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LINEA MAIXEI walking a story

Caterina Tioli Matteo Viviano


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Design by Caterina Tioli Additional writing and editing Matteo Viviano Research Caterina Tioli Matteo Viviano Photo Caterina Tioli Matteo Viviano Prooduction editing Caterina Tioli

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I like the symmetry of intertwining lines, places and time, between distance and time, between stones and distance, between time and stones. Richard Long

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We would like to thank our teachers, Ester van de Wiel and Mara Skujeniece for guiding us through the process for graduation. Our parents, for introducing us into the architecture world, the art and design field. For giving us the opportunity to study at Design Academy Eindhoven. The people that walked with us along the path. Luca Drovandi, and his association Muri a Secco Liguri Apuani, for introducing us to the technique of dry stone walls. The University of Architecture in Genova for the cartographic material. Stella di Lemmen for showing us the positive reality of restoration. Salvatore, Marina, Lorenza, Elio, Gianmarco and Armando for letting us see the path through different eyes. Anna, our friend, for being our assistant in the second trip to Italy. And to finish, Hans van der Markt, for teaching us the beauty and poetry in a research process. For allowing us to reconnect with our origins, in our projects and design.

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Index Introduction

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What Where When Who

9 13 17 21

Research on the field

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1.The technique

1.1. The man - the movements 1.2 The material - the construction 1.3 The man and the material - the tools

2.The problematics

2.1 The materil - the fragility of the stone 2.2 The material and the man - the importation of the stone 2.3 The man - the fragmentation of the fields 2.4 The man and the material - the restoration

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29 39 47

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53 63 71 81

Research on maps

91

The path

101

The stories

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Schiara Stella di Lemmen

93 97

Armando Salvatore Lorenza Elio Marina Gianmarco

107 111 115 119 123 127

Conclusion

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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION


What

Terraces, and in general dry stone works, are the result of a gigantic work over the centuries and culture of stone. It is a cultural heritage, delicate for its constructive characteristics as its conservation requires constant mantainence. Apart from some rare cases, it is in an advanced state of abandonment, and therefore of degradation, due to the changed conditions of land use and socio-economic development.

What

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INTRODUCTION


What

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INTRODUCTION


Where

The Ligurian population had to create ingenious structures on the slope of the hills and mountains, due to a lack of easily cultivated flat stretches. The result are wide steps, terraces or support bands bordered and contained by kilometers of dry stone walls called in dialect “Maixei� Nowdays, the drywall is the image of Liguria. Its replacement would mean the destruction of a centuries-old pesant tradition. They are an example of high architecture with a pleasant naturalistic impact. Large and important examples can be admired in the area of Cinqueterre, Riviera Ligure. They are used in the cultivation of the vine or in that of Ponente for the cultivation of the olive tree.

Where

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Google Earth image 2019 Digital Globe

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INTRODUCTION


Google Earth image 2019 Digital Globe

Where

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Magiche Cinque Terre : da Portovenere a Monterosso tra terra, cielo e mare, Paolo Nevi

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INTRODUCTION


When

The history of the Maixei, from the Latin maceries or dry stone wall, dates back to the Iron Age about a thousand BC, they are built manually with local stones often roughly squared. The use of this walls gave a few advantages: zero cost of the stone, a very small transport problem and by being a local material it was more resistant to atmospheric agents and better suited to the landscape.

When

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Magiche Cinque Terre : da Portovenere a Monterosso tra terra, cielo e mare, Paolo Nevi

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INTRODUCTION


Magiche Cinque Terre : da Portovenere a Monterosso tra terra, cielo e mare, Paolo Nevi

When

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Magiche Cinque Terre : da Portovenere a Monterosso tra terra, cielo e mare, Paolo Nevi

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INTRODUCTION


Who

Unfortunately, the art of building dry stone walls and the consequent maintenance activity have become irregular, leading to the abandonment of the cultivable areas with this technique. Besides being a historical and cultural heritage, they are testimony to how farmers have been able to coexist with a rugged land characterized by hills, mountains and areas overlooking the sea.

Who

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Magiche Cinque Terre : da Portovenere a Monterosso tra terra, cielo e mare, Paolo Nevi

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INTRODUCTION


Magiche Cinque Terre : da Portovenere a Monterosso tra terra, cielo e mare, Paolo Nevi

Who

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


1 THE TECHNIQUE

THE TECHNIQUE

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11 .

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THE TECHNIQUE The man

The movements

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


First day on the field following the reconstruction of a dry stone wall for terracing. We worked side by side with specialists, discovering gestures and body languages.

