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    Italian bid to host the 2023 XXI 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 XXI INQUA Congress, from 13 to 20 July, 2023.

    We want to resume the pioneeristic spirit of the 4th INQUA Congress, held in Rome and Pisa in 1953. The venue will be the Sapienza University to fully exploit the extraordinary advances in the study of the Quaternary in these decades from the scientific and technological point of view.

    Moreover, in 2023 we will celebrate with special events the 720th year from the foundation of Sapienza and the 150th anniversary of the Geological Survey of Italy.

    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. Many smaller seminar rooms will be available for group meetings. 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 XXI INQUA may represent a similar gathering of scientists.

    The availability of the University campus will enable us to have a particularly small registration fee, which will be half of Nagoya and 30% smaller than Dublin, and to hypothesise a robust programme to waive registration fee for ESR (Early Stage Researcher) from developing countries of the Mediterranean area and elsewhere. The theme of the congress is “a Mediterranean perspective on 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 XXI 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 cyclicality and/ or evolution?

    These are just examples that could be dealt with in fieldtrips and scientific sessions in Rome/Italy/ Mediterranean region in 2023.

    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 Research. It is supported by the main scientific societies and governmental institutions dealing with Quaternary themes. Last but more importantly, many countries 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