Quota Mille.
Photographs by Francesco Fossa.
Punctum Press, Italy, 2010. 96 pp., 52 color illustrations, 8x9¾".

Publisher's Description

The Matese, which Francesco Fossa recounts in his book Quota Mille, shows exactly this: another Italy, centuries away from the Rome of today, far from the cellophane world that invades our television screens. It is a solitary world, abandoned by the center of power, defenseless, invaded by the pirates of the energy, water and wind businesses. It is a world of hard people, perched on their mountains, who defend themselves as best they can, even petrifying the outsider with their often horrid state. During my trip, I saw “bottomless gorges, narrow streets; steep curves that cascade into nothingness like Gustave Dore’s illustrations of Dante; signs that point to the Saloon of the hanged or surly canyons like the Bocca della Selva.” These images -- like those that appear in Fossa’s book -- cannot but be indelibly inked in one’s memory. Italy does not love mountain people; it deems them ignorant, rednecks, beasts. Italy lives at sea level, not realizing that her history has played out at a far higher altitude and is based on her pastoral richness. There is no other place like this in the Mediterranean. There is no other mountain so close to the sea -- in fact two seas -- and where migration from highland to lowland happens in a few kilometers and without the nomadic journeys of the Middle East or of North Africa. It is high time to make these places ours; to regard them with pride. These men and women represent our memory; our ancient ties to the land and landscape.

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