THE TECHNIQUE - The man - The movements

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The man - The movements

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The man - The movements

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The man - The movements

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The man - The movements

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12 .

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THE TECHNIQUE The material The construction

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


The technique has some basic rules and structures - basamento, corso, chiave, inclinazione, chiusura... - but they always differ according to soil and stone qualities and problematics. Manuals do exist, but the only useful tool to develope knowledge is field experience.

THE TECHNIQUE - The material - The construction

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The material - The construction

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The material - The construction

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The material - The construction

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13 .

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THE TECHNIQUE The man & the material The tools

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


Local farmers consider building a dry wall a sort of art. Therefore every piece of art requires specific tools to be made. The farmer’s tradition always works with basics tools which use is extended or transformed: that is what happened within this technique. “[...] this art of transforming the land according to a form of balance and relationship between artifice and nature is akin to the work of some “artists” and in the research of some architects, who work in the landscape with a particular attention to the structure of nature and its phenomena.” - K. Muscarella

THE TECHNIQUE - The man & the material - The tools

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE TECHNIQUE - The man & the material - The tools

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


2 THE PROBLEMATICS

THE PROBLEMATICS

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21 .

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THE PROBLEMATICS The material

The fragility of the stone

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


The existence of the stones, their time and use, are related to their fragility and friability. It becomes harder and harder to work with them and maintaining the original idea of using stones from the land, called “spietramento� - stone clearing.

THE PROBLEMATICS - The material - The fragility of the stone

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material - The fragility of the stone

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material - The fragility of the stone

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material - The fragility of the stone

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material - The fragility of the stone

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22 .

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THE PROBLEMATICS The material & the man The importation of stones

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


Historically dry stone walls have been built as a consequence of “spietramento� - stone clearing. Indeed, the stones were removed from the fields allowing a better cultivability and located along the borders becoming fences. Already in the past, a possible lack of stones was filled with extraction from small local quarries. Today the extended use after time and the stone cleavage led to an increase of this lack. Since local quarries are no longer allowed from law, the stones are transported by helicopters directly from other extraction points, often not even regional. This solution leads to a strong visual formal contamination breaking a local balance and evoking ethical questions.

THE PROBLEMATICS - The material & the man - The importation of stones

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material & the man - The importation of stones

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material & the man - The importation of stones

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The material & the man - The importation of stones

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THE PROBLEMATICS The man

The fragmentation of the lands

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


The physical and constructive needs, the social and economic situation such as agriculture, led to a geometric definition of the landscape. Field fragmentation finds its origins in a ancient method. To preserve coltivations, old farmers used to own lands in different areas. In case of storms part of the yield would be preserved. Additionally, inheritance changes during the years brought the land to be divided.

THE PROBLEMATICS - The man - The fragmentation of the lands

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man - The fragmentation of the lands

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man - The fragmentation of the lands

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man - The fragmentation of the lands

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man - The fragmentation of the lands

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THE PROBLEMATICS The man & the material The restoration

RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


One of the biggest cause of hydrogeological instability is land abandonment and lack of maintenance. What is not controlled, it is eaten by nature: pine trees and mediterranean scrub took over cultivated terracing during time transforming them in forests. Threes’s roots haunt the ground and destroyed dry stone walls useful to maintain compact the mountain. It is not easy to vanquish an uncultivated from wild vegetation especially after decades of growth.

THE PROBLEMATICS - The man & the material - The restoration

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man & the material - The restoration

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man & the material - The restoration

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man & the material - The restoration

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RESEARCH ON THE FIELD


THE PROBLEMATICS - The man & the material - The restoration

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RESEARCH ON MAPS

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Google Earth image 2019 Digital Globe RESEARCH ON MAPS


SCHIARA

SCHIARA

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SELECTION OF AREAS The area of study is Schiara, a village only reachable by walk. Most of the lands in this area are nowdays abandoned. The images are collected by google maps in a range of 11 years - 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017. The comparison clearly show the action of the man on the land. Both, when it’s about taking over, from nature to human, or when it’s about abandonig the space, from human to nature.

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RESEARCH ON MAPS


2006

2009

2012

2015

2016

2017

Google Earth image Digital Globe

SCHIARA

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Google Earth image 2019 Digital Globe RESEARCH ON MAPS


STELLA DI LEMMEN

STELLA DI LEMMEN

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SELECTION OF AREAS The area of study is Stella di Lemmen, an Organic Agricoltural Enterprise. This farm was born by collecting lands from different owners. In 4 years they reclaim the area. The images are collected by google maps in a range of 11 years - 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017. The comparison clearly show the action of the man on the land. Both, when it’s about taking over, from nature to human, or when it’s about abandonig the space, from human to nature. 104

RESEARCH ON MAPS


2006

2009

2012

2015

2016

2017

Google Earth image Digital Globe

STELLA DI LEMMEN

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THE PATH

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SELECTION OF THE PATH The analysis of the material gained during the field research has been used to construct a research method. This method sees a co-design with local people and aims to tell stories of a landscape and its context. The method has been applied to a pilot area located between the villages of Schiara and Fossola in the natural park of Cinqueterre. A toolkit containing a map and an analog camera has been given to 6 different local characters, which have been walking ancient paths that connect the two villages.

