Reference Regions

Reference Regions » Northern Apennines (Italy)
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Northern Apennines (Italy)

Description of the Reference Region

The Reference Region (RR) is situated in Apuan Alps, the Northern Apennines (Italy).

The Apuan Alps are a very peculiar mountain range and an extraordinary region of natural and cultural heritage in the Mediterranean basin. In 1985, the Apuan Alps Regional Park was established to protect all those aspects, and in 2015, it obtained the status of “UNESCO Global Geopark”.

The area has a high level of vulnerability caused by land abandonment and by climate change.

Selected Value Chain

The selected value chain (VC) is chestnut flour, which fulfils several functions: productive, protective, naturalistic, landscape, recreational and educational. This VC is an example of how traditional products can contribute to increase the income of local population, reduce land abandonment and promote a balanced relationship between nature and human communities.

Each member of the family farm harvests the chestnuts, while the roasting and peeling process is carried out in a small group of farms. In the last ten years some innovations have been introduced in the roasting and peeling processes, in the marketing strategies and in the organisation system.

The main expected results of the project are the valorisation and preservation of the chestnut VC; the improvement of the innovation processes of the farms by promoting the widespread dissemination of technical innovations; and the opportunities for economic diversification such as agro-tourism and cultural tourism in rural mountain areas.

Multi-Actor Platform (MAP) members

The Multi-Actor Platform gathers 15 actors: 5 public authorities/policymakers, 4 researchers, 3 producers (e.g., farmers, livestock farmers, forest managers), 3 NGOs, 2 innovation brokers/advisors and 1 civil society representative.

Publications & events

MOVING Leaflet

Practice Abstract (2nd set): Together for more prosperous Apuan Alps: Current threats and future resolutions (EN & IT)

Article: What will be the future of the chestnut value chain in the Northern Apennines?

Video: Vulnerability and resilience of the chestnut flour value chain (IT & EN)

Article: Youth’s vision on the sustainable development of the Northern Apennines

Practice Abstract (1st set): The Chestnut flour value chain and its sustanability in Alta Versilia

Article: Socio-Ecological Systems and the chestnut value chain in Northern Apennines

Article: Progress on the chestnut flour value chain analysis in Northern Apennines

Policy Brief: Chestnut flour

Video: MOVING: Valorizzare la montagna attraverso le relazioni sociali e la cura dell’ambiente


Francesco Felici
University of Pisa, Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment