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Magra River, Fosdinovo

Along the River

Research Process and field notes#

Along the river

by Alessandro Carboni – 20-25 July 2013


The research process started along the Magra. It is a 62 kilometres (39 mi) long river of Northern Italy, which runs through Pontremoli,Filattiera, Villafranca in Lunigiana and Aulla in the province of Massa-Carrara (Tuscany); Santo Stefano di Magra, Vezzano Ligure, Arcola, Sarzana and Ameglia in the province of La Spezia (Liguria). In Roman times it was known as the Macra and marked the eastern boundary of the territory of Liguria. The river’s drainage basin occupies around 1,686 km². Its most important tributary is the Vara which joins the Magra from the right within the commune of Santo Stefano di Magra.


#1 – The first day of research process has been dedicated to drift along Magra River. Alessandro and two fellows, Tue and Tiziano, rent three kayak. They sail from bocca di Magra to Romito. They spent all day making videos, taking pictures and recording the underwater landscape of the river.

#2 – The second day is dedicated to explore the human landscape of Arcola, a small town along Magra River. In the morning Alessandro went to Lipu natural area and with the help of Sara, a friend from Arcola, he collect natural materials as leaves, stones, woods and sand. In the afternoon, Alessandro met people from Romito near by Arcola. They shared ideas, materials, information about Magra River.


#3 – The third day Alessandro had a meeting with Alessandro Zannoni, a writer from Sarzana. He works on Docks around Bocca di Magra, and he introduced Alessandro some people: Mr. Carlo, owner of a Dock company, and Pierino and old fisherman. Alessandro collected lots of information about the relation with Magra river and sea.


#4 – On the same day, in the afternoon, Alessandro and Tue went to la Piana di Arcola. They explored the overlapping layers around Magra River: the A12 highway, the wild banks of the river, the huge amount of sand and stones left beside of the river, the sound of water, the amazing colonies of birds living around, the oil refinery just beside the river.