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Ascoli Piceno the city of the travertine


Ascoli Piceno is situated at the foot of the Appenines of Marches, where the river Castellano flows into the river Tronto, the boundary line with the Abruzzo region.

It looks like a natural amphitheatre with on the west the mountains of the Apennines and its two national parks (Mountains della Laga and the Sibillini Mountains) to the south Colle San Marco and Montagna dei Fiori; to the north the Ascensione Mountains; and to the east the whole Tronto valley that leads to the Adriatic Sea, on the beautiful coast of San Benedetto del Tronto.

The Legend tell that a group of young Sabines, driven by a woodpecker (the bird sacred to Mars), would have reached a strip of land between two rivers where they founded the city of Ascoli and joining with the local populations have given rise to the Piceni.


The Travertine

This is a slow process due to the circulating waters both on the surface and in the subsoil, which are at first enriched of carbon dioxide, attack the carbonates rocks which combining with the calcium carbonate give life to calcium bicarbonate.
The calcium bicarbonate is a very soluble salt in molecular balance, that when one of the environmental conditions change (pressure, temperature), it decomposes into: calcium carbonate (CaCO3), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).
So the carsica phenomenon begins:
The calcium carbonate precipitates giving life to rocky terrain that grow with variable speeds, up to few millimetres per year. 

The travertine ( chalky and sedimentary rock of chemical origin):

In general, we can say that the travertine deposits form when waters rich in carbonates give carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and to vegetal photosynthetic organisms.
The balance of this chemical reaction (CARSICA PHENOMENON) involves the precipitation of calcium carbonate.

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