|Native name: |
The Blue Cave
|Major islands||Palmaria, Bergeggi, Gallinara, Tino and Tinetto|
|Official name||Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)|
|Criteria||ii, iv, v|
|Designated||1997 (21st session)|
|Region||Europe and North America|
Palmaria is an Italian island situated in the Ligurian Sea, at the westernmost end of the Gulf of La Spezia. Measuring 1.6 square kilometres (0.6 sq mi), it is the largest island of an archipelago of three closely spaced islands jutting out south from the mainland at Portovenere. The other islands, Tino, and the tiny Tinetto lie further south.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in Southern Europe, and it is sometimes considered as part of Western Europe. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.
The Ligurian Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, between the Italian Riviera (Liguria) and the island of Corsica. The sea is theorized to be named after the ancient Ligures people.
The Gulf of La Spezia is a body of water on the north-western coast of Italy and part of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea, specifically of Ligurian Sea. It measures some 4.5 (length) by 3-3.5 (width) kilometers.
In 1997, the archipelago, together with Portovenere and the Cinque Terre, was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The Cinque Terre is a coastal area within Liguria, in the northwest of Italy. It lies west of La Spezia, and comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris, France. Its declared purpose is to contribute to promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
The Palmaria island with a surface area of 1.89 square kilometres (0.73 sq mi), is the largest of three islands in the Gulf of La Spezia and the Liguria region of the whole, the other two islands, Tino and Tinetto meet down a few hundred meters straight line to the south.
The island has a triangular shape: the sides that face Portovenere and the Gulf of La Spezia are the most humanized and slope gently down to the level of the sea, covered by typical Mediterranean vegetation, the side that faces west, i.e. towards the open sea, is instead characterized by high cliffs overhanging the water, in which there are many caves. The sides humanized see the presence of some private homes, a restaurant (in Pozzale) and especially bathing establishments, both public and confidential employees of the Navy and Air Force.
As for the western side, the most difficult to reach, are worthy of note the Blue Cave, visited by boat, and the Cave of Pigeons, which can be reached only by climbing down ropes. The latter in particular has been very important in the study of historical events in the Gulf, as have been found inside the fossilized bones of Pleistocene animals such as chamois and the snowy owl, but above all remains of human burials, testifying the presence of man at least five thousand years ago.
The Pleistocene is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the last glacial period and also with the end of the Paleolithic age used in archaeology.
On the island there are also many buildings of a military character and of great historical interest: the top, inaccessible as a former military area and is currently in a state of neglect, the Fort Count of Cavour (or Fort Palmaria), the battery now used as experimental environmental education center and Batteria Semaforo near the Scola Tip, the tower ironclad Umberto I and used in World War II to a military prison and renovated a few years ago and the remains of the battery Albini, scattered throughout the island, several bunkers from the Second World War and the remains of coastal artillery and antiaircraft mostly inaccessible since abandoned and submerged vegetation.
Remarkable is the presence (in the south, called Pozzale) of an abandoned quarry, once used for the extraction of the precious black marble with streaks of gold called portoro. There are still remnants of cranes and hoists used for moving the blocks of marble and the walls of the houses of the miners.
The flora of Palmaria is composed of about 500 species. The original vegetation, which was to be formed mainly from the Mediterranean and the forest of oak, was modified to anthropogenic causes such as fire, agriculture, introduction of alien plants and animals (plane trees, palms and rabbits). Today the pines ( Pinus pinaster and Pinus halepensis ) share space with typical Mediterranean species such as oak ( Quercus ilex ), oak ( Quercus pubescens ), mastic ( Pistacia lentiscus ), strawberry tree ( Arbutus unedo ), the cysts ( Cistus monspeliensis , Cistus salvifolius, Cistus incanus), the gorse ( Spartium junceum ), etc.. Other important groups are the spot to plant spurge ( Euphorbia dendroides ) and nearest to the sea cliffs on those characterized by samphire ( Crithmum maritimum ). Among the new flora, Centaurea cineraria veneris, Iberis umbellata var. linifolia, exclusive in Palmaria, Centaurea aplolepa lunensis, endemic to eastern Liguria. Finally, also worth Brassica oleracea robertiana, Serapias neglecta and Cistus incanus, rare in Liguria, where it reaches its northern limit.
