In this paper the Late Pleistocene carbonatite-melilitite association (CMA) of Italy is evaluated in terms of the Plio-Quaternary extensional structures in the crust and mantle lithosphere. In particular, we briefly discuss the geometry and stress field of the host geological structures, the tectonic control on the eruptive style, the thickness and composition of the lithosphere. Some implications for a passive rift geodynamic environment are also considered.

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