To translate the English word “Wilderness” into Italian is not so easy. Somebody says that there is no such term that reproduces its exact meaning, whilst others argue that there are several possibilities on how to translate this word: either as ‘deserto’ (“desert”), or solitudine (“solitude”) or riserva naturale (“natural reserve”)… However, none of these translations capture the essence of “Wilderness,” especially with its use in a European Wilderness context in the last years.
Despite this partially academic discussion, an inventory of the European Wilderness Society revealed that Italy has great Wilderness potential! Not only because significant piece of Wilderness in Majella NP or Foreste Casentinesi NP. This country is home to many fragments of Wilderness fitting to the definition used by the European Wilderness Society.
The following article written by Mr. Dario Botti, Landscape & Environment Architect in Italy, proves that!
Despite centuries of exploitation of natural resources, high population density and an overwhelming anthropocentric culture, Italy still holds ecosystems relatively slightly modified by humans, rich of high natural values. If we assume that Wilderness areas can occur at every scale and pristiness is not indispensable, many of these ecosystems are virtually suitable to become Wilderness areas.