"But memory is not only made by oaths, words and plaques;
it is also made of gestures which we repeat every morning of the world.
And the world we want needs to be saved, fed and kept alive every day.
It is enough to give up a little while and everything is ruined forever.

      Stefano Benni, Saltatempo, 2001

To Stefania and Giulia
      And to the memory of Marcello


A Rugged Nation, by Marco Armiero

Introduction. 1

Wild Mountains, 11
Which Wilderness? 11

Dragons and Other Evils 13

Saving the Dying Mountains 26

Electric Mountains 33

Consuming Mountains 43

Rebel Mountains, 53
Wild Landscapes 53

Sister Mountain 54

The Wild South Show 62

Sharing: Common Uses and Collective Property 76

Heroic Mountains, 87
At the Borders of the Fatherland. 87

Landscape with Bodies 88

Life Is Healthy and the War Gentle. 94

Violated Landscape 99

Dark Mountains, 109
Revelations. 109

Tales of Two Landscapes: Damnation and Redemption 113

Of People and Trees ....114

Of People and Goats ....129

Of Fascists and Mountaineers (A Love Story?) 134

Making Mountaineers 144

Epilogue, 155
Stories, Again 155

Resisting Mountains 156

Dissolving Mountains 173

Bibliography 195

Index............. 215


Pictures and Tables

Physical Map of Europe. Source: wikicommons.

Hunt in the Riccia Forests, Fortore Valley. Five wolves were killed (four appearing in the picture). Photograph by Messinese. Courtesy of Corradino Guacci's private archive (http://www.storiadellafauna.it/).

Hunt in the Campobasso Forests. The hunter in the picture is Corradino Guacci. Courtesy of Corradino Guacci's private archive (http://www.storiadellafauna.it/).

Poisoned Wolf, Mount Matese. Photograph by Gianfrancesco. Courtesy of Corradino Guacci's private archive (http://www.storiadellafauna.it/).

Tagliamento Valley: Lavareit's slide. Source: Touring Club Italiano, L'ltalia fisica (Milan: TCI, 1957), courtesy of Valeria Brigante's private archive.

Illustration by Achille Beltrame, La Domenica del Corriere 13-20 December 1908. Courtesy of Valeria Brigante's private archive.

Table 1.1. Data on deforestation collected in The Forest, the Mountain and the Pasture, p. 17.

Table 1.2. List of hydroelectric companies sponsoring the TCI Committe for Forest Protection.

Monument to Dolcino. Courtesy of the Centra Studi Dolciniani http://fradolcino.interfree. it/index.html. Special thanks to Corrado Mornese.

David Lazzaretti. Courtesy of the Sistema Museale Monte Amiata.

Monte Labbro with ruins. Courtesy of the Sistema Museale Monte Amiata.

Postcard depicting 'Lancers of Montebello' Courtesy of Valeria Brigante's private archive.

Carmine Crocco, brigand. Courtesy of the Museo di Crocco. (http://www.museodicrocco.ilcannocchiale.it). Special thanks to Franco Loriso.

p. 73 Nico Nanco immediately after his murder. Courtesy of the Museo Etnografico AquiloniAMusei, Photograph #23.

p. 78 Table 2.1. Tables from the Proceedings of the Royal Commission for Commons 1902, pp. 69-72.

p. 90 Redipuglia. Photograph by Alessandro Gualtieri, courtesy of the photographer (www.alessandrogualtieri.com).

p. 91 The Alpini War Memorial at the Passo del Tonale. Photograph by Alessandro Gualtieri, courtesy of the photographer (www.alessandrogualtieri.com).

p. 93 Broken Column in memory of the sacrifice of the Alpini. Photograph by Alessandro Gualtieri, courtesy of the photographer (www.alessandrogualtieri.com).

p. 95 Il 'Dito di Dio' sotto la Terza Tofana (Dolomites). [God's finger under the Terza Tofana]. Source: L'Illustrazione Italiana, 1917 Fratelli Treves Editori. Courtesy of Treves Editori.

p. 96 Il Corno di Cavento. Source: L'Illustrazione Italiana, 1917 - Fratelli Treves Editori. Courtesy of Treves Editori.

p. 100 The area of the 5 Torri. Source: L'Illustrazione Italiana, 1919 - Fratelli Treves Editori. Courtesy of Treves Editori.

p. 101 Ruins on the 5 Torri. Photograph by Alessandro Gualtieri, courtesy of the photographer (www.alessandrogualtieri.com).

