[..The Matese, which Francesco Fossa recounts in his book “Quota Mille” shows exactly this: another Italy, centuries away from the Rome of today, far from the cellophane world that invades our television screens. It is a solitary world, abandoned by the center of power, defenseless, invaded by the pirates of the energy, water and wind businesses. It is a world of hard people, perched on their mountains, who defend themselves as best they can, even petrifying the outsider with their often horrid state. During my trip, I saw “bottomless gorges, narrow streets; steep curves that cascade into nothingness like Gustave Dore’s illustrations of Dante; signs that point to the Saloon of the hanged or surly canyons like the Bocca della Selva.” These images – like those that appear in Fossa’s book – cannot but be indelibly inked in one’s memory. Italy does not love mountain people; it deems them ignorant, rednecks, beasts. Italy lives at sea level, not realizing that her history has played out at a far higher altitude and is based on her pastoral richness. There is no other place like this in the Mediterranean. There is no other mountain so close to the sea – in fact two seas – and where migration from highland to lowland happens in a few kilometers and without the nomadic journeys of the Middle East or of North Africa. It is high time to make these places ours; to regard them with pride. These men and women – photographed by Fossa – represent our memory; our ancient ties to the land and landscape…]
Francesco Fossa, was born in 1966 in Piedimonte Matese. He now lives in Rome, where he works as a journalist for broadcaster Mediaset. He has contributed to several Italian magazines, including L’Espresso, D – la Repubblica,, Diario della settimana.