Pietra di Bismantova

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Pietra di Bismantova seen from Croce, in the comune of Castelnovo ne' Monti.

The Pietra di Bismantova is a geological formation in the Reggiano Apennines, in the comune of Castelnovo ne' Monti, province of Reggio Emilia, central Italy, c. 45 km from Reggio Emilia. It has the shape of a narrow, quasi-cylindrical plateau (measuring 1 km x 240 m) whose steep walls emerge c. 300 m as an isolated spur from the nearby hills. The top has an elevation of 1,047 m above sea level. It is included in the National Park of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano.

The spur is composed of yellowish calcarenite over a marl basement, all formed in the Miocene as a sea bottom. It includes fossils belonging to a tropical environment. It is surrounded by woods, mostly of hazel trees (Corylus avellana).

The Pietra di Bismantova is mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy (Purgatory, IV, 25-30).

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Coordinates: 44°25′11″N 10°24′37″E / 44.4198°N 10.4104°E / 44.4198; 10.4104