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Beautiful people in the Maritime Alps

Local culture

The rye harvest (PNAM archive)

Memories others' footsteps I tread on.

Giovanni Lindo Ferretti

Wherever we are in the Maritime Alps, even deep in the loneliest wildest valley in the Park, far off the beaten track, even there, if we look closely, we can see signs of the passage of someone who has been here before us: the ruins of fortifications high up, shooting hides where the king waited to shoot chamois, the remains of stone walls built by shepherds. The path itself tells us of the people who trod it down the centuries. The Southern Alps are lands of people in movement: for over ten centuries people have been moving over these mountains, to graze them, to trade or look for work, to go to war or defend themselves, as pilgrims or as smugglers.

Over time people learnt to live in the uplands, where the winters are long and the slopes are steep, where you have to know how to build carefully to keep the heat in and avoid avalanches, where being essential is a habit born of necessity, where living means you have no choice but to find an equilibrium with the mountains using resources to the best.

The Alpine scenery of the Maritime Alps is that of the mountains painted by a Romantic artist: no matter that the scenery is wild and the natural elements seem to fill up the whole painting with their disturbing or serene beauty, in a corner of the scene you will always find a wanderer, a hovel, the mark of a path.

This is the secret fascination of the Maritime Alps: severe, wild nature guarding the memory and telling today's story written by generations of mountain dwellers...


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