Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 62/2024

It’s a hard life in Maremma: Luciano Bianciardi and history of geology

Alessio Argentieri1,4, Giovanni De Caterini2,4, Federico Rossetti3,4 & Giovanni Rotella1,4
1Città metropolitana di Roma Capitale- Dip. IV "Pianificazione, sviluppo e governo del territorio" - Servizio 2 "Geologico, difesa del suolo- Risorse agroforestali- Rischi territoriali".
2ISPRA- Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale.
3Università degli Studi Roma TRE- Dipartimento di Scienze.
4Società Geologica Italiana- Sezione di Storia delle Geoscienze.
Corresponding author e-mail:

Volume: 62/2024
Pages: 191-202


In the literary output of Luciano Bianciardi (1922- 1971), teacher, writer, journalist and translator, references to geology and geologists and his native land Tuscan Maremma represent a key element. Bianciardi, although known primarily for his hard criticism of social and cultural environment during Italian economic miracle, reveals in his works a strong knowledge of the territory and of its physiography and geological characteristics. In his books, various characters of 18th and 19th century, directly or indirectly connected with the regional geology, are often cited, revealing a good mastery of history of geosciences. The social and economic condition of the working class of the miners was another crucial issue in Bianciardi’s view. The tragic accident of the explosion in the Ribolla mine in 1954 inspired his best-known book “La vita agra” (“It’s a hard life”), published in 1962. On the centenary of Bianciardi’s birth, we thus pay a tribute to the geological attitude of the writer and of the man.


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