Padania is an alternative name for the Po Valley, a major plain in the north of Italy. The term was sparingly used until the early 1990s, when Lega Nord, a federalist and, at times, separatist political party in Italy, proposed “Padania” as a possible name for an independent state in Northern Italy. Since then, it has carried strong political connotations.
Formally not recognized by anyone, in the ’90s Padania was supposed to become an independent State separated from the Italian Republic, as proposed by a referendum for the independence held in 1997 in each city Council in Northern Italy; the struggle for independence was both on social and institutional level. While activists painted walls and streets with pro-independence slogans a political party called Lega Nord (Northern League) struggled in Parliament to get answers to the pressing demand for federalism.
The plan for an independent State faded over the years, but the tension generated by the struggle for power made possible a no less important unification of the landscape. Thanks to the work of public administrators of both right and left-wing parties, Padania has become over the years an incredibly present aspect in the routine of its inhabitants, an aspect recognizable within the landscape and human behaviors.
Beside Piemonte, Lombardia and Veneto regions being physically unified by a urban continuum of buildings with analogies from Venice to Turin, in 2013 they were de facto administratively unified in what politicians themselves called the Macro-region.
Main cities and historic centers are only a tiny fraction of what Northern Italy is. The mixture of rural, industrial, commercial and residential districts on wide scale is a feature difficult to observe elsewhere in Europe and in the world; this is the element that visually unifies the entire aesthetic of Po River valley.
From Western Alps to the edge of the Adriatic Sea a scattered urban-development regulated by locally administered policies gave every small village the possibility to build its own industrial or commercial district, allowing the birth of what Eugenio Turri in his 1995 book called ‘Megalopoli Padana’. This megalopolis is not a urban aggregation but a constellation of small, medium to large towns melting into each others giving the valley an unusual and different look, if compared to its previous agricultural vocation and urbanism characterized by a variety of architectural styles.
Padania Classics is a visual research project aiming at identifying the Classics from Padania in aesthetics, architecture and human behaviors by documenting, producing and spreading content.
Historical centers are only a tiny fraction of what Northern Italy is.
Do not be fooled, learn to recognize and appreciate Padania in each landscape and every anthropologic aspect!
The sky of Padania is often monochrome gray because of humidity from the Po river flowing at its center and the Alps stopping the wind. The winter season is mostly rainy while the summer is characterized by haze and white skies.
When talking about Italian decadence in a very near by future it will be a must to refer to your cultural contribution.
Iesterday I drove from Desenzano to Piacenza and back on quiet roads with my motorbike. I swear to God that after discovering your page the perspective from which I look at the landscape of the Macro region changed completely. You opened a new world to me!
You are doing an amazing job. You deserve more followers and a dedicated monument in a roundabout. Keep up the good work
I found myself eating at sunset in a huge, empty risto/bar open from 6am until 2.20am, with radio diffusion for outside tables and a car reseller placed on the other side of the street with all his flags. Thanks for giving me these glasses showing me a new world
I thought about deleting my facebook profile in 2013 as contents in my timeline were so lame, then I discovered Padania Classics