Sites of National Interest


A visual research that focuses on current issues like pollution and environmental protection. In Italy there are 12,482 potentially contaminated areas whose 38 are considered highly polluted. Indeed, the “Ronchi decree” (1997) established to distinguish and declare them "Sites of National Interest (SIN)". The project now concerns three SINs located in the centre of Italy: Bussi sul Tirino - Piano d’Orta (Abruzzo); Orbetello (Tuscany); Terni - Papigno (Umbria). All of these sites are located near tourist areas and there is similar pollution among them. They have former factories of the Montecatini mining and chemical company, active or abandoned chemical poles, asbestos in a pulverized state that hasn't been allowing the recovery and huge waste dumps that arise in the valleys or are stationed under the citizen's houses.



Montecatini was an important and historic italian chemical company founded in 1888 in Florence. It mainly made chemical fertilizers, ammonia and sulfuric acid. It ceased its activity in 1966 following its incorporation into Edison, with the consequent birth of the Montecatini Edison group, later Montedison. 

These advertising campaigns have been carried out in the first half of the 1900s, so people wasn't yet 100% aware of the consequences on environmental impact. Indeed they help to understand how ignorance is one of the most negative conditions that people can assume and how the media can often confuse ideas rather than clarify them.



42° 13’ N 13° 49’ E

Bussi sul Tirino and Piano d'Orta are two municipalities in the province of Pescara (Abruzzo), which arise near the Gran Sasso Natural Park. They present toxic waste dumps, active chemical poles, former Montecatini factories and a power plant. The soil, the subsoil and the aquifers are particularly polluted due to the spillage of mercury, lead, hydrocarbons, arsenic, etc.



42° 26′ 22″ N 11° 12′ 45″ E

Orbetello is a city in the province of Grosseto (Tuscany) which rises at the foot of Monte Argentario. It has former Montecatini factories which produced chemical fertilizers. The company's waste was buried during its underground activity; asbestos in the polvirulent state instead prevents the reclamation.


42° 34′ N 12° 39’ E

Terni and the small hamlet of Papigno rise a few hundred meters from the famous Marmore Falls. Terni is a city founded on industry, in particular on the Steelworks, which is still active today. Papigno has former Montecatini factories, where chemical fertilizers were produced, and a huge landfill where the waste from the Terni industry is collected.