Where the Apennine begins

Cultural and naturalistic notes about the Quattro Province area

Mount Alfeo, and mount Carmo behind, seen from Capanne di Cosola / Fabrizio Capecchi


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Apennine, the mountain range running through all the Italian peninsula like a backbone, starts around Turchino pass, between the towns of Genua Voltri and Alessandria *. Some think that the name "Apennine" comes from Pen, Ligurian god of the woods and the mountains, from which the names of mounts such as Penna and Penice would have also derived.

big scale map These pages are devoted to the first northern section of the Apennine, a group of mountains and valleys divided, as for government, into as much as four different provinces and regions: Genua (Liguria), Alessandria (Piedmont), Pavia (Lombardy) and Piacenza (Emilia-Romagna). However, on the cultural side it is an homogeneous area, where people have lived for centuries in similar ways (cultivating cereals, potatoes and chestnuts, rearing sheep and cows, building villages of typical structure, etc.) and have known each other and married across the upper valleys more often than between these and the corresponding lowlands. This unity is especially expressed in the traditional folk music, which has been hence defined that of the Quattro Province (Four Provinces): a phrase seeming the most suitable to denote the region of which we are speaking.

A land of bridges...

Where the Apennine begins : cultural and naturalistic notes about Quattro Province area / editorial staff ; © authors -- <http://www.appennino4p.it/index.en.htm> : 2005.11 - 2006.12 -