P. 104 Italian military cableway, Terza Tofana (Dolomites). Source: L'Illustrazione Italiana, 1917 - Fratelli Treves Editori. Courtesy of Treves Editori.

P. 105 Landscape of the Marmolada Massif with stairway cut into the rocks by the Italian Alpine Corps. Photograph by Alessandro Gualtieri, courtesy of the photographer (www.alessandrogualtieri.com).

P. 107 Lagazuoi. Photograph by Alessandro Gualtieri, courtesy of the photographer (www.alessandrogualtieri.com).

P. 107 Detail of the Italian barracks on the Piccolo Lagazuoi. Source: L'Illustrazione Italiana, 1917 - Fratelli Treves Editori. Courtesy of Treves Editori.

p. 109 Monte Giano. Photograph by Pasquale Foto di di pasquale Chiuppi-Antrodoco, courtesy of the photographer.

p. 112 Mussolini, the 'pseudo-skier'. Source: Rivista mensile del Club Alpino Italiano 1937, no. 33. Courtesy of the Italian Alpine Clubs Library. Special thanks to Alessandra Ravelli.

p. 115 Landslide on the Gallico ton cm, 1928. Courtesy of the Fototeca Accademia italiana di scienze forestali, Firenze. Special thanks to Prof. Gabbrielli.

p. 117 Arnaldo Mussolini. Source: wikicommons.

p. 117 Arrigo Serpieri. Courtesy of the Società Italiana degli Economisti. Archivio Storico degli Economisti, (http://ase.signum.sns.it/progetto.html) Special thanks to Valentina Gambardella.

p. 119 Reforestation of the Taverone basin 1938. Courtesy of the Fototeca Accademia italiana di scienze forestall, Firenze. Special thanks to Prof. Gabbrielli.

p. 126 Mussolini 'the tree seed sower'. Source: Milizia Forestale dal V al XV anno dell'Era Fascista 1938 (Bergamo: Officine dell'Istituto di arti grafiche). Courtesy of the Biblioteca civica di Belluno.

p. 131 Goats. Cover of La Conquista della Terra September 1937. Courtesy of the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli. All rights reserved.

p. 139 Ruralism. Cover of La Conquista della Terra. December 1937. Courtesy of the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli. All rights reserved.

p. 161 Partisan Republics. Source: Repubbliche partigiane. A cura degli Istituti Storici di Modena, Parma e Reggio Emilia in 'Cultures et langues-etrangeres (http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/1211883774534/0/fiche_ article#page).

p. 161 Table 5.1. Partisan republics in 1944 from Peli, La Resistenza in Italia, p. 97.

p. 163 Partisans, Valley of Ossola, September-October 1944. Courtesy of the Archivio Fotografico dell'Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea nel Novarese VCO 'P. Fornara'.

p. 165 Partisans. Valley of Ossola, September-October 1944. Courtesy of the Archivio Fotografico dell'Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea nel Novarese VCO 'P. Fornara'.

p. 166 Partisans, Valley of Ossola, September-October 1944. Courtesy of the Archivio Fotografico dell'Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Società Contemporanea nel Novarese VCO 'P. Fornara'.

p. 175 Site of the Vajont Dam. Photograph from the US Army Southern European Task Force. Courtesy from the www.vajont.info. Special thanks to Tiziano Dal Farra.

p. 176 Debris from the Vajont disaster. Photograph from the US Army Southern European Task Force. Courtesy from the www.vajont.info. Special thanks to Tiziano Dal Farra.

p. 177 The Vajont riverbed after the disaster. Photograph from the US Army Southern European Task Force. Courtesy from the www.vajont.info. Special thanks to Tiziano Dal Farra.

p. 183 Tina Merlin. Courtesy of the Associazione Culturale Tina Merlin (http://www.tinamerlin.it/). Special thanks to Toni Sirena.


Unless otherwise stated, translations from the Italian are the author's own.


Tiziano Dal Farra, the creator and mantainer of this space ... Proudly shows this masterpiece...

