The regional reserve covers an area of over 293 hectares and was established primarily to preserve the rich paleontological heritage represented by fossils found in some sedimentary strata outcropping along the walls of the valleys, going back to the Pliocene period when the Po Valley was submerged by the sea.
The fossil record that appear in the sandy layers, are made from the remains of bodies buried in the sediments of the sea, which occupied the entire Po Valley to the Alps during the Pliocene period (5000000 to 1.8000000 years ago): a ' wide inlet of the shallow sea bounded on the south by the hills of the Langhe, in the west from the Gulf province of Cuneo, north by a low island corresponds to the current northern Monferrato, while communicating with the sea to the east Padano. The fossils are concentrated in particular layers that can be observed along the walls of the cuts valleys. These are hundreds of species of marine molluscs, whose shells have an excellent condition. Shellfish is associated, brachiopods, Echinoids, corals and rare remains of vertebrates. The first human settlements in this territory, are over 10 thousand years ago. Based on the finding of scrapers, bifaces boxcutters, foundations of huts, parts of canoes and other objects, it is assumed that the first humans, perhaps of Ligurian origin, have arrived in these areas following the course of Tanaro. Fossiliferous outcrops are equipped for visits.
Besides the important paleontological heritage, the protected area of Valleandona, Valle Grande Valle Botto and gives rise to interesting observations of nature. Now the forests of the area are characterized by the presence of black locust, oak, hornbeam, linden and maple. In the undergrowth clematis, climbing very strong, as cascades of vines, competing for space with honeysuckle, spindle-tree, dogwood, hazel. Stains insist flowering from spring to autumn with Pulmonaria, primroses, anemones, geraniums, woodland, liver, teeth of dogs. Do not miss the butterflies, the beauty of which is summarized in the presence of examples such as the swallowtail and scarce swallowtail. With a little bit 'of attention, you can watch beetles (stag beetle) and birds (bee-eater, kestrel, hoopoe, jay, lesser spotted woodpecker and green peaks). The squirrels are at home, as well as foxes, badgers, weasels, martens, lizards, poisonous snakes (like the strut). In pools of water formed by spring rains amphibians (frogs, toads, common frogs agile and green frogs, newts with the characteristic nuptial plumage during the breeding season) gather to mate and lay eggs.
Management body for the Parks and Nature Reserves Asti - Legal Office Management
Via San Martino, 5
Tel 0141 592091
For visitors: trails, mountain-biking and horseback riding, picnic areas.
For schools: guided tours and activities for schools (Laboratory of Paleontology "Paleolab") managed by the Cooperative The Periwinkle (bookings: tel A. Fassio. 3393880614).
Views: Valleandona the entrance area, which is a largely naturalistic environment, is free. Access to the path in paleontological Valle Botto, however, is allowed with a tour and by appointment. The National Parks Astigiani organizes free guided hikes in the annual program of Europarc.
Geological and paleontological Path: winds through the area and go along with guides.
Paleontological Museum of Asti: housed in the "Complex of St. Peter," dating back to centuries. XII is on two floors: the ground floor is a room devoted to paleontology: fossils with local service providers), and in some rooms upstairs have exposed many archaeological finds from various sources (Egyptian, Greek to Roman archaeological material and barbaric).