Historians, archaeologists and geographers analyze the landscapes drawn by Sesia in all their complexity: territorial systems, irrigation and articulated housing networks, castles, ports, bridges and river crossings, but also woods and uncultivated, marshes and marshes, methods of land exploitation , bumps and terraces. The specificity of humid environments leads to the adoption of original forms of organization of space, often very distant from those of the areas, even nearby, where the river is not present. The examination of the settlements and the environment returns a complex and variable balance according to the different sections of the watercourse considered. The dialogue between historical, archaeological and geographical readings allows the reconstruction of a broad picture, where the elements of the landscape are not only described, but also interpreted within the cultural, socio-institutional and territorial dynamics of the different eras. The river shapes the landscapes of water, but also those of local societies and authorities.
The river landscapes of the Sesia constitutes the first volume of the series Storie di Paesaggi Medievali, which welcomes interdisciplinary studies and reflections on medieval landscapes. Among the lines of research frequented by the Series we mention the study of settlement dynamics, of materials and construction techniques, of the relationships between man and nature (with particular attention to the use of the uncultivated), of the social assets and institutional configurations that they shape the landscapes and regulate their use. And yet the perception of the landscape by communities and individuals in various eras, the ideological representations of the landscapes of power, the necessary extensions to long-term analysis, the methodological reflection on the sources (from historical cartography to aerial photographs) and the interest in the management of territorial data through GIS systems.
Riccardo Rao teaches Medieval History at the University of Bergamo and is part of the editorial committees of some scientific journals in the sector, such as Reti Medievali and Popolazione e Storia. Among his recent monographs are worth mentioning The disappeared village of Gazzo and its territory. Contribution to the study of abandoned settlements, Vercelli, Vercelli Historical Society, 2011 e The landscapes of medieval Italy, Rome, Carocci, 2015.