      Biographical Note

Marco ArmieroMarco Armiero (Ph.D. in Economic History) is an environmental historian currently working as a Senior Researcher at the National Research Council Italy. He was among the founders of the environmental history field in Italy co-authoring with Stefania Barca the first Italian textbook on the subject 'Storia dell'Ambiente. Una Introduzione' (2004). His main topics of study have been the history of environmental conflicts over property rights and access to common resources (forests and sea), the politics of nature and landscape in Italian-nation building and the environmental history of mass migrations. In English, he has published several essays ('Seeing Like a Protester'; 'Enclosing the Sea'; 'Nationalizing Italian Mountains'; 'The Tree and the Machine'), coedited with Marcus Hall the book Nature and History in Modern Italy (2010) and edited Views from the South. Environmental Stories from the Mediterranean World (19th-20th cent.) (2006).

After two short periods of research at the University of Kansas and Brown University, in recent years he has worked at the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University; at the Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department, UC Berkeley; and at The Bill Lane Center for the Study of the American West, Stanford University.

Since February 2010 he has been a Marie Curie Fellow at the L'lnstitut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, working on a project about the political ecology of garbage in contemporary Naples, Italy.


I have people and institutions to acknowledge is for me the best part of writing a book. In all probability, the acknowledgments could stand as a partial substitute for the introduction to this book because they express the true reason why I have written it - to enjoy the company and friendship of the very many people who have marked my path through this project. Meeting all of them has been the best result of my research on Italian mountains.

I want to thank the Italian colleagues with whom I shared my first steps on this journey: Piero Bevilacqua, Giuseppe Civile, Paolo Macry, Duccio Scotto di Luzio, Marco Viscardi and Wilko Graf von Hardenberg. With Wilko I recently started an international network on Nature&Nation studies and my thoughts have been influenced by our common work; therefore, thanks to all the members of the Nature&Nation group.

Without the valuable support of the Istituto di Studi sulle Società del Mediterraneo - CNR I could never have accomplished my research.

Recently I have moved to the ICTA at the UAB in Barcelona, Spain thanks to a Marie Curie Grant (for a project entitled 'LARES - Landscapes of Resistance'); therefore my gratitude goes to them for their unending support. In particular, I want to thank the colleagues at ICTA who have talked with me in seminars, on the metro and at lunch and parties, discussing mountains, memory and history: Joan Martinez Alier, Giorgos Kallis, Christos Zografos, Giacomo D'Alisa and Federico De Maria. They will be relieved that this book is finally done.

I also want to express my gratitude to the US institutions which have supported my research: the Agrarian Studies Program at Yale University (which would not be as it is without Kay Mansfield), the Department of Environmental Science, policy and Management at UC Berkeley and the Bill Lane Center for the Study of the American West at Stanford University. In particular, I had opportunity to discuss my project with Nancy Peluso, Jim Scott, Richard White, Carolyn Merchant and Martin Melosi. I could not have been luckier! To all of them, my thanks for their suggestions, thoughts, support and, first and foremost, their friendship.

In Berkeley I had the opportunity to present my research at a seminar in the Italian Studies Department; I hope I have been able to include in this book something from that wonderful discussion.

In the past few years I have had the opportunity to work with Marcus Hall, gaining advantage from his extensive expertise on Italian environmental history; in addition, he is a wonderful friend - and this helps a lot.

Special thanks to John McNeill who inspired this book and who believed in it when it was more or less just one page long.

I am extremely fortunate to have an extraordnary friend in Donald Worster; meeting him in Kansas when I was only a young postgraduate represented for me the liberating discovery of environmental history and of a good friend. It is Donald's fault if, since our meeting, I have always confused the passion for environmental history with the need to be a better human being.

Many people have helped me in my journey through the Italian mountains. II Nucleo Bibliotecario di Geografia has been my home for several years; I owe so much to its director, Rosa D'Elia, for having facilitated my research in every possible way.

My travels around the U.S., Spain and Portugal, while enriching my life and my scholarship, have also made this research difficult to accomplish. On those occasions, I have come to appreciate some very good friends in Italy. Valeria Rucco has done an incredible job for me in providing many materials from the library of the Nucleo Bibliotecario di Geografia; surely, she has done for me much more than was required by her job. Giovanni Salvietti has been a most instrumental helper on this project. Without his nose for research and his passion for history and mountains, this book would have been much weaker.

