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  1. #1
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    Predefinito La descrizione del clima italiano nella Encyclopedia Britannica del 1911

    Vi regalo questa chicca, dall'articolo riguardante l'Italia della Encyclopedia Britannica del 1911:

    "Climate and Vegetation.—The geographical position of Italy, extending from about 46° to 38° N., renders it one of the hottest countries in Europe. But the effect of its southern latitude is tempered by its peninsular character, bounded as it is on both sides by seas of considerable extent, as well as by the great range of the Alps with its snows and glaciers to the north. There are thus irregular variations of climate. Great differences also exist with regard to climate between northern and southern Italy, due in great part to other circumstances as well as to differences of latitude. Thus the great plain of northern Italy is chilled by the cold winds from the Alps, while the damp warm winds from the Mediterranean are to a great extent intercepted by the Ligurian Apennines. Hence this part of the country has a cold winter climate, so that while the mean summer temperature of Milan is higher than that of Sassari, and equal to that of Naples, and the extremes reached at Milan and Bologna are a good deal higher than those of Naples, the mean winter temperature of Turin is actually lower than that of Copenhagen. The lowest recorded winter temperature at Turin is 5° Fahr. Throughout the region north of the Apennines no plants will thrive which cannot stand occasional severe frosts in winter, so that not only oranges and lemons but even the olive tree cannot be grown, except in specially favoured situations. But the strip of coast between the Apennines and the sea, known as the Riviera of Genoa, is not only extremely favourable to the growth of olives, but produces oranges and lemons in abundance, while even the aloe, the cactus and the palm flourish in many places.

    Central Italy also presents striking differences of climate and temperature according to the greater or less proximity to the mountains. Thus the greater part of Tuscany, and the provinces thence to Rome, enjoy a mild winter climate, and are well adapted to the growth of mulberries and olives as well as vines, but it is not till after passing Terracina, in proceeding along the western coast towards the south, that the vegetation of southern Italy develops in its full luxuriance. Even in the central parts of Tuscany, however, the climate is very much affected by the neighbouring mountains, and the increasing elevation of the Apennines as they proceed south produces a corresponding effect upon the temperature. But it is when we reach the central range of the Apennines that we find the coldest districts of Italy. In all the upland valleys of the Abruzzi snow begins to fall early in November, and heavy storms occur often as late as May; whole communities are shut out for months from any intercourse with their neighbours, and some villages are so long buried in snow that regular passages are made between the different houses for the sake of communication among the inhabitants. The district from the south-east of Lake Fucino to the Piano di Cinque Miglia, enclosing the upper basin of the Sangro and the small lake of Scanno, is the coldest and most bleak part of Italy south of the Alps. Heavy falls of snow in June are not uncommon, and only for a short time towards the end of July are the nights totally exempt from light frosts. Yet less than 40 m. E. of this district, and even more to the north, the olive, the fig-tree and the orange thrive luxuriantly on the shores of the Adriatic from Ortona to Vasto. In the same way, whilst in the plains and hills round Naples snow is rarely seen, and never remains long, and the thermometer seldom descends to the freezing-point, 20 m. E. from it in the fertile valley of Avellino, of no great elevation, but encircled by high mountains, light frosts are not uncommon as late as June; and 18 m. farther east, in the elevated region of San Angelo dei Lombardi and Bisaccia, the inhabitants are always warmly clad, and vines grow with difficulty and only in sheltered places. Still farther south-east, Potenza has almost the coldest climate in Italy, and certainly the lowest summer temperatures. But nowhere are these contrasts so striking as in Calabria. The shores, especially on the Tyrrhenian Sea, present almost a continued grove of olive, orange, lemon and citron trees, which attain a size unknown in the north of Italy. The sugar-cane flourishes, the cotton-plant ripens to perfection, date-trees are seen in the gardens, the rocks are clothed with the prickly-pear or Indian fig, the enclosures of the fields are formed by aloes and sometimes pomegranates, the liquorice-root grows wild, and the mastic, the myrtle and many varieties of oleander and cistus form the underwood of the natural forests of arbutus and evergreen oak. If we turn inland but 5 or 6 m. from the shore, and often even less, the scene changes. High districts covered with oaks and chestnuts succeed to this almost tropical vegetation; a little higher up and we reach the elevated regions of the Pollino and the Sila, covered with firs and pines, and affording rich pastures even in the midst of summer, when heavy dews and light frosts succeed each other in July and August, and snow begins to appear at the end of September or early in October. Along the shores of the Adriatic, which are exposed to the north-east winds, blowing coldly from over the Albanian mountains, delicate plants do not thrive so well in general as under the same latitude along the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Southern Italy indeed has in general a very different climate from the northern portion of the kingdom; and, though large tracts are still occupied by rugged mountains of sufficient elevation to retain the snow for a considerable part of the year, the districts adjoining the sea enjoy a climate similar to that of Greece and the southern provinces of Spain. Unfortunately several of these fertile tracts suffer severely from malaria (q.v.), and especially the great plain adjoining the Gulf of Tarentum, which in the early ages of history was surrounded by a girdle of Greek cities—some of which attained to almost unexampled prosperity—has for centuries past been given up to almost complete desolation.

