Today, the territory called Pontine Marshes in the Province of Latina is peopled by about three hundred thousands of inhabitants and boasts a strong connotation as an area producing excellent vegetables that are well-known and appreciated in Italy as all around the world.
Before the Thirties, the Pontine Plain was a territory completely covered with marshes. The only free areas were occupied by “selve”, some forests of cork oaks, holm oaks and pines.
Thousands of workers coming from regions like Veneto, Friuli and Romagna, poorer and overcrowded regions at the time, were employed to reclaim the lands of the Pontine Plain. They were provided with dormitories, refectories and healthcare services, since malaria was ravaging. Many workers died and all the blood poured in this work was considered as heroic as the blood poured in the trenches of the Great War. It was not a case that they were called also former soldiers of the First World War to take part in the big reclamation work.
The land reclamation started in 1931, when it took place the drying up of the marshes and the built of canals to drain lands.
In three years time (since 1931 to 1934) the most demanding but spectacular part of the public works for Pontine Marshes reclamation was finished. Sixty thousand hectares were recovered and five thousand new small farms were built and granted in concession to settlers. Fourteen rural villages which took the name of some battles of the Great War, and real new cities, such as Sabaudia, Littoria, Pontinia, Pomezia, were founded.
The reclamation process was divided in three branches:
• Reclamation for healthcare to destroy malaria;
• Water reclamation to drain lands;
• Agrarian reclamation to divide lands and grant them in concession to settlers.
After very long journeys, the new settlers, land pioneers, found themselves to start a new life with the hope to find better conditions for them and their family. Right in this ferment of the Thirties it started to take place the conditions that, after 60 years, saw the farm Agrisole being born: a horticultural reality in the Pontine Marshes that is alive thanks to the great reclamation works and thanks to great ethical and professional values.