My friends in Longarone, Tiziano Dal Farra and Ivan Pollazzon, made possible the section on the Vajont; our friendship is only beginning and I know that it will deepen in the future.
   Once you meet the Vajont, it will stay with you forever.

Mark Walter and Veronika Fukson have been instrumental in the language revision of this manuscript. I owe special thanks to Veronika who has always helped me generously, patiently tolerating me and my language.

An earlier version of Chapter 3 has already been published in the book Nature and History in Modern Italy (Athens, Ohio UP, 2010); I want to express my appreciation to Ohio University Press (www.ohioswallow.com) and especially to Jim Webb for allowing me to publish the essay again.

This book would never have been published without Sarah Johnson; her work at the White Horse Press has made everything smooth and enjoyable.

I am particularly lucky because I share my life with Stefania Barca; I know that I have pilfered ideas, readings and other materials from her. I always feel that my work is not mine alone but co-authored with her. In fact, I am happy to be in that position.

My eleven-year-old daughter Giulia has seen me working on this book for years while she was completing page after page other own books, stories, poems and scripts. She will be relieved that I have finally finished something after all.

My father Mario was not a historian; nevertheless, he was a great storyteller. He transmitted to me his love for words and his passion for narration. He would have preferred to see me as a judge but I am sure that, wherever he is now, he is enjoying my stories.



'Italy is only a geographical expression'.

Klemens von Metternich

It has never been easy to explain the reasons why I decided to write a book like this. People keep asking me, 'A book on the Italian mountains?' with the same dubious expression as if I were presenting a project on fishery communities in the Sahara or pastures and shepherds in New York City.

Italy is the country of art, the Mafia, good food and political scandals; nature does not have a remarkable place in its public representation. In addition, if we want to discuss nature, then we should look for a hybrid version rather than one based on mountains, because the Italian landscape is well known to be human-made, filled with memories and traces of culture. The Tuscan hills are probably the emblem of the stereotypical Italian landscape: olive groves and vineyards with a bell tower in the background are what everyone expects to see and the amount of human agency is rather high in this 'natural' scene. Mountains do not fit very well in this canonical representation; too wild and too northern', they seem to lack the typical ingredients of Italianness. In the international division of nature's work, mountains are everywhere but Italy, as the encyclopaedia of all landscape fantasies - that is, the Tourist Catalogue authoritatively states. Maybe, for Italy, a book on the sea or, even better, one on cities and their surroundings would have worked better. After all, beaches and Historic centres are what everyone wants to see in Italy. If you consider that I myself am not a mountain-climber, the motivation for writing a book like this becomes even more puzzling.

And yet, Italy is indeed one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, with 35 per percent of its territory covered by the Alps and the Apennines and 42 percent by hills. Therefore, if one looks at a geographical map of Europe, writing a book like this should be self-explanatory; an environmental history of it must deal with its rugged terrain. Is that all? Is just an ordinary physical map, one of those that was on the wall of every classroom in an Italian primary school when I was a child, what I need to make my point? Is it that physical geography dictates our history, or at least our narratives about history? This is not a deterministic book and I will not suggest that the orography of the country can explain its history or the basic character of its inhabitants.
Nonetheless, the prevalence of mountains in Italian physical geography may explain several aspects of its history, including the distribution of population and settlements, some economic patterns and even some geopolitical issues. However, I have not chosen those topics for this book. My faith in physical maps does not go so far. In fact, I believe that a physical map makes explicit many aspects that may be hidden in the public memory and can also be deceptive. By definition, it is fixed in time and space, appearing as the immobile background of historical dramas. Clearly mountains are fixed and quite immobile, as are plains and other physic features; nevertheless, as I argue in this book, they have been more dynamic than we think. The making of the nation has been interlaced with the shaping rural landscape in terms of both culture and ecology. Mountains did not move, but their place on the map of the nation did change. They entered and exited from the political representation of the national landscape in a dialecticalrelationship between nature and culture. The phisical mapcannot relate any of those movements; it is unable to show the mutual constituency of the natural and the political; the hierarchies that draw distances and inform our knowledge of space stay hidden in it. Looking at the map is not enough; we want to understand these issues, we need a narrative that blends nature and History. Practically speaking, we 'need' this book.

