Agriculture and landscape. From cultivated fields to the wilderness, and back

Paolo D'Angelo


The paper focuses on the relationship between human culture and the agricultural landscape. First of all, it briefly reviews the evolution of the perception of the landscape, showing how the modern era has gradually bridged a gap between aesthetic values of the landscape and cultivated landscape, culminating in the romantic vision of the landscape whereby we are still “prisoners”. The idea that the important and beautiful landscapes are “exceptional”, on the one hand, and the prejudice in favor of the “wild” and “natural”, on the other hand, still limit our perception of the agricultural landscape. However, nowadays some changes are taking place. On the one hand the recognition that all kinds of landscape - not just the “exceptional” one - deserve protection is growing; on the other hand, the cultivated land is increasingly perceived as a “rare commodity”. The paper also stresses the role that agriculture exercises in favor of the landscape particularly in a country like Italy.

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Sapienza Università di Roma University of Helsinki Università di Torino Western Michigan University


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