Articles | Volume 5, issue 6
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 5, 903–909, 2005

Special issue: Documentation and monitoring of landslides and debris flows...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 5, 903–909, 2005

  10 Nov 2005

10 Nov 2005

Dynamics and conceptual model of the Rossena castle landslide (Northern Apennines, Italy)

A. Chelli1, G. Mandrone2, A. Ruffini3, and G. Truffelli4 A. Chelli et al.
  • 1Dept. of Earth Scienze, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, 157/a, 43100 Parma, Italy
  • 2Dept. of Earth Scienze, University of Torino, Via valperga Caluso 35, 10125 Torino, Italy
  • 3Geologic consultant, Via Volturno 128, 43100 Parma, Italy
  • 4Emilia Romagna Region, Provincial Technical Service of Reggio, Italy

Abstract. In the Northern Apennines there are many historical villages and castles, which are of great value and represent a cultural heritage of great importance. Their presence within a territory greatly affected by landslide hazards creates, in many circumstances, the need to solve problems of land management and to act for the preservation of historical monuments.

This paper describe an interesting landslide, failed during the night of 28 February 2004, that involved the village of Rossena: the failure damaged the village (Fig. 1), the road and the fields down to the stream but, fortunately, the castle just upslope the village was not involved at all.

The 10th century massive castle of Rossena stands on the top of a cliff at about 500 m a.s.l., on the border between the provinces of Parma and Reggio Emilia, and it is surrounded by a small ancient village. The castle of Rossena is the best preserved stronghold of the Longobard times, enlarged and reinforced in the tenth century and partially rebuilt by Bonifacio, the father of Matilda of Canossa (the Vice-Queen of Italy and probably the most important woman in the Middle Ages) as a defensive structure guarding the Enza Valley. In addition, at Conossa, very close to Rossena, there was the meeting between Pope Gregory VII and the Emperor of Germany Henry IV, during the historical event known as "fight for the investitures". For these reasons, the area of Rossena is one of the most relevant from a historical point of view in the entire western part of the Emilia Romagna Region and it also has a high value as a geosite (Coratza et al., 2004).