Romagna land of Spungone the Spungone

The Spungone, from the dialect spugnò or spungò for its “spongy” aspect, is a particular type of calcareous sandstone rock that shapes the surrounding hills and that influences the geology of the territory and the local agriculture, in particular the wine and oil production.

The Spungone is made up of a coarse mixture of seashells held together by a calcareous cement. It originates from marine deposits (of a relatively low sea) settled during the Middle Pliocene, about 3 million years ago, on raised areas that constituted the Romagna of that time.

Currently the Spungone forms a sort of rocky ridge that makes up the hills. The most evident outcrops can be observed in the points where the hills are crossed by the course of the rivers, and especially by the Montone river near Castrocaro (the same fortress is built on the Spungone), at the summit of the Bertinoro hill (under the fortress) , on the Rabbi river near Fiumana, and on the Bidente-Ronco river near Meldola.

The Spungone Raw material

The Spungone has been used for centuries as a construction material for bridges and houses because of the easy availability and malleability of this sponge rock, but also to make millstones and as a raw material for manufacturing, after being baked in special ovens.