Ammappa l’Italia is the name of a new project created by Marco S Perfido.
The name is a pun on the term map and the idea is essentially to map the Italian territory.

What’s new about that? You may ask, the first maps of this area date back to centuries ago, B.C.
And you’d be right: this project comes from the past, from our past.

What’s new about the “Ammappa l’Italia”project?

In a word, technology: mapping the territory means describing the winding roads, remote tracks and hidden paths the locals used to travel along, using GPS and pictures taken by smart phones and other mobile devices.

What’s older though is the act of mapping itself: historical sources seem to confirm that rudimental maps started with the Nnomads. Charting out our territory seems to be in our DNA though, and we can’t live without attempting to create our own maps, whether they’re physical or mental.

The Ammappa l’Italia project aims to map the old tracks that the shepherds and their cattle, the old merchants and the locals followed in the old days, the so called white roads.

Let’s start a revolution, right now!

Many say that walking is the only “act of revolution” we practice nowadays; our rebellion against a world that runs at stellar speed. In the past, some used it as a form of rebellion against foreign domination- think of “Mahatma Gandhi” and his salt march or even as a means to instill obedience, like Benito Mussolini’s March on Rome and the symbolic military marches of certain political regimes around the world today.

And the walkers are responding

The project of Ammappa l’Italia was created by Marco S. Loperfido and his desire to see a map that connected the whole of the Italian peninsula for “modern walkers”. Started a couple of years ago, crowdfunding is helping its growth and Marco is very confident of its success, “as any good walker knows, success is not measured in terms of a single performance, but in terms of consistency and commitment, and we don’t lack either of those!”

Mapping is…caring

More than walking itineraries are at stake here: the real issue is the monitoring and protection of the territory. Marco explains that the use of the old white roads is one of the easiest ways of reducing acts of vandalism and the abandonment of Italy’s more remote areas; if you walk along a road every day you can inform the authorities if something is amiss or damaged and it can act as a deterrent.

The “perfect map man kit”

What do you need to get started then? Comfortable shoes, sporty clothes, paper and pen and any mobile device to take great pictures of your route. It’s really as easy as that.

Start by jotting down the start point, the length and the finish point and take at least one picture along the way.

If you feel like a more “professional” approach, take as many pictures as you can (you can load up to 21 images), write what makes this road so special to you (Marco tells us many itineraries can resemble novellas) and add useful tips, such as where to stay overnight and where to eat and so on.

And now, you are ready to start your own revolution!

Ammappa l’Italia! from Ammappalitalia on Vimeo.

Cover image, via unsplash

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Author: Cristiana Pedrali

"Loving your job is the closest you can get to happiness on earth” (Rita Levi Montalcini) and “when real people fall down in real life they get back on their feet and carry on walking” (Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City): these are my two mantras. I’m a bit like this: I go through being serious to playful to help me manage a thousand different interests and commitments, keeping a smile through it all. I work in the tourism industry and on the web and every so often I look for some breathing space through reading and travel!
More posts by Cristiana Pedrali →

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