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Michele Angileri

Fosso di Fibbianello

Everywhere, limestone rocks mean karst phenomena. The fissures in rock are widened by rainwater, which more and more easily penetrate underground, digging tunnels that form networks that become wider and more complex over the millennia. Often as the water digs, the mountains continue to rise, and then water penetrates deeper leaving the old tunnels and digging new ones. If the mountains still continue to rise, fragments of these ancient ones galleries may emerge on the surface turning into gorges that are "caves without a ceiling". It also happens that fragments of "ceiling" remain to testify the hypogean origin of the canyon.

All this happens at Fosso di Fibbianello. The spectacular stone arch and the abundant spring that gushes a few meters down leave no doubt about the karst origin of this Mediterranean canyon immersed in the gentle landscape of the Tuscan Hills.

Name Fosso di Fibbianello
Area Toscana
Nearest village Semproniano
Elevation loss 200 m
Length 1850 m
Highest cascade 30 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Not needed
Explored by Michele Angileri; june 10 2018


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I remember ...

Near the gorge is one of the oldest trees in Italy: the Olivone di Fibbianello. An olive tree which, they say, is more than 2000 years old!
It is in the middle of an olive grove, one of the many in the area, but you can easily find it thanks to tourist signs.
I went to see it on my way back on foot, once ended the descent of gorge. There was no one. The whole area was quiet and peaceful (except for a little dog, looking for company, barking from behind the wall of a house). In silence I admired the great hollow trunk worn down by the centuries but still able to bring sap to the leaves and grow the olives, and the younger secondary trunks that emerge from a radical complex that must be enormous. And while I looked, I inevitably reflected on what life is, on me that in a few decades will not be there, on the ancient Romans who picked olives from this tree and went to bathe in the nearby Saturnia's hot springs, on the gorge of Fibbianello which was previously a cave inside a mountain that was once the bottom of a sea.

A quick dive into infinity.

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