In the valleys of Turin, historical and current landscapes of the Cottian Alps

The valleys of the Cottian Alps, to the West of Turin, have for centuries been one of the most important routes for travellers between France and Northern Italy. The Mont Cenis Pass (2083 m asl), between Susa (Piedmont) and Lanslebourg (Savoy) was part of the Via Francigena, an old system of roads used by pilgrims … Continue reading In the valleys of Turin, historical and current landscapes of the Cottian Alps

Topographical Art, Historical Photography and Landscape History: Briga in the Ligurian Alps

Briga or La Brigue is now a commune in the French Department the Alpes-Maritimes; until September 1947 it was part of Italy but was then transferred to France. The village is at a height of 800 metres asl. It was depicted in a late nineteenth-century watercolour signed G. Pinotti held at the Istituto Internazionale di … Continue reading Topographical Art, Historical Photography and Landscape History: Briga in the Ligurian Alps

‘Recollection Val di Scrivia’: Elizabeth Fanshawe in Busalla, c. 1830

Amateur topographical artist Elizabeth Fanshawe (1779-1856) travelled through the Genoese Apennines and the Scrivia Valley between 1829 and 1831. With her two sisters, Penelope and Catherine Maria, Elizabeth Fanshawe undertook a long journey in Europe across France, Switzerland and Northern Italy. They set off from Calais in August 1828 on the way to Nice, where … Continue reading ‘Recollection Val di Scrivia’: Elizabeth Fanshawe in Busalla, c. 1830

An Englishman in the Ligurian Apennines: Frederic Lees in Torriglia, 1911

Frederic Lees was a British writer and journalist who walked through Liguria in 1911 and published an account of the trip. His local guide was ‘J. K.’, antiquarian and member of the Societá Ligure di Storia Patria of Sanremo, a local association which still promotes research on the history of Liguria. The book, which includes … Continue reading An Englishman in the Ligurian Apennines: Frederic Lees in Torriglia, 1911

The Ascent of Monviso (3843 m) by H. H. West and Mrs R. W. West, 1898

The record of a remarkable climb of Monviso (3843m) survives in the municipal library at Garessio in Piedmont. The account, in English, dated 22 September 1898 records the ascent of the mountain over two days, 31 August to 1 September 1898, by H.H. West and his sister-in-law Mrs R.W. West. Her husband was the well-known … Continue reading The Ascent of Monviso (3843 m) by H. H. West and Mrs R. W. West, 1898

Behind the sunny Riviera: British presences in the nineteenth-century Ligurian Alps

When we think about the British in the Riviera, there is one well-known and celebrated story: it is a story about palms in the sunshine, blue skies, flowers, beaches and colourful houses along the shore. There is another story hardly anyone knows, a story which takes us behind the steep chain of mountains which surround … Continue reading Behind the sunny Riviera: British presences in the nineteenth-century Ligurian Alps

Industrialisation at the turn of the twentieth century in Genoa: Alfred Sells in Cornigliano

Since the end of the nineteenth century, the western part of Genoa metropolitan area has been devoted to industrialisation. Large factories were progressively established and the port area expanded westward along the coastal suburbs of Sampierdarena, Cornigliano and Sestri Ponente. Due to the presence of fairly wide alluvial plains at the mouth of streams, up … Continue reading Industrialisation at the turn of the twentieth century in Genoa: Alfred Sells in Cornigliano

A problem of identification: Elizabeth Fanshawe (1779 – 1856) in nineteenth-century Genoa

Elizabeth Fanshawe (1779-1856) was a British amateur artist who travelled through Liguria between 1829 and 1831. She produced a series of topographical views of the Riviera, Genoa and the Apennines, most of them relatively easy to identify. Due to landscape changes, particularly in urban areas, the views produced around Genoa are more difficult to identify. … Continue reading A problem of identification: Elizabeth Fanshawe (1779 – 1856) in nineteenth-century Genoa

James Pattison Cockburn (1779-1847) in the Val d’Aosta

After the Napoleonic wars the number of travellers to Italy rose substantially and amateur artists began to visit the Val d’Aosta in increasing numbers. Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758 -1838) was one of the first British travel writers to mention the valley and his Hints to the Travellers in Italy (1815) recommended the Val d’Aosta … Continue reading James Pattison Cockburn (1779-1847) in the Val d’Aosta