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    Italian bid to host the 2019 XX INQUA Congress in Rome

    Sapienza UniversityOn behalf of the Italian Bid Committee, it is my pleasure to propose the University of Rome main campus as the venue for the XX INQUA Congress, from 21 to 28 July, 2019.

    Sapienza University of Rome is an ancient (700 years) Institution and the largest in Europe; the main campus (Città Universitaria) is an architectural masterpiece of the rationalist style. It is located in central Rome, a few hundreds metres from main railway station where shuttle trains and buses from international airports arrive. Countless hotels and tourist facilities are present nearby, as well as along the subway lines, at walking distance from the campus.

    Within the wall encircling the main campus we have 25 seminar rooms with 100-400 seats available for the congress, plus open spaces to relax and have informal discussions, bars, a post office, a bank, a police station and a kindergarten. The feasibility of such a large congress in a University campus is guaranteed by the success of a 3900 delegates congress on Operational Research held in 2013. The XX INQUA may represent a similar gathering of scientists. The organisers of the 2013 congress have been included in the organising committee.

    The availability of the University campus will enable us to have a particularly small registration fee, which will be half of Bern and 20% smaller than Nagoya, and to hypothesise a robust programme to waive registration fee for ESR (Early Stage Researcher) from developing countries.

    The theme of the congress is “a Mediterranean perspective to Quaternary Sciences” and we strongly believe that the Mediterranean region, so geologically young and active, is the ideal place where to discuss the process and events that shaped the landscape, the environment and the ecosystems in the last 2.58 million years.

    From the glacial systems in the Alps to the desert facing the southern shore, from the large coastal plains and deltas to the rocky coasts where the mountain ranges reach the sea, from the karst to the lacustrine to the volcanic environments, almost all the Quaternary features are present in the region. It is therefore an ideal place to run fieldtrips and host the XX INQUA Congress. After early humans in Durban, the view from the Alps in Bern, and geohazard in Nagoya, in Rome we will have the opportunity to deepen all these subjects together and to discuss their mutual interactions at a Quaternary scale. For instance: did the climatic/eustatic changes in palaeogeography and palaeoenvironment influence the early humans dispersal and the Neolithic revolution from east to west or from south to north? How did changes in tectonic activity, climate and eustasy (and in some cases massive volcanic inputs) interact in determining the stratal architecture of high-order depositional sequences? Are the long-lasting historical archives the clue to fill the gap between the instrumental data and the geological record in defining climate, seismic, volcanic cyclicity and/or evolution?

    These are just examples that could be dealt with in fieldtrips and scientific sessions in Rome/Italy/Mediterranean region in 2019.

    The bid has been prepared enthusiastically by the whole body of Italian Quaternary scientists, a well established scientific community, that follow the many scholars that, since about the late 19th century, have focused on Italian Quaternary deposits and stratigraphic sections.

    The bid is presented by Sapienza University, the National Research Council and the Italian Association for Quaternary Studies (AIQUA). It is supported by the main scientific societies and governmental institutions dealing with Quaternary themes. Last but more importantly, most of the countries (14) from all around the Mediterranean and the Alps strongly support the bid, by offering fieldtrips and contributing to the scientific programme organisation.

    Francesco L. Chiocci

    Coordinator of the Italian Bid Committee