The particular geomorphological conformation of the territory is the result of the composition and distribution of the lithological successions and of the complex tectonic events, which, since the Miocene era, have affected this area.

Among the geological singularities are to be noted: the Lucanian Dolomites, the gorges of Basento and Salandrella rivers, the ravines of Oliveto Lucano, the erratic boulders widespread in the Gallipoli Cognato forest.

The dolomites of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano, formed by cemented sandstones, raised by the last tectonic phases that generated the southern Apennines and shaped by the action of the erosive agents, are not only the reason of landscape and perceptive interest, but also an element of scientific interest.

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The rivers that cross the protected area operate an incisive erosive action that, together with the widespread presence of tectonic lineages, give rise to the deep gorges that characterize some of the Basento and Salandrella valley sections.

The same origin is at the base of the ravines present near Oliveto Lucano. The erratic boulders, finally, are big erratic rocks that traveled long distances, transported in a bed of incoherent material of ancient landslides.

Once deposited these boulders have undergone a process of differentiated erosion: the waters have brought to light stone blocks, slowly and gradually cleaning them out of the incoherent material coming from ancient landslides.

The erratic boulders have singular shapes, sharp edges and often their fractures house mosses and plants.


A geo-site is a place, area or territory in which it is possible to identify a geological-geomorphological interest for conservation.

From the awareness of the value of such sites, a study - arising in the context of an agreement stipulated between the Park and the Department of Sciences of the University of Basilicata - was born. The aim of the project is to identify sites of particular geological interest in the Park area and to highlight, through a preliminary report, the scientific - didactic value, as well as the potential geotourism interest.

The preliminary report can be downloaded below.