Turin: the foundation stones of the Earth Science knowledge in the Piemonte Region

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This research has been devoted to the inventory and characterization of the many ornamental stones extracted on the Piemonte Region territory, with particular regard to the white marble from the Alpine area. The application of traditional (light microscopy, stable isotopes) and innovative (scanning electron microscope equipped with electronic microanalysis and cathodoluminescence) techniques have enabled us to produce a complete database of white marble Piedmont, useful to define the variety of marble used in archaeological and architectural field.

This study has therefore allowed to determine the composition, origin and condition of ornamental stones used in the construction of historical buildings of Torino city centre (NW Italy), such as those employed in the monumental archade of Via Roma, one of the widest city promenades of Europe.

The main stones occurring in Via Roma have been identified and described from a petrographic and mineralogical point of view in order to find out the corresponding geological units and original quarry sites. The minero-petrographic study is accompanied by an architectural survey that was performed applying different methods, as well as the geometric mapping and the perspective rectification of span-types, of block terminations and of other architectonical elements, in plan and in elevation, of the arcades.

This allows us to emphasize the merging of cultural and scientific interest for the stone materials used in the historical architecture of a town closely interconnected to the surrounding Western Alps orogenic chain. Finally, a guided tour (TOURinSTONES) has been proposed into the main monuments, squares and streets of Turin, built with the ornamental stones from Western Alps: It will be offered as an attraction of the IAEG2014 international congress.

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