Historiographically, this book can be considered part ot recent scholarship on the making of national landscapes. It is not by chance that those studies come especially from Europe - that is, from a continent where the discourse of wilderness has never been particularly strong. On the contrary, the concept of landscape seems always to have been the lens through which we have understood European nature, a concept carrying an extraordinary measure of nation in it. As Thomas Lekan and Thomas Zeiler have written in their introduction to Germany's Nature:

For all its conceptual ambiguity and perhaps because of it, landscape offers one of the best tools for conceptualizing and narrating the messy, dynamic interaction between these different elements. It enables scholars to move beyond simple dichotomies between use and abuse, materialism and ideology, representation and reality.1
1. Lekan and Zeller 2005, p. 5.

2. Agnew 2011.

3. On Italian environmental history, in English, see Armiero and Hall (eds.) 2010.

4. Lekan 2004; Blackbourn 2006.

Although, for a long time the English landscape has been the main subject of such studies, representing, according to John Agnew, the 'paradigm case of the significance of a certain idealised landscape as symbolic of national identity', lately Germany has been taking the leading role in the field.2 Actually, John Agnew was advocating new studies that could go beyond the English paradigm, proposing as possible examples Germany and Italy. While studies on Italy remain meagre,3 Germany has inspired several such books, showing e particularity of European environmental history as it engages with cultural, political and social history. Thomas Lekan's and David Blackbourn's books are excellent examples of this scholarship on nation and nature;4 they deliberately go beyond the borders of environmental history, challenging other historians and historical narratives to take nature into account. It is not by chance that Lekan's point of departure is Hobsbawm and his studies on nationalism, which Lekan wants to extend to the natural world.5

My research on mountains and the making of modern Italy is part of that scientific effort, aiming to understand the connections between nature and nation. Raymond Williams once wrote:

'Nation' as a term is radically connected with 'native'. We are born into relationships which are typically settled in a place. This form of primary and 'placeable' bonding is of quite fundamental human and natural importance. Yet the jump from that to anything like the modern nation-state is entirely artificial.6
Rather than denying Williams' point, I have tried to explore the ways in which that 'jump' has historically occurred, merging the artificial with the natural. Concretely, my aim is to investigate the nationalisation of Italian nature, using mountains as a case-study. Hence, this is a book not on mountains per se nor on the making of the nation. Rather it is an exploration of the mutual constituency of both.

Nationalising mountains implied imposing meanings, appropriating resources, enforcing the authority of the State, redefining boundaries between wild and tamed, wise and irrational, beautiful and ugly; it also meant transforming mountaineers into citizens, and sometimes citizens inro mountaineers to make Italians out of soil and rocks. The mix of nature and nation is a dangerous concoction to manage. As David Blackbourn has recently written, no scholar in Germany can be comfortable in speaking of 'people and land', or of 'roots in the land'; these metaphors which connect nature and nation provide a bitter memory of the tragic experiences of European totalitarian regimes.7
Racist theories, deterministic approaches and nationalistic chauvinism seem to be below the surface of any discourse on nature and nation. At the turn of the twentieth century, several historians tried to dismiss the naturalist approach to nations: according to Renan, nation was an 'everyday plebiscite'; and Febvre and Toynbee criticised the idea of natural frontiers as the 'natural' features of homeland. Nations are historical rather than ecological products; mixing the two has brought anything but good.8

5. Lekan 2004, p. 5.

6. Williams 1983, p. 180.

7. Blackbourn 2006, p. 18.

8. 'However, when it is not accompanied by serious critical analysis, an emotional link between landscape and nation can be politically suspect. The search for rootedness in place, in other times and places, has led to politically unpleasant consequences: the German conception of Heimat is an obvious case in point'; in Johnson 2007, p. 177.

9. This is David Blackbourn's approach to the German landscape. As he wrote, "There are two different ways of saying that history occurs in space as well as time. Real space and imagined space. The landscapes that feature in the title of this book come in two kinds. There is the cultural construct framed by the observer; and there is the physical reality of rock, soil, vegetation, and water ... When I write about the making of the modern German landscape, it is in this double sense. The two meanings complement each other. They represent two halves of a single history'; in Blackbourn 2006, p. 15.

