Keywords: Common lands, Land claims, Customary right, Alps
The author illustrates here the long-lasting legal action that he sued together with his father in order to have 858 hectares (2121 acres) of common lands acknowledged in a municipality situated in the Eastern Italian Alps. The legal action targeted the grazing right and the estovers (the right to heating wood and to building timber) for the entire population, and the right to self-government for three «Frazioni di Comune» (villages belonging to the municipality). The author