Is Italy il bel paese-the beautiful country-where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity's greed and nature's cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator's vision of Italy. The fifteen essays in Nature and History in Modern Italy investigate that nation's long experience in managing domesticated rather than wild natures and offer insight into these conflicting visions. Italians shaped their land in the most literal sense, producing the landscape, sculpting its heritage, embedding
Il bel paese : an introduction / Marco Armiero and Marcus Hall -- Foundations -- The distinctive character of Italian environmental history / Piero Bevilacqua -- Upside-down landscapes : seismicity and seismic disasters in Italy / Emanuela Guidoboni -- Moving ground : Vesuvius and the Nola mudslides of the nineteenth century / Walter Palmieri -- Environmental imperialism in Sardinia : pesticides and politics in the struggle against malaria / Marcus Hall -- Commons and forests -- The decline of the commons and the environmental balance in early modern Italy / Gabriella Corona -- Forest visions in early modern Italy / Bruno Vecchio -- Environmental heritage of a past cultural landscape : alder woods in the upper Aveto Valley of the northwestern Apennines / Roberta Cevasco -- Act locally, think nationally : a brief history of access rights and environmental conflicts in Fascist Italy / Wilko Graf von Hardenberg -- Pollution, industry, and urban environment -- Dealing with industrial pollution in Italy, 1880-1940 / Simone Neri Serneri -- Petrochemical modernity in Sicily / Salvatore Adorno -- The Seveso disaster legacy / Laura Centemeri -- Landscape, culture, and environmentalism -- A "natural" capitalism : water and the making of the Italian industrial landscape / Stefania Barca -- Nationalizing the mountains : natural and political landscapes in World War I / Marco Armiero -- Nature preservation and protection in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italy, 1880-1950 / Luigi Piccioni
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