Where it all begin

The Apennines appear to me as an interesting piece of the world. The great Po valley is followed by a chain of mountains that rises from the bottom to the south to close the mainland between two seas.

If these mountains did not rise so high and steep above the sea level, and were not so strangely articulated as to have prevented in the past a greater and more constant action of the tides, capable of forming wider plains and more prone to floods this would be a beautiful land, with milder climates, a little higher than the rest of the country.

So, instead, it is a singular tangle of mountainous bumps opposite each other; often one cannot distinguish in which direction the waters run. However, one should not imagine a desert of mountains, but a well-cultivated, albeit mountainous, region.

Here the chestnut grows very well, the wheat is beautiful and the seeds already green. Along the streets you can see evergreen oaks with small leaves, while around the churches and chapels there are slender cypresses.

(J.W. Goethe)