Irredenta on the map: Cesare Battisti and Trentino-Alto Adige cartographies

Matteo Proto


The geographer and cartographer Cesare Battisti (1875-1916) is regarded as one of the main intellectuals to have addressed the issue of the so-called Terre irredente (unredeemed lands). His main scientific contribution
is the understanding of Trentino, part of the Austrian Empire until after the WWI, as an Italian region.
This paper examines his most significant cartographic work – the atlas Il Trentino (1915) – considering in particular three maps in which Battisti recognizes the entire region southern of the Alpine watershed as belonging to the Italian Nation. In so doing, Battisti also included the central part of former Austrian Tirol, the area north of Trentino nowadays identified as Alto Adige/South Tirol, in his survey.
In terms of the theoretical and methodological references underlying these cartographies, I consider firstly the role of Italian regional geographical paradigms in shaping Battisti’s understanding of geography and the
cultural milieu that conditioned his political views. More generally I examine the concealed political, didactic and propagandistic role entailed in using cartography as a scientific instrument.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Sponsoring Organizations:

Sapienza Università di Roma University of Helsinki Università di Torino Western Michigan University


With the support of:


Edizioni Nuova Cultura


Online ISSN: 2281 - 5694 Print ISSN: 2281 – 4310 © 2013 - Edizioni Nuova Cultura