Italians Rail Against a High-Speed Train Project

A planned high-speed link between Turin and Lyon becomes a canvas for Italian dissent
Protesters in the Val di Susa voice opposition to the TAV, the Italian high-speed train Photograph by Fabio Bucciarelli/LUZphoto; Data: Claudio De Tommasi (

On a day in late winter in a valley in the Italian Alps, about a hundred people set off on a walk. Their path took them by steeply terraced vineyards, through a small village, and over the crest of a hill to where the riot police were waiting for them. The officers stood in small knots, behind a fence topped with razor wire, spread out across a patch of cleared land where the government plans to break ground on an €8.2 billion ($10.8 billion) project to connect Italy and France by high-speed rail. Soldiers clustered nearby. A camouflage-painted Lince—Italy’s answer to a Humvee—moved in a lazy patrol. A medic’s jeep squatted under a concrete overpass.

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