Pilot site #3: Monti Lucretili

Monti Lucretili.


Type of heritage: 
Cultural Heritage

Owners of the site: 
Monti Lucretili Regional park

Managers of the site 
Monti Lucretili regional park and 12 municipalities. Soprintendenza archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio per l'area metropolitana di Roma e per la provincia di Rieti

Coordinator for the ARGUS project: 
Roma 3

42.08983 N, 12.87230 E

Description of the pilot

Rock hermitage in the Lucretili mountaing, pilot site of the ARGUS project

The area of “Monti Lucretili” is a mountainous district in the north-east of Tivoli, Rome, which formed the largest part of the Monti Lucretili Regional Natural Park. It is made of large, forested areas and of karst formations related to scarce presence of surface water, mostly in swampy areas. A multivariate relationship between anthropic activities and forest coverage can be observed; shifting in exploitation of the uplands, intense stock breeding, and high exploitation of wood coverage for coal production lead to a deforestation.

The use of ‘macere’ (dry stone walls - UNESCO intangible heritage) is widespread and constitutes a diachronic presence in the landscape of the area with great conservation problems. The archaeological sites known in the area are mainly high-altitude sites, often difficult to access or characterized by the presence of weed vegetation.

Four main sites will be considered in ARGUS: (1) The so-called “Villa of Horace”, a Roman villa in the Licenza Valley, not regularly open to the public, due to difficulties in its maintenance. (2) The medieval castle of Montefalco (11th - 14th century), in the upland zone at about 900m a.s.l. (3) The rock-carved hermitage known as ‘Conventillo’ (12th-18th century) on the limestone cliff on the southern face of Monte Morra (4) The dry-stone walls called ‘macere’ diffused all over the landscape. In particular, the ones surrounding the Montefalco castle are selected as significative sample, as they include both terrace walls and ancient property delimitations.

Main threats

The cultural heritage is exposed to skewing of the structures associated with subsidence of the ground and hydrogeological instability and soil erosion, as well as to extremely infesting vegetation and a poor preservation system dating back to the last century, natural decay due to lack of maintenance.

Aerial view of the Monti Lucretili in Italy, one of the ARGUS pilot sites

Main objectives to be reached with the ARGUS interventions

Monte Gennaro (Rome, Italy) - The peak in the Monti Lucretili mountains, Lazio region, central Italy, with an altitude of 1,271 meters; it is the highest peak visible from Rome, located in the province of Rome
  • To draw up an action plan based on a careful and focused monitoring and assessment of increasing risks, the detection of intervention priorities with a view to a holistic conservation action dedicated to the landscape palimpsest
  • to establish strategies of reducing the erosion processes and the subsidence risks, as well as to prevent infesting vegetation without impacting on the micro-environment.