The so-called “bonifica” (land reclamation) is undoubtedly one of the most important agents of morphological transformation of the landscape in the Grosseto Maremma, in southern Tuscany, but also in many marshy areas of the Italian territory.
The reclamation of the Maremma began in the Medici era at the end of the 16th century. The Hapsburg-Lorraine, however, will be the protagonists of this immense work of land reclamation. Among the various land reclamation works started in Tuscany by the Lorraine from the middle of the 18th century, the most impressive was the one supported in 1828 by Grand Duke Leopold II. It took twenty years and thousands of workers to realize the “colmata” of the Marsh of Castiglione, the largest reclamation ever known in Maremma with the recovery of over 10,000 hectares of marshy land through solid deposits brought by the river Ombrone. It will be necessary to arrive at the twenties of the twentieth century to witness the last chapter of the history of reclamation in Maremma, that of the so-called “integral reclamation”, which added to the hydraulic and sanitary reclamation the agrarian factor.
The site proposed for World Heritage nomination concerns the areas affected by the Maremma Reclamation, associated with other areas of interest in Italy. This is how the proposal of a nomination dossier for a site called “Places and works of land reclamation and water channelling: Maremma, Lombardy Plain and Fucino Plain” was born, with the aim of its inscription on the World Heritage list.
The first step was the elaboration of the Comparative Thematic Study “Reclamation territories in Italy and the rest of the world”, drawn up to support the candidacy, in order to create a “serial candidacy”, i.e. a network of Italian sites that present similar characteristics of land transformation through the historical processes of land reclamation.
The nomination dossier of the site “Places and works of land reclamation and water channelling: Maremma, Lombardy Plain and Fucino Plain” is a candidate to become a site of international importance, covering a strategic importance for the protection, enhancement and development of the territory of southern Tuscany.