Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, & Technology
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Section VIII. Basalt in Northern Italy

The Veneto region of Italy includes the cities of Venice, Padua, Vicenza, and Verona and extends northward into the pre-Alps. The fact that much of this area consists of volcanic rock and soil seems to have been first noticed in 1760 by Giovanni Arduino (1714-1795). In 1766 Desmarest (see exhibit item 19) toured the Veneto, fresh from a visit to Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, and he noticed basalts in areas such as the Alpone Valley east of Verona and the Euganean hills southwest of Padua. But it was not until the 1770s, after Desmarest had published his work on the Auvergne, that the basalts of the Veneto were described and illustrated in widely available publications by John Strange and Alberto Fortis

The illustration shows a basalt cascade through the Alpone Valley, from exhibit item 22.