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Il Portale dei Parchi Italiani

Parks and Literature

The territory safeguarded by the Italian Parks has always been a source of inspiration in the past as well as in the present, for the men who have found themselves in their sight.
So many thoughts and impressions have remained in several works which have gone beyond decades and centuries.
We can find above all in literature short quotations, impressions, memories linked to the places which are nowadays safeguarded by law.
We are going to open this section with some examples, and we will further enrich it, also thanks to your help!

Samuel Butler

Monte Mesma
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Riserva del Sacro Monte Orta - Monte Mesma - Torre Buccione

Epigram found in Varallo by Samuel Butler, who conserved it in its travel diary.

Oh wretched Tom Taylor, disgusted at Orta,
At Varallo we find him disdgusted again;
The feeling's contagious, I really have caught a
Disgust for Tom Taylor - he travels in vain.

Povero Tom Taylor, disgustato a Orta,
A Varallo lo troviamo disgustato di nuovo;
Il sentimento è contagioso, e mi ha fatto venire davvero
un disgusto per Tom Taylor - che viaggia invano.

Taken from: Butler, S. Alpi e Santuari (Italian edition by Pier Francesco Gasparetto)

Dante Alighieri

Acquacheta waterfall
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Acquacheta waterfall
Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi,
Monte Falterona, Campigna

La Divina Commedia - Inferno - canto XVI

Come quel fiume c'ha proprio cammino
prima dal Monte Viso 'nver' levante,
da la sinistra costa d'Apennino,

che si chiama Acquacheta suso, avante
che si divalli giù nel basso letto,
e a Forlì di quel nome è vacante,

rimbomba là sovra San Benedetto
de l'Alpe per cadere ad una scesa
ove dovea per mille esser recetto;

così, giù d'una ripa discoscesa,
trovammo risonar quell'acqua tinta,
sì che 'n poc'ora avria l'orecchia offesa.

Even as that stream which holdeth its own course
The first from Monte Veso tow'rds the East,
Upon the left-hand slope of Apennine,

Which is above called Acquacheta, ere
It down descendeth into its low bed,
And at Forli is vacant of that name,

Reverberates there above San Benedetto
From Alps, by falling at a single leap,
Where for a thousand there were room enough;

Thus downward from a bank precipitate,
We found resounding that dark-tinted water,
So that it soon the ear would have offended.


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Riserva naturale Monte Soratte

Soracte Ode

See, how it stands, one pile of snow,
Soracte! 'neath the pressure yield
Its groaning woods; the torrents' flow
With clear sharp ice is all congeal'd.

George Byron

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - 1818
Canto the Fourth


The Acroceraunian mountains of old name;
And on Parnassus seen the eagles fly
Like spirits of the spot, as 'twere for fame,
For still they soared unutterably high:
I've looked on Ida with a Trojan's eye;
Athos, Olympus, AEtna, Atlas, made
These hills seem things of lesser dignity,
All, save the lone Soracte's height displayed,
Not now in snow, which asks the lyric Roman's aid


For our remembrance, and from out the plain
Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break,
And on the curl hangs pausing: not in vain
May he who will his recollections rake,
And quote in classic raptures, and awake
The hills with Latian echoes; I abhorred
Too much, to conquer for the poet's sake,
The drilled dull lesson, forced down word by word
In my repugnant youth, with pleasure to record


Aught that recalls the daily drug which turned
My sickening memory; and, though Time hath taught
My mind to meditate what then it learned,
Yet such the fixed inveteracy wrought
By the impatience of my early thought,
That, with the freshness wearing out before
My mind could relish what it might have sought,
If free to choose, I cannot now restore
Its health; but what it then detested, still abhor.


Then farewell, Horace; whom I hated so,
Not for thy faults, but mine; it is a curse
To understand, not feel, thy lyric flow,
To comprehend, but never love thy verse,
Although no deeper moralist rehearse
Our little life, nor bard prescribe his art,
Nor livelier satirist the conscience pierce,
Awakening without wounding the touched heart,
Yet fare thee well--upon Soracte's ridge we part.


Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano
Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano
Letter to his friend and jurist C. Trebatius Testa from Velia, dealing with the political-institutional system of the democratic and peaceful town of Velia

I am not ashamed to admit that in telling you these things, even if by letter, makes me feel as if I was there in Velia, the Gods know how much I would like for that to be true right now.

How it would soothe me to walk through the woods of Velia or alongside the beach that takes us from Porta Marina to the seaport. Oh, how much I long for the discussions and arguments we have amongst friends, in the shade of the Porta Rosa, or on the steps of the temple of Athena.
(there is no longer trace of the beach, of the temple, of the woods and this is our only memory of them...)

Alessandro Manzoni

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Parco Adda Nord

I promessi sposi or The Betrothed - Chapter I

Quel ramo del lago di Como, che volge a mezzogiorno, tra due catene non interrotte di monti, tutto a seni e a golfi, a seconda dello sporgere e del rientrare di quelli, vien, quasi a un tratto, a ristringersi, e a prender corso e figura di fiume, tra un promontorio a destra, e un'ampia costiera dall'altra parte; e il ponte, che ivi congiunge le due rive, par che renda ancor più sensibile all'occhio questa trasformazione, e segni il punto in cui il lago cessa, e l'Adda rincomincia, per ripigliar poi nome di lago dove le rive, allontanandosi di nuovo, lascian l'acqua distendersi e rallentarsi in nuovi golfi e in nuovi seni.

That branch of the lake of Como, which extends towards the south, is enclosed by two unbroken chains of mountains, which, as they advance and recede, diversify its shores with numerous bays and inlets. Suddenly the lake contracts itself, and takes the course and form of a river, between a promontory on the right, and a wide open shore on the opposite side. The bridge which there joins the two banks seems to render this transformation more sensible to the eye, and marks the point where the lake ends, and the Adda again begins—soon to resume the name of the lake, where the banks receding afresh, allow the water to extend and spread itself in new gulfs and bays.