The process continues to obtain the prestigious recognition as a World Heritage Site for the Val d’Alpone, which includes the production areas of Soave and Lessini Durello.

The Soave Consortium is part of the Temporary Purpose Association “Val d’Alpone – faune, flore e rocce del Cenozoico”.



Soave, Verona – The first draft of the dossier drawn up by the Temporary Association “Val d’Alpone – faune, flore e rocce del Cenozoico” has arrived in Rome at the Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, which also includes the Consortium for the Protection of Soave, in view of the inclusion of the Val d’Alpone among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

This is a necessary step, envisaged as part of the strict recognition process, to verify the consistency and correctness of the address given to the documentation after being included in the Italian TentativeList. Once the verification part at ministerial level has also been completed, the dossier will be officially deposited in Paris awaiting evaluation by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Bolca fossils in the marine ecosystem of Val D’Alpone” (Bolca, San Giovanni Ilarione and Roncà)” – this is the title chosen by the temporary purpose association – could actually soon become a new Italian UNESCO site given the paleontological, historical and cultural importance of the area.


Val d’Alpone is in fact home to marine volcanic and sedimentary rocks which contain paleontological deposits from the Cenozoic or Tertiary period (a period that ranges from approximately 65 million years ago, with the Paleocene, to around 5 million years ago, with the Pliocene), with a particular focus on the Eocene. This area is also unique for the enormous biodiversity of fauna and flora and for the exceptional conservation especially of fossil fish, found in the two most representative locations of Bolca: Pesciara and Monte Postale. All of this makes the Val d’Alpone area a site of global significance from the perspective of paleontology.

«From a cultural point of view – underlines Giamberto Bochese, president of the ATS – the objective is to disseminate the value of this heritage by relating it to the current landscape and to that created during the various historical periods.  In fact, it is necessary to create a widespread awareness of natural and cultural values as well as to propose a sustainable and participatory use of the territory, enhancing museums, venues for cultural initiatives and promoting the establishment of networks and integrated unitary development paths along the lines already promoted by UNESCO over the years”.

Around 50 million years ago, on the hills east of Verona where the Garganega grape, the mother of Soave, grows today, there was a vast tropical sea, with characteristic fish and plant species.

The different rock formations, carbonate and volcanic, which distinguish both the production area of Soave and that of Lessini Durello, were formed between the Cretaceous period, around 145 million years ago, and the Eocene period, roughly 34 million years ago.

During this long interval of time, the Val d’Alpone area was affected by the deposition of variously deep sea carbonate sediments and by the products of intense and extensive volcanic activity.

Considering the particular historicity that characterises the hills of eastern Verona, for some time now there has been talk of the Italian district of white wine from volcanic soil.

«To fully understand who we are today, we must first of all have clarity on where we come from – points out Igor Gladich, director of the Soave Consortium -. We have chosen to support the ATS in this ambitious project in view of the recognition of the Val d’Alpone as a World Heritage site because we are firmly convinced that the requirements are met and because, above all, the history of these ancient hills belongs inseparably from our denomination and can be found in every single glass of Soave».


The commitment of the Soave Consortium in view of the prestigious recognition is in line with what the protection body is carrying out in terms of enhancing the denomination at an international level within the HEVA – Heroes of Europe Volcanic Agriculture project, the 1144 promotional measure  which involves not only the Soave Consortium but also the Lessini Duello Consortium, the Monte Veronese Consortium and Santo Wines, the Santorini Wine Consortium.

With the HEVA project, which aims to enhance and promote agricultural excellence produced on volcanic soil, Soave is conducting a strategic action to enhance the denomination in the markets of Northern Europe, with a particular focus on Germany, Sweden and Holland. This planning also includes incoming specialist press and sector operators who, having arrived on site, will be able to touch first-hand the volcanic rocks formed over 30 million years ago and understand, glass in hand, directly in the vineyard, what “volcano factor” means for the Soave production area.


Temporary Purpose Association

It was founded on 2 February 2017 and includes the Consortium for the Protection of Soave Wines, the Consortium for the Protection of Lessini Durello Wines, the Consortium for the Protection of Gambellara Wines, the Soave Wine Road, the Lessini Durello Wine Road, the Recioto and Gambellara Wine Road, the Municipality of Vestenanova, Municipality of San Giovanni Ilarione, Municipality of Roncà, Municipality of Montecchia di Crosara, Municipality of Monteforte, Municipality of Soave, Municipality of Gambellara, Municipality of Altissimo, Municipality of Crespadoro, Municipality of Verona, Parco della Lessinia, University of Verona – Department of Culture and Civilisation, Hei-Mat Cultural Association – the Storie di Piccola Patria Association and the San Zeno Cultural Association.

Also involved are the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Natural History Museum of Verona, the GAL Baldo Lessinia, the Bima (Imbrifero Montano Basin), the Lions Clus Val d’Alpone, the Rotary Club of Soave, the Rotary Club of Arzignano, Friends of the Villanova Abbey, the Ceratoichthys Association and the MarSEC astronomical observatory.



Working group for drafting of the dossier

The working group engaged in drafting the dossier to be presented at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, in addition to the presence of Giamberto Bochese, as president, includes Roberto Zorzin, ATS consultant and former curator of the Natural History Museum of Verona, Fabio Saggioro, professor of Medieval Archeology at the University of Verona, Domenico Zugliani, ATS consultant and former head of the UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Verona, Massimiliano Valdinoci, architect and director of the Academy of Fine Arts of Verona and a broad scientific committee from the universities of Padua, Turin, Modena and Reggio Emilia. The work for drafting of the dossier is coordinated by Professor Pierluigi Petrillo, of UNITELMA Sapienza of Rome, and supported and shared by the Veneto Region.



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Lucia Vesentini
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