Orogenic cycles may be viewed as comprising two extensional stages that are separated by a stage of contraction. This sequence has characterized the evolution of most mountain belts resulting from continental collision, and the structural signature of individual stages is recognized on a wide variety of scales, i.e. from microscopic to regional. Whereas the history of mountain belts is generally inferred from observations carried out at different sites, the entire sequence of deformation is very rarely recorded in single exposures. The double switch in tectonic regime that led to the development of the Lucanian Apennines in southern Italy, from pre-orogenic drifting through synorogenic thrusting to post-orogenic extension, is preserved in a superb metre-scale outcrop at Serra Manarella, in the vicinity of San Fele. A Late Jurassic, synsedimentary normal fault is sealed by strata affected by a Mid-Pliocene thrust-related fold. This composite structure, in turn, is truncated by a Mid-Pleistocene normal fault. Observation of these relationships represents a unique opportunity to unequivocally establish the relative chronology of deformations in the Lucanian Apennines, and may provide useful constraints for regional cross-section restoration.

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