity. In several places, the new rocks produced by the volcanoes overlapped the clays, providing some kind of protection against erosion.

In other places, clays remained unprotected and for thousands of years they underwent changes caused by rain, frost, wind and heat, which ploughed them, broke them up and washed them away, carving them with ghostly shapes made of blades and precipices in continuous transformation. We are in the gullies ("calanchi") district, which is crossed and modelled by the Lubriano and Torbido creeks, tributaries of the Tiber river. Both of them flow by the big stone rise of Civita di Bagnoregio, which was described by the poet Bonaventura Tecchi as the "dying village" and which is unstable and subject to landslides because of the overlapping of volcanic tuff stones on top of the clays. Thus, the "Route of the Gullies" crosses a territory whose features continuously change.
An area touched by the flow of the Tiber river and characterized by the coexistence of very different landscapes. A place where the boundless layers of marine clays and sands have been partly covered by the lavas and tuff stones erupted by the Cimini volcanoes in the south and most of all by the Volsini volcanoes in the north. In this world of geology and water runs our route.
From the gentle slopes of Bassano in Teverina, to the unique lunar views of the "valley of gullies" close to Lubriano and Bagnoregio. From the peperino quarries around Vitorchiano, renowned since ancient times, to the volcanic ravines of Celleno.


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