Rediscovering Collective Lands in the Alps – Usi Civici

We reside in the Italian Alps, where the alpine and Mediterranean climates seamlessly merge. Within our region, part of the alpine arch, Europe’s second-largest biodiversity reservoir is found. Here, we still benefit from the presence of civic lands designated for communal use. These lands carry historical rights and obligations that grant local residents access, enabling them to sustain their livelihoods while encouraging preservation and potential enhancement for future generations.


The concept of usi civici transcends the conventional frameworks of private and public property. It involves collective management, emphasizing social cohesion by ensuring equal access and equitable distribution of benefits. Our encounter with Agitu Idea, a sociologist turned goat shepherd and cheese maker, left a lasting impression. As an iconic figure in our region of Ethiopian descent, Agitu crafted one of the most esteemed local cheeses.


Agitu passionately advocates for supporting young individuals in reconnecting with the land. Her vision encompasses enabling them to generate livelihoods for themselves while instilling a commitment to preservation, guided by an intergenerational perspective.


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