Marco Armiero is a senior researcher at the Institute for the Study of Mediterranean Societies at the Italian National Research Council and a visiting scholar at Stanford University. He has published extensively on Italian environmental history and edited Views from the South: Environmental Stories from the Mediterranean World.
Is Italy il bel paese—the beautiful country—where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity’s greed and nature’s cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator’s vision of Italy.