Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Seminar (12 hours)


No special prerequisites are required.

Final Examination: 

Learning assessment method:

The exam consists of an oral interview aimed at ascertaining the knowledge and the correct understanding of the contents of the texts, which must be studied in full. Two questions will be formulated on the contents of the two volumes by Svensen and De Rossi, with particular attention to the ability to select, study and link the topics, as well as place them in a chronological scale. The capacity for critical interdisciplinary analysis and autonomy of judgment on the main topics of the course will be evaluated (one question). In addition, the adequate knowledge of the material availabe on the e-learning website of the course (slides, texts and other files), will also be required (one question).

The final grade will take into account the accuracy and quality of the answers (70%), as well as the communication skills shown during the interview (10%) and the ability to adequately motivate statements, analyzes and judgments (20% ).

Procedure for the examination sessions:
- the exams (appelli) will take place following the enrollment order of the students, who will be asked to show their university card or other identification document;
- according to the number of students enrolled and who will answer the call, the exams may also continue in the following days, with the schedule which will be indicated by the teacher;
- students can request by e-mail to anticipate or postpone the examination time, but no later than the day or days scheduled for the exam.

Voto Finale

Objectives and learning outcomes:

The course aims to develop students' ability to acquire an interdisciplinary knowledge of the mountain environment, intended as a 'natural laboratory' for undertaking studies based on the integration of historical, scientific and anthropological knowledge. Mountain regions are considered valuable territory, but their history needs to be widely studied in order to be recovered, preserved and properly promoted.

Expected results include:
• knowledge of the main historical, anthropological and scientific dynamics related to the mountain environment, particularly in the Alps, also in relation to natural resources and human activities;
• knowledge of the forms of interaction between history and natural sciences in mountain regions, in order to understand the environmental, climatic, social, economic evolution, during the past and present;
• knowledge of the main methodological tools necessary to manage and properly communicate the contents of the cultural enhancement of mountain areas, with particular attention to the Alpine and pre-Alpine context;
• ability to select the subjects of the course, comparing the different interpretations;
• ability to expose and argue the most significant links between the topics of the course with autonomous judgment and critical sense;
• ability to face the study with an autonomous, critical and above all open approach to links and interdisciplinary interactions between natural sciences and human sciences;
• ability to use a correct language, able to highlight an adequate understanding of the concepts treated;

Content and Course Program:

The course intends to offer an introduction to the history of the mountain environments and the exploitation of their resources, with particular regard to the comparison between historiographical, anthropological and scientific approaches. Various aspects related to the reconstruction of an 'environmental history' will be treated, alongside the ethnographic and demographic aspects connected to the life of mountain peoples.

In the first part of the course (40 hours) the following topics will be covered:
• The relationship between man and mountain (habitats, social organization, agriculture and breeding);
• The concept of natural resource with particular attention to the Alpine and pre-Alpine areas: history, developments, problems;
• Settlements, mountain towns and historical problems related to the development of mountain transport and communication routes;
• Alpine communities in a perspective of eco-historical, intercultural and interdisciplinary research (geography, history, economy, anthropology);
• History of scientific research in mountain areas with particular attention to the development of Earth sciences and other naturalistic disciplines in the Alps and in the Prealps;
• Mountaineering, alpine associations and tourism in their relations with scientific activity in the mountains. History of scientific travelling in the Alps.
• The ‘images’ of the mountain people and the communication of mountain culture;
• Demography, emigration and immigration in the Alps: ethnic groups, minorities, Alpine cosmopolitanism. multicultural identity and cohabitation;
• Enhancement of naturalistic, historical and technical assets in the mountains. Industrial archeology, ethnographic museums and material culture.
• Interdisciplinary knowledge for the management and enhancement of the mountain's environmental and scientific heritage: the history of natural sciences in relation to the modern scientific knowledge of the mountain and environmental dissemination / education, as well as the tourist potential of historical geo-tourism.

In the second part of the course 12 hours of seminars will enlarge and cover in depth some topics presented during the lessons, with particular attention to the history of sciences, techniques and material culture in mountain regions.


It is required the complete study of the following volumes:

- Henrik SVENSEN, “Storia delle Montagne”, Bologna, Odoya, 2013

- Antonio DE ROSSI, "La costruzione delle Alpi: immagini e scenari del pittoresco alpino (1773-1914)", Roma, Donzelli, 2014

For the exam is also required to study the course material (slides, texts, other files) available on the e-learning platform (https://elearning.uninsubria.it/).


Teaching activities:

The course is divided into a cycle of 40 hours of lectures and 12 hours of integrative teaching (seminars), with presentation of didactic material complementary to the texts (slides), also in videoconference mode. During the lectures, interaction with the students will be constantly encouraged, through moments of discussion and shared analysis of the topics presented by the teacher, in order to stimulate intellectual curiosity and vivacity, as well as developing the capacity for critical analysis and the interdisciplinary approach.

Student Reception Hours:

Students may talk to the teacher at his office in the Dipartimento di Scienze Teoriche e Applicate, Padiglione Rossi (ground floor), viale O. Rossi 9, in Varese, every Friday from 6pm to 7pm, according to the claendar published in the e-learning website of the course and in the teacher's home page (https://www.uninsubria.it/hpp/ezio.vaccari#1). Alternatively it is possible to arrange an appointment by contacting the teacher via email.