10. White 1999, p. 223.

Nevertheless, precisely the fact that we are managing an explosive potion is evidence that nature did have agency in the invention of nations; there would be no imagined communities without a place transformed into the Fatherland. The mutual constituency of imagined communities and constructed natures is at the very core of this book. I speak of 'constructed' nature and not just of imagined nature because I want to stress again the hybridity of that process; nature is socially constructed in the sense that it has been made by generations of people working, living and narrating it but the social, blending with nature, bonds itself to environmental materiality.

Therefore, I reject the dichotomist approach that seeks to divide culture and nature, narratives and environments. As I will show in the following pages, the Italian mountains have been shaped by words and bombs, by the narratives of modernisation and the tonnes of concrete which brought that modernisation to life through dams, roads and railways.9
The result is a hybrid landscapeand, therefore, a hybrid book. Undoubtedly, purists will be disappointed by both: those who want a cultural history of nature will find too much 'stuff' in it, while, according to hard-core materialists, the nature I present in this book will have too many extra doses of narratives to be true. Hopefully, there will be readers who, like myself, are more at ease with hybridity than with purity, unafraid of blending approaches and sources; after all, the world does not turn around our scholarly disputes and rules. Using Richard White's words, we need to deal with a 'mixed and dirty world in which what is cultural and what is natural become less and less clear and as hybrids of the two become more and more common'.10
Nonetheless, in my understanding, hybridity is not the simple victory of the cultural or social; otherwise, it would not be hybrid. Therefore, although I have built a large part of this book on narratives about mountains and their place in the national discourse, I share Donald Worsrer's preoccupation with the risks inherent in discursive reductionism. My point is not to deny the existence of a mountain nature outside narratives and this book. Monte Bianco and a forest, a war memorial and a glacier, a pasture and a reservoir represent very different combinations and percentages of nature and artefact. As Worster argues, nature is at once independent from us and created by us.11 Rather than striving to measure how much of a given landscape is natural or artificial, I am interested in analysing how nature and culture have interacted in shaping the landscape and the social practices of looking at it and using it. It seems to me that the Italian experience, with its rich and ancient stratification of memories in a relatively tiny and crowded environment, offers an excellent case-study for understanding the incorporation of nature into the construction of the nation through both political discourse and social practice. In other words, rather than looking at nature as discourse, I am intrigued by the opposite perspective - that is, by the fact that nature has always been significant in the discourse about national identity and the practice of nationalising space, memory and people. One could say that in this book I am striving to 'materialise' discourses rather than 'dematerialise' nature.12 In the following pages I propose a journey through those narratives that have incorporated mountains into Italian national discourses, showing how nature and national narratives have embodied one within the other.

11. Worster 1989, p. 302.

12. From this point of view, I completely share the approach proposed by Linda Nash, who expresses this idea better than I: 'Any environmental history must confront the idea that the environment about which we write is, inevitably, something that we always understand through language and certain cultural practices ... But like most environmental historians, I remain committed to a materialistic view of the world. I am interested not only in how people talked about environment and disease, but also in what happened on the ground, the changing pattern of disease, the changing use of the land, the changing qualities of air, water, and soil. Consequently, I do not hew to either a materialistic or a cultural approach, nor have I tried to separate out the two. That is precisely the point. Our understandings of environment and disease are shaped simultaneously by culture and by material realities of the world. These stories need to be told together';
in Nash 2006, p. 10.