Pinus pinaster, the maritime pine or cluster pine, is a pine native to the Mediterranean region. It is a hard, fast growing pine containing small seeds with large wings.
Pinus halepensis, commonly known as the Aleppo pine, also known as Jerusalem's oren, is a pine native to the Mediterranean region. Its range extends from Morocco, Algeria and Spain north to southern France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania, and east to Greece, all over Malta and northern Tunisia, with an outlying population in Syria, Lebanon, southern Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Palestinian territories.
Quercus ilex, the evergreen oak, holly oak or holm oak, is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly. It is a member of the Cerris section of the genus, with acorns that mature in a single summer.
On the island there are some of the largest reptile wildlife emergencies, such as tarantolino Phyllodactylus europaeus, the smallest of the European geckos, easily recognizable by the absence of tubercles on the dorsal side. In addition to the islands of Tino and Tinetto, this is present in very few other sites in Liguria. Between the birds deserve to be mentioned the kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ), peregrine falcon ( Falco peregrinus ), sparrowhawk ( Accipiter nisus ), the red partridge ( Alectoris rufa ), gulls ( Larus argentatus , Larus michahellis ), the raven ( Corvus corax ), rock thrushes ( Monticola solitarius ), cormorant or shag ( Phalacrocorax aristotelis ). Between the mammals you mention the bats found in caves: the trunnion ( Plecotus auritus ), the greater horseshoe bat ( Rhinolophus ferrumequinum ), the lesser horseshoe bat ( Rhinolophus hipposideros ). There are colonies of rabbits and goats, remains of a recent past when the island was inhabited more than now. Between the invertebrates on the islands is to report the beetle Parmenas solieri, an endemic species linked to the Tyrrhenian patch of spurge.
The climate is typically Mediterranean, with a temperature range, both daily and seasonal. In winter there are very few episodes of extreme cold and frost, while in summer the heat is damped by the effect of sea breeze, the modeled rainfall trends on the Riviera di Levante, presenting abundant, especially in autumn and spring. For the maritime links is possible reach the island by private boat or, in the summer months, with ferries that connect to Portovenere, Lerici and La Spezia.
Cyprus is an island in the Eastern Basin of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and the world's 80th largest island by area. It is located south of Asia Minor, the Anatolian peninsula of the Asian mainland, so it may be included in Western Asia or the Middle East: Cyprus is close to Southern Europe, and Northern Africa, and has had lengthy periods of mainly Greek and intermittent Anatolian, Levantine, Byzantine, Turkish, and Western European influence.
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains are a mountain range consisting of parallel smaller chains extending c. 1,200 km (750 mi) along the length of peninsular Italy. In the northwest they join with the Ligurian Alps at Altare. In the southwest they end at Reggio di Calabria, the coastal city at the tip of the peninsula. Since 2000 the Environment Ministry of Italy, following the recommendations of the Apennines Park of Europe Project, has been defining the Apennines System to include the mountains of north Sicily, for a total distance of 1,500 kilometres (930 mi). The system forms an arc enclosing the east side of the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas.
The Province of La Spezia is a province in the Liguria region of Italy. Its capital is the city of La Spezia.
Porto Venere is a town and comune (municipality) located on the Ligurian coast of Italy in the province of La Spezia. It comprises the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere, and the three islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. In 1997 Porto Venere and the villages of Cinque Terre were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea, west of Tuscany, Italy.
Asinara is an Italian island of 52 km2 (20 sq mi) in area. The name is Italian for "donkey-inhabited", but it is thought to derive from the Latin "sinuaria", and meaning sinus-shaped. The island is virtually uninhabited. The census of population of 2001 lists one man. The island is located off the north-western tip of Sardinia, and is mountainous in geography with steep, rocky coasts. Because fresh water is scarce, trees are sparse and low scrub is the predominant vegetation. Part of the national parks system of Italy, the island was recently converted to a wildlife and marine preserve. It is home to a population of wild Albino donkeys from which the island may take its name.