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THE PATH


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THE STORIES

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ARMANDO

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THE STORIES


“My name is Armando. When I worked I was employed at the archaeological and ethnographic museum of La Spezia. I photographed stones with incisions, with dates, names, these kind of things. It is as if the man wanted to point out his presence even in the times following his demise, so there are very old dates, names, depictions of steamboats of the sailing ships. So probably they were either the memory of someone who had made some sea voyage or someone who had heard some story from the sea or perhaps someone who simply saw these boats passing on the horizon from these heights and then thought of representing them on the stones as well as a durable sign. To recover the territory would be a very important thing, but I see it as a very difficult thing because it is too impervious, there is a fearful slope. It is a completely artificial territory built with patience and with the work of centuries, I would say, if not for millennia that led to this result. Because in practice what is Tramonti? Tramonti is ultimately a gigantic staircase. If we could look see it from the sea, because obviously standing inside it is impossible to actually perceive what Tramonti is. We have only two views: from bottom to top or top to bottom. So we can’t really perceive the true reality of this territory. But if we walk away with a boat and see it from afar it looks like what it is: a very large staircase, where the steps are the plains themselves, the walls, and the treads are the cultivable areas, These vineyards are also very low, because there is a reason. Here a strong wind blows so if they had put the vines with very vertical development the wind could break them. Instead they are bent and almost shave the ground, so much so that the peasants of the past, but even now, when they have to hoe the ground they are on their knees so they do not stand. They use a tool that is a two-pronged pitchfork to remove these stones, because in practice the ground is more stone than earth. There are small plots. Why such a thing? There is a reason, I had heard many years ago from the locals, they explained to me that they divide the land, having a piece here, a piece more distant, so it was a practical way to avoid damage caused by bad weather, particularly hail. This territory has been frequented here for at least a thousand years but the construction of the walls as we see them has been going on for centuries, certainly for centuries. But we cannot know before, we have no proof, we have nothing concrete that can explain why.�

ARMANDO

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THE STORIES


ARMANDO

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SALVATORE

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THE STORIES


“My name is Salvatore Campagna, everyone calls me Pino because it’s easier and I teach sculpture. I’ve seen some big stones that held something and then these dry stone walls that curved. It was very fascinating the fact that this stone managed to be soft in its line. All the green intense that was there compared to large masses of stones that drew powerful textures. Then the impressive thing is that you are in contact with the sea and the sea is difficult to to reach. But the sea continues to enter inside you continuously. It is particular thing, very particular. What fascinated me and I photographed it was these lines that at a certain point they began to curve and this seemed to me something that slightly surpasses what it was the need. Perhaps we went from the need to the aesthetic sense that it is strange to see it in something you do with effort to hold a knoll or to have a plot of earth, to also find a part that can just give you pleasure as well as functionality let’s say. What nature is, it’s very powerful, if this is an artifice of the man, it is functional to nature. Therefore it would be nice if there were so many artifices like this, because usually the man tends to do other type of artifice. This is harmonised. So yes, it’s an artifice but of a wise man.”