Discourses about wildness/wilderness are one of the main threads of this book. Starting from Chapter 1,1 will analyse the ways in which the nation has incorporated the wildness/wilderness of mountains into its narrative; of course, this process has implied some form of appreciation of their natural beauty, even if soon commodified into goods for the tourist market. Nevertheless, the Italian version of wild/wilderness was basically a declensionist narrative about ruined landscape and degraded people, which called fo r reclamation and taming rather than appreciation. The extensive hydrogeological instability affecting all of Italy needed a narrative on taming the wilderness based on the categories and practices of ordering chaos and regimenting natural forces. Forestation policies and hydroelectric imperialism were the faces of these discourses on the Italian mountains; both imposed meanings and rules on places and local people, generally shifting from the wellbeing and interests of local mountain communities to the health of nature and the interests of nation. In Chapter 2 I explore how the taming and ordering of mountain nature also included the taming and ordering of its inhabitants; the continuous transfer of qualities from nature to humans is the other leading thread in national narratives about mountains.
Mountains have always been places of rebellion where the State struggled to impose its rules and institutions. Heretics, bandits and smugglers - these were the mountaineers, according to the inhabitants of the plains; and evidently, just like streams and landslides, they also needed to be tamed.

In particular, in Chapter 2 I will use the peasant uprising in southern Italy, following the 1860 political unification of the country, as a case study showing the nationalisation/taming of both people and mountains. In the narrative about wild mountains I also include the discourse on common property, the basic way of organising the social appropriation of nature in these environments, showing how the imposition of private property was another face of the nationalisation process. According to these narratives, the wilderness of mountains somehow passed from nature to people and to their social relationships. The results of this hybridisation were different and even contradictory; while the wilderness of the southern Apennines produced savage rebels, people from the Alps seemed to preserve a sort of genetic patrimony ready to be used as the nation needed.
- As I argue in Chapter 3, this kind of narrative was promoted during World War One in celebrating the Alpini (the Italian Alpine Corps). The rhetoric of the stubborn and fierce mountaineer defending the Fatherland along the sacred borders of the Alps became a fundamental narrative of the war. During the Great War this process of nationalisation of people and of places reached its acme. Regarding places, the war annexed the Alps into the nation in two ways, obviously through the military conquest of territories that had been part of the Austrian Empire but also through the inclusion of otherwise out-of-the-way places in the emotional map of the nation.
- In Chapter 3 we will see this politicisation of war's landscape as a repository ofthe collective memory of the nation. The exaltation of mountaineers as the genuine prototype of the 'Italian race' became the basic ingredient of the fascist discourse on mountains.

Datasheet about this....

published 2011 by The White Horse Press
- In Chapter 4 I will analyse these fascist narratives in the context of the regime's more general discourse on ruralism vs. urban environment and culture. I will uncover the patent contradictions between the celebration of mountaineers and repressive policies against them which became clear with the militarisation of ranger corps and the 'battle against goats'. While historians have accepted Anna Bramwell's arguments and generally dismissed any environmental reference in Italian Fascism,13 I argue here that fascists did indeed have their environmental narrative, which became environmental politics and policies. Improvement rather than conservation was the keyword in fascist discourse and practices about nature; in turn, as I explain in Chapter 4, in the process of being politicised, mountains naturalised fascist narratives about the nation.

In the Epilogue I end this book with two stories about nation and mountains in contemporary Italy.
In the first I show the links between democracy and mountains in Italian history, covering the Resistance against Nazi-Fascist occupation in 1943-45. The experience of Resistance was deeply rooted in mountains, the embodiment of freedom; a Copernican revolution reversed the political and moral geography of the nation, placing mountains at its core and leaving cities on the periphery. But it lasted only during that extraordinary historic period;

in fact, the second story offers a tragic and eloquent parable about the strange mix of marginalisation and centrality of mountains and mountaineers in the aftermath of World War Two. The highest arched dam in the world, a reservoir with 150 million cubic metres of water capable of producing 800 million kwh annually, 2,000 people dead-these facts can effectively summarise the story of the 'Great Vajont', which tells of the inclusion of remote alpine valleys in modernity and, more precisely, provides proof that the modernisation of the nation passed through those remote valleys. Although placed at the centre of the modernisation process, becoming the powerhouse of the nation, these valleys still remained marginal, included in the national narrative in a subaltern position.
13. Bramwell 1989, pp. 169-171

14. Even though I am aware that the use of this word in this context is very controversial, I have decided to employ it to make explicit the connection between my own interpretation of the event and the one expressed by the lawyer Sandro Canestrini, who, defending the interests of the survivors, spoke of a 'genocide of the poors' (Canestrini, 2003).

