Border Path

Along the whole Italian alpine arch tens of old paths were used in the past to cross the border illegally. Goods and people have always moved across them. Along the centuries Italians used to trade pasta, rice or sheep for French salt.

border

The  most  of  these  paths  are  quite  difficult  to  walk  on. People  without  any  skill  of  mountain  life  would  easily  get  lost  or caught  by  bad  weather  condition  at  high  altitudes.  Many  people –  Jews,  southern  Italians  or  Africans  died  as  they  were trying to pass through the mountains. In Liguria, an Italian region on the coast close to the France, the environment is not so harsh. A high hill, a few meters far from the sea, divides Italian jurisdiction from French one.

It is very much easier to walk through this path than everywhere else on the Alps. It is called ͞il sentiero della speranza͟ – The path of hope. Many Jews left  Italy  in  the  30’s  using  this  path  it  as Mussolini  published his  fascist  racial laws.  People  from  southern  Italy followed in  the  50’s  trying  to  get  into  France  to  find better  life  condition. Africans did  the  same  in  the  70’s  80’s,  especially the  ones  from  the  former  French  colonies.  In  the  last 10  years  hundreds of  SyriansPakistanis  and  Iraqis  coming  from  the most unstable political scenario in the world, saved their life thanks to this walk. The path starts from Grimaldi, a hamlet close to Ventimiglia and in less than a couple of hours leads to Mentone, in France, passing around the last valley on the Italian ground and the highway overpass that dominates the valley like a huge 6 feet monster.

Migrants find a small group of abandoned houses and usually stop there to rest and change their clothes before to walk on the French ground. As the check points at the French border have become stricter, alternative ways to pass the confines have become more and more used.

About the author:
Marco Marucci is a photographer who hails from Bari, Italy. Born in 1982. His foray into the world of photography began through examining the environment around him. He lives now in Turin.

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