    It is remarkable that, of the vegetable productions of Italy, many which are at the present day among the first to attract the attention of the visitor are of comparatively late introduction, and were unknown in ancient times. The olive indeed in all ages clothed the hills of a large part of the country; but the orange and lemon, are a late importation from the East, while the cactus or Indian fig and the aloe, both of them so conspicuous on the shores of southern Italy, as well as of the Riviera of Genoa, are of Mexican origin, and consequently could not have been introduced earlier than the 16th century. The same remark applies to the maize or Indian corn. Many botanists are even of opinion that the sweet chestnut, which now constitutes so large a part of the forests that clothe the sides both of the Alps and the Apennines, and in some districts supplies the chief food of the inhabitants, is not originally of Italian growth; it is certain that it had not attained in ancient times to anything like the extension and importance which it now possesses. The eucalyptus is of quite modern introduction; it has been extensively planted in malarious districts. The characteristic cypress, ilex and stone-pine, however, are native trees, the last-named flourishing especially near the coast. The proportion of evergreens is large, and has a marked effect on the landscape in winter."

    1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica/Italy - Wikisource, the free online library

    N.B. Avverto che alcune parti dell'intero articolo (riguardo la popolazione ecc.) riflettono la mentalità dell'epoca e potrebbero risultare offensive, soprattutto per il Sud Italia.

  2. #2
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    Predefinito Re: La descrizione del clima italiano nella Encyclopedia Britannica del 1911

    Interessante quando dice che sulla Sila e sul Pollino, la neve appariva in genere tra fine Settembre e inizio Ottobre, anche se non viene specificata la quota (immagino solo sulle cime più alte).

  3. #3
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    Predefinito Re: La descrizione del clima italiano nella Encyclopedia Britannica del 1911

    Citazione Originariamente Scritto da Calistream Visualizza Messaggio
    Interessante quando dice che sulla Sila e sul Pollino, la neve appariva in genere tra fine Settembre e inizio Ottobre, anche se non viene specificata la quota (immagino solo sulle cime più alte).
    Ma vogliamo parlare anche di Torino più fredda di Copenaghen in inverno, di Milano e Bologna più calde di Napoli in estate come estremi (sarà contento @Dream Designer) e delle brinate di giugno ad Avellino?

  4. #4
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    Predefinito Re: La descrizione del clima italiano nella Encyclopedia Britannica del 1911

    Letto tutto d'un fiato.
    Le descrizioni fanno riferimento ad un clima nettamente più freddo e mi sento di dire che, al di là dei dettagli sulle gelate tardive, sono affidabili.
    È evidente l'interesse dell'epoca sulla botanica. Interesse che si riflette in una lunga descrizione sul mediterraneo centrosud, per loro evidentemente esotico, piuttosto che sul nord, caratterizzato da una vegetazione assai più simile a quella britannica. Tant'è che ancora oggi i parchi milanesi hanno più o meno le stesse piantumazioni di quelli di Londra, come ho verificato di persona qualche anno fa.
    Buona giornata!

  5. #5
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    Predefinito Re: La descrizione del clima italiano nella Encyclopedia Britannica del 1911

    Citazione Originariamente Scritto da FilTur Visualizza Messaggio
    Ma vogliamo parlare anche di Torino più fredda di Copenaghen in inverno, di Milano e Bologna più calde di Napoli in estate come estremi (sarà contento @Dream Designer) e delle brinate di giugno ad Avellino?
    Eh già, me la sono riletta più volte, all'inizio mi era sfuggito.

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