15. Weber 1989, p.12, from the Italian translation.

16. Sievert 2000.

17. Graf von Hardenberg 2010.

18. Gabaccia 1999, p. 1116.

In the Epilogue we will see that the 'genocide'14 of 2,000 people was the predictable effect of this inclusion of the Alps in national modernisation.

In summarising this book, I realise how many topics are missing; as Eugene Weber wrote about his own book on the making of peasants into French citizens, there is no way that a study like this can be exhaustive.15 I do not offer a section on the creation of Italian national parks, although they were largely placed in mountain areas. The connections between the creation of these parks and national discourses were less meaningful in Italy than in other countries where nature embodied the very essence of the Fatherland. In addition, James Sievert's excellent book, The Origins of the Italian Conservationism, has already thoroughly covered this issue16 and Wilko Graf von Hardenberg is in the process of releasing his research on fascist policies regarding national parks.17 Emigration is also largely missing from this book, but not from the Italian mountains. I am convinced that it deeply affected the socio-ecological relationships in the mountains and actually also on the plains; furthermore, national and local identity has been moulded into the experience of migration, as Donna Gabaccia has shown.18 Isn't it true that the environmental history of Italy has been deeply affected by these movements of people from mountains to the industrial cities on the plains? Although I recognise these deficiencies, I am also aware that a book can, if allowed, be a never-ending process; an encyclopaedia is tempting.

I envisioned this project as an attempt to engage environmental history with political, cultural and social history. Wolves and fascists, hydroelectric companies and mountain climbers, war memorials and scolytid beetles cohabit in the pages of this book. I know that this will seem odd to some.

Never mind. Mountains have never been places for conformity.




Copyright © Marco Armiero

First published 2011 by The White Horse Press, 10 High Street, Knapwell, Cambridge, CB23 4NR, UK

Set in 11 point Adobe Garamond Pro

Printed by Lightning Source

All rights reserved. Except the quotation of short passages for the purpose of criticism or review, no part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, including photocopying or recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 978-1-874267-64-5

* * * * *

*** 2013 UPDATE !!!! NEW YEAR GIFT !!! ***

Download this BOOK HERE [http://www.environmentandsociety.org/mml/book-armiero-marco-rugged-nation-mountains-and-making-modern-italy]:

- Download PDF - armiero.pdf

- View PDF online - armiero.pdf

* * * * *


so Toni Sirena told

vajontOrgLogo - somerights_CC - Fatta a mano con un Mac - icraLogo

Problemi col sito? Dissensi?
Segnalazioni, commenti, informazioni?

0    0    0    0
Write me_Escrìbeme_Schreib_mir_Scrivimi

Un tempo, leggevi queste cose e ti trovavi su www.vajont.org.
Poi sbucarono - e vennero avanti - i delinquenti, naturalmente quelli istituzionali ....

Ai navigatori. Sono tutte pagine "work-in-progress" - e puo' essere che qualche link a volte non risulti efficiente, soprattutto quelli obsoleti che puntano (puntavano) a dei siti web esterni.
Scusate, e eventualmente segnalatemelo indicandomi nella mail la pagina > riga > link fallace.

[Home page] [Visite Museo] [Video - Video, 2 - Video, 3] [Libri] [Memoria] [Cimitero] [Cronologia] [Audio] [Cazzate] [CURIOSITA'] [Canzone] [Credits] [ENGLISH english pages]

Ritagli di giornali, libere opinioni, ricerche storiche, testi e impaginazione di: Tiziano Dal Farra
(se non diversamente specificato o indicato nel corpo della pagina)

VOMITO, ERGO SUM. Nella foto sotto, il *Giardino delle bestemmie* attuale, un fal$o TOTALE dal 2004: falso storico, fattuale, e IMMORALE da 3,5 mln di Euro. Un FALSO TOTALE targato sindaco De Cesero Pierluigi/Comune di Longarone 2004 che da allora riproduce fedelmente in schema, come foste in un parco a tema di Rimini, il campo "B" di Auschwitz/Birkenau in miniatura. Ah, e i cippi sono di FALSO "marmo di CARRARA". E con questi $oggetti, come poteva essere diversamente? anche questa asserzione (oltreché un REATO) è un palese FALSO, autografato e *su carta intestata* dal Sindaco (ripeto, sottolineo, ribadisco) *delinquente*.