Baron in the Trees

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The book "The Baron in the Trees," by Italo Calvino is about the Baron Cosimo Piovasco di Rondò, or simply known as Cosimo, spent almost all of his life living up in the trees of Ombrosa after refusing to eat the disgusting plate of snails that his sister had made for the family dinner one night when he was twelve. Cosimo kept to his word "I'll never come down again!" (Calvino 13) and he never set foot on the ground again. Cosimo was not bound to one tree though; he was able to travel to many parts of Ombrosa by tree, and lead a very adventurous and full life. The main point of my essay is to discuss the ongoing relationship between Cosimo and the environment. Cosimo cared deeply for the environment in which he lived, and to get a better understanding of what the setting and environment was like in the eighteenth century of Italy, I will describe it as best as I can. The city of Ombrosa was located in the northern region of Italy near Lombardy. This region is located near the Alps so there was a cold alpine climate in the winter with warm, sunny summers, many lakes with rivers leading to them from the Alps, and big valleys great for farming. The area during the eighteenth century Italy was filled with "thick dense forests" (Holmes 31) ; Biagio, Cosimo's brother, describes some of the thickest and biggest forests in Ombrosa to be the "whole length, from end to end, of the gulf of Ombrosa and its valley right up to the mountain crests" (Calvino 28) which meant there had to have been more than a few hundred miles of pure forests for him to travel. There were many different types of trees such as: cork oak, breech, lemon, cherry, almond, peach, holm oak, plum, apples, carobs, mulberry, knobby walnut, and olive trees. ... ... middle of paper ... ...e he did harm to an animal was when the Austrians were invading Italy and were going to go to war with the French army, Cosimo "this time I threw down a rolled up porcupine on the head of a corporal," (Calvino 198) he did this in order for them to change their direction and have to travel different routes in order to meet the French army for battle. I think that if it was not for Cosimo's love and caring for the environment he would not have chosen to live up in his kingdom of trees for long. Sure there were many other reasons for him enduring this way of living but if it were not for the connection that he had, once he started to become more in tune with nature and have more of a sense of belonging and joy from living there, I think he would have never stayed in the trees his whole life, and live a rather dull one as just another aristocratic baron from Ombrosa.

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