Montgó is a mountain in Alicante Province, Spain, which rises to 753 metres (2,470 ft). It is the last spur on the Cordillera Prebética Mountain Range and is located in the Marina Alta region in the north of Alicante between the towns of Dénia and Xàbia. The mountain rises dramatically from the valley floors surrounding it and dominates the skyline for miles around. Its craggy cliffs are home to some of the most unusual flora and fauna in Spain. The mountain is renowned for its rock formations, cliffs, caves and natural harbours. From the Xàbia side Montgó is often said to resemble the head and trunk of an elephant. The mountain can be easily reached by highway CV-736 which links Denia with Xàbia, both of which are accessible via the AP-7 motorway or the N-332 national highway.
Gugh could be described as the sixth inhabited island of the Isles of Scilly, but is usually included with St Agnes with which it is joined by a sandy tombolo known as "The Bar" when exposed at low tide. The island is only about 1 km (0.62 mi) long and about 0.5 km (0.31 mi) wide, with the highest point, Kittern Hill at 34 m (112 ft). The geology consists of Hercynian granite with shallow podzolic soils on the higher ground and deeper sandy soils on the lower ground. The former Gugh farm is just north of the neck across the middle of the island between the two hills. The two houses were designed and built in the 1920s by Charles Hamlet Cooper. The name is often mispronounced as "Goo", "Guff" or even "Gogh".
Tino is an Italian island situated in the Ligurian Sea, at the westernmost end of the Gulf of La Spezia. It is part of an archipelago of three closely spaced islands jutting out south from the mainland at Portovenere. The largest of the three, Palmaria, lies to the north and the tiny Tinetto to the south.
The National Marine Park of Alonnisos Northern Sporades was founded by Presidential Decree on May 16, 1992. It was the first of its kind in Greece, and is currently the largest marine protected area in Europe. Besides the sea area, the park includes the island of Alonnisos, six smaller islands, as well as 22 uninhabited islets and rocky outcrops. It is located in the region of the Northern Sporades Islands, in the northern Aegean Sea. There is one other marine park in Greece, namely Zakynthos Marine Park.
The Mediterranean woodlands and forests is an ecoregion, of the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome, in the coastal plains, hills, and mountains bordering the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in North Africa.
The Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, or Cinque Terre National Park in English, is a protected area inducted as Italy's first national park in 1999. Located in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy, it is the smallest national park in Italy at 4,300 acres, but also the densest with 5,000 permanent inhabitants among the five towns. In addition to the territory of the towns of Cinque Terre, the Cinque Terre National Park encompasses parts of the communes of Levanto and La Spezia. Cinque Terre was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
San Venerio Lighthouse is an active lighthouse on the island of Tino, in the comune of Porto Venere in the Province of La Spezia, Liguria, Italy. Its construction began in 1839, and completed in 1840. It illuminates and guides the sailors in that part of Ligurian Sea.
The Parco Nazionale del Circeo is an Italian national park founded in 1934. It occupies a strip of coastal land from Anzio to Terracina, including also a sector of forest in the mainland of San Felice Circeo, and the island of Zannone.
The Eastern Isles are a group of twelve small uninhabited islands within the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of the Scilly Heritage Coast and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) first designated in 1971 for its flora and fauna. They have a long period of occupation from the Bronze Age with cairns and entrance graves through to Iron Age field systems and a Roman shrine on Nornour. Before the 19th century, the islands were known by their Cornish name, which had also become the name of the largest island in the group after the submergence of the connecting lands.
The natural history of the island of Rhodes is determined by its geographic position, climate and geological diversity. Rhodes is in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin close to the coast of Turkey, and the flora and fauna are a mixture of Mediterranean and Asian elements. Rhodes is in the Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests Ecoregion.
Kızılada, aka Kızıl Ada, anciently Lagusa or Lagousa, or Lagussa or Lagoussa (Λαγοῦσσα), is a Turkish island in the Mediterranean Sea situated in the Fethiye Bay, southwestern Turkey. It is 4 mi (6.4 km) off the coast of Fethiye district in Muğla Province.
The Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Natural Park is a protected area in the Spanish provinces of Málaga and Granada. It contains the Sierra de Tejeda and Sierra de Almijara mountains. The park is mountainous and is partly covered by pine forests at the lower levels, while typical Mediterranean vegetation is found higher up. There is a large number of endemic species.
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