Soil as a Landscape

Nature, crossings and immersions, new topographies

edited by Luigi Latini and Simonetta Zanon

Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche-Antiga

Treviso 2022

180 pages, 88 illustrations

cover price: 30 euro, ISBN 978-88-8435-342-9

Italian edition, ISBN 978-88-8435-341-2

(Memorie, 20)




The collective volume, edited by Luigi Latini and Simonetta Zanon, contains contributions by: Hervé Brunon, Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna, Fabrizio Cembalo Sambiase and Antonio di Gennaro, Giacomo Certini, Laura Fregolent, Christophe Girot, Anna Lambertini, Tilman Latz, Rosario Pavia, Antonio Perazzi, Paolo Pileri, Laura Zampieri, Simonetta Zanon.


Though it is true that soil – a complex ecosystem that is crucial to our survival and an invaluable repository of biodiversity – is nowadays the focus of abundant theoretical and practical attention and of much in-the-field experimentation, it is also true that all too often one hears of soil considered as a surface that can be freely put to any use, an inert and colourless canvas that becomes interesting only when something is placed upon it or hidden beneath it.

Returning to the issues discussed during the Soil as Landscape programme devised for the 2020 International Landscape Study Days, the fifteen authors of this volume once again bring their experience and their diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds to bear on the shared belief that soil actually has a value in and of itself, that it is not only a primary and irreplaceable element in the definition of the characteristics and quality of our environment and our landscapes, but that it is, itself, landscape.

Soil is the connective tissue, sustenance and vital process that accompanies our experience of life, it is the physical, social and aesthetic dimension that gives substance to the places we inhabit and our sense of belonging to a landscape and to the Earth.




International Landscape Study Days 2020

Luigi Latini and Simonetta Zanon, Preface

Hands in the earth

Hervé Brunon, Secrets of the humus

Simonetta Zanon, Random notes on soil, asphalt and gardens

Anna Lambertini, Urban soils. Notes for an in-depth landscaping project

Antonio Perazzi, Garden soil

Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna, Soil as an aesthetic experience. Artistic practices, shared and ‘undisciplined’

Soil as a project. Theories and practices

Christophe Girot, About ground, soil and topology

Laura Zampieri, Water and soil in landscape projects

Tilman Latz, Constructing the landscape: the erosion of time

Fabrizio Cembalo Sambiase and Antonio di Gennaro, Caring for landscape in the ‘Terra dei fuochi’

Soil, land and society

Rosario Pavia, Soil, climate, landscape

Giacomo Certini, Terrestrial and extraterrestrial soils

Paolo Pileri, The obsession of safeguarding soil

Laura Fregolent, Urbanisation and land use in the Veneto 

The authors

References for illustrations

Index of names and places


The editors

Luigi Latini is a landscape architect and teaches Landscape Architecture at the Iuav University, Venice. He has been associated with the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, Treviso, since 1998 and he is currently chairman of the Scientific Committee and director of the Foundation.

Simonetta Zanon works for the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche in Treviso, where she is in charge of landscape projects and research.