SALVATORE

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THE STORIES


SALVATORE

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LORENZA

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THE STORIES


“I am Lorenza. I come from Milan, but I live in La Serra, nearby, and I am currently a teacher of art history, but I am also an architect. In this part of the earth that seems so slightly abandoned, at the same time nature has a series of elements that are absolutely traces of the man. That’s what I always wonder when I go here. I mean, the steps, the washhouse, the fountain .. this whole part, how to say, which is part of nature, of the landscape itself, but which on the other hand marks the presence of a man who is no longer there. There are lots of fences made of metal bed bases. On one hand a very very accentuated care, on the other hand a neglect which is also part of what the man has done here, who is still doing now. In the end of the path I almost, I don’t say appreciated, but justified the nets, because they are really now also part of the time. I think of the peasants as if they don’t notice these things, they work here, they have this tradition of ... which is also something almost intelligent, isn’t it? In the sense that in any case it is always a recycling. The dry-stone wall is a technique that in short, if I understand correctly, it works when you cultivate it, if you don’t cultivate the dry-stone wall it comes down like any other wall of architecture, so even if it’s not for the inside of a house, it’s still a wall and it stands on if the whole system holds, the system of the mountain. I also find the wall a bit hard as a construction. Yes, but we like it from the impact point of view it is a very invasive form of human presence on nature. The wall is absolutely a form of urbanisation by the man as a road, as a city and like these it has a very strong impact, as a Parisian boulevard in short. Certainly, this is done in Paris and that is done here, but the impact is very strong. Then it is a need for urbanisation but it is a very present fact. The only thing is to understand how useful this is. Because obviously architecture, construction always needs the man to be present, otherwise it continues to become a ruin. So the dry stone wall makes sense to restore it and it also makes sense as a logical thread, isn’t it? That is, it traces a process of urbanisation of this part. After that, like all architecture, if it is not used, and this must be used for cultivation, it does not make sense to even do it.”

LORENZA

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THE STORIES


LORENZA

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ELIO

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THE STORIES


“I’m Elio. I live in Lerici. I’ve been living here for 20 years. What made me come and live here is the love for the sea, for nature. I thought about the people who lived, who worked these territories, the difficulties. I am also very interested in nature of plants, vegetation, type and typology of plants, both tall and flowery, and then crops. In particular the cultivation of the vine. The thing, let’s say, that catches the attention is that it has practically been abandoned in the past years and so you see a little this .. There is a bit of desolation in the landscape that.. there are not.. It seems that there are no prospects for the future. Young people are not interested in them. The people who cultivate, the people who dedicate themselves to the territory they are still people who .. of a certain age. Then clearly since there are no young people, there is not an active presence in the countryside and this clearly determines the abandonment and therefore the problems here. There are few properties of a certain size. Therefore I think it’s also difficult to start an agricultural business profitable because the plots are very small. Even if there are quality productions like, I don’t know, in the cultivation of the vine, there is the production of wines like Sciacchetrà, like other wines from the Cinque Terre that are however, they are renowned for their small production. People no longer live the territory as before, where let’s say, the farmer was daily on the ground. By being an after-work the economy has shifted from agriculture to commerce, to industry, to tourism. The residents, people no longer inhabit the agriculture, the countryside, the territory. It has become a second job let’s say, so time is relative. The time dedicated to the territory is relative.”

ELIO

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THE STORIES


ELIO

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MARINA

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THE STORIES


“My name is Marina. I studied philosophy a long time ago right now I don’t have a precise job but I deal with ceramics, weaving, felt a lot of other things. I really liked how they collect water, I mean the use of small channel to make cisterns invented with bins. I liked seeing bees, putting beehives. At that point it was beautiful. And I find it brave those who continue to do these things because clearly it is not something that it has a real economic outlet but it gives great satisfaction. It is a love for the land. The ancient work is beautiful, isn’t it? Because we see the work done centuries ago. The dry stone walls are beautiful but what I really liked to see that even now there is someone who despite the fatigue, the rhythm of life that we have completely different even now he leaves with verdigris, comes to give the verdigris, prunes, binds, puts bees and continues to live it. Feeling connected to that territory even if you do not live there anymore or maybe you live in La Spezia you live a little further away. But there is a love for the territory as an origin. This is a mountain that nature would have done in another way but men have supported it by their physical strength. The earth is very precious, it could go away any moment and therefore must be contained and you can’t but love that land because it is little and therefore you contain it with stones it is what once allowed you to survive now it allows you to still have your landscape of the soul.”

MARINA

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THE STORIES


MARINA

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GIANMARCO

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THE STORIES


“My name is Gianmarco Gorlandi. I am almost eighteen years old. I live in Aulla in Tuscany in the Lunigiana. I like to deal with social and environmental issues in general, what concerns the world in general, society and the economy. In the future I hope to be able to do something useful to change the fate of the world. The man wherever he goes is a bit like a pencil: he leaves a mark but it can be erased just a little, or you can improve this sign. The problem perhaps lies in this, in not wanting to improve that sign, try to make it more evident, better and treat that sign. The old houses abandoned for the same reason. The man was there and today is gone. The reason I don’t know. Perhaps the change of a social system over time, something that has pushed man to abandon the fields towards a so-called industrialised society, towards a consumeristic society. In my opinion it is necessary to take a step back in development, stop pursuing the great technologies that bring us back as people and try to enhance those paths that our grandparents, our great-grandparents have traveled before us, try to give that value that the earth really has and that we take for granted, too often, usurping it or trivially not caring about what our gestures can do to the whole environment. Certainly we need someone, society in short, to remember us how agriculture is the base of all human society. Agriculture, breeding, in short, all these arts that are being lost and that are arts, therefore, must be learned, not lost, and handed down. The man of today has probably the duty indeed to recover them and make them a fulcrum for the future. Try to carry on that thread just as if it was a soul of a place. Ours is a territory, the Ligurian one very particular, which over time has been adapted to the needs of humans and today this thing is not remembered much, it is not considered. The purposes that are given, the uses that are given to our territory are others that perhaps are not even in tune with the nature of the place itself and what would deserve the territory and the whole environmental system.�

GIANMARCO

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THE STORIES


GIANMARCO

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CONCLUSION

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The study of traditions and techniques such as dry stone wall and terracing are topic of analysis and researches since the beginning of the 18th century. “Linea Maixei� has collected many arguments about those topics within the contemporary perspective. The dry stone wall has been defined harmonious artifice from a wise man, associated with Parisian boulevards for their heaviness on the landscape or to memories of an unreachable past. What appears is about the perspective we look at things. Our eye is educated by our experiences and those make us see differently the context we are absorbed in. The professional knowledge and life experiences of the six local characters interviewed in Linea Maixei showed six different way of reading the same landscape.

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IMAGES

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Dry stone wall La Serra - Lerici 3

Dry stone wall La Serra - Lerici 4

Collapsing dry stone wall La Serra - Lerici 8

Terracing dry stone walls and olives trees La Serra - Lerici 12

Dry stone walls La Serra - Lerici 14

Terracing La Serra - Lerici 16

Google Earth image Europe 18

Google Earth image Italy 18

Google Earth image Liguria 18

Google Earth image Area from Fossola to Schiara 19

Vineyards and Ferale rock Biassa 20

Cultivation of vines in the characteristic sloping strips towards the sea and the valley Monterosso 22

Vineyards overlooking the sea Corniglia 23

The habit of bringing alced loads on the head along the paths was very much alive. Almost exclusively by women, while the men worked in the factories of La Spezia Corniglia 24

Stairs and fields Manarola 26

Vineyard Cinque Terre 27

Modelling the stone Schiara 34

Modelling the stone Schiara 36

Modelling the stone Schiara 37

Creating space for the stone Schiara 38


Cleaning the stone Schiara 40

Construction of a wall Schiara 47

Moving the stone Schiara 41

Construction elements called “chiave”. It’s a long stone that stabilize the wall. Schiara 44

The accumulation of water in one place creates a pitch that In the back side of the wall, small rocks are positioed to create weakens the wall. the drainage of water. Schiara Schiara 48 49

Construction of a wall Schiara 46

Mazza Schiara 52

Pala Schiara 52

Picchetta a doppio taglio Schiara 53

Filo or Lenza Schiara 53

Scalpello Schiara 52

Filo a piombo Schiara 52

Picco Schiara 53

Secchio Schiara 53

Mazzetta Schiara 52

Cazzuola Schiara 52

Punta Schiara 53

Spago Schiara 53

Old dry stone wall Schiara 58

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Collapsing dry stone wall Schiara 59

Broken stones Schiara 60

Broken stones Schiara 61

Broken stones Schiara 62

Broken stones Schiara 63

Broken stones Schiara 64

Reconstructed dry stone walls with the use of imported stones Stella di Lemmen 68

Bags of imported stones Stella di Lemmen 70

Bags of imported stones Stella di Lemmen 71

Dry stone wall reconstructed with imported stones Monterosso 72

Reconstruction of a wall with imported stones Monterosso 73

The use of net of old beds is commong to create fences Schiara 76

Fences in wood Schiara 78

Fences in wood and old bed frames Schiara 79

Fences in metal and old bed frames Schiara 80

Fences in metal and old bed frames Schiara 81

Fences in metal and dry stone wall Schiara 82

Restoration of old fields Stella di Lemmen 86

Vineyards Stella di Lemmen 88

Vegetable garden Stella di Lemmen 89


Vineyards Stella di Lemmen 90

Vineyards Stella di Lemmen 91

Restoration Stella di Lemmen 92

Google Earth images 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 Schiara 99

Google Earth image 2017 Stella di Lemmen 100

Google Earth images 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017 Stella diLemmen 103

Google Earth image 2017 Schiara 96

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Profile for Caterina Tioli

Linea Maixei -walking a story  

Dry stone walls are an ancient human artefacts of hostile territories, which ease the arability of land. It is a long lost building traditio...

Linea Maixei -walking a story  

Dry stone walls are an ancient human artefacts of hostile territories, which ease the arability of land. It is a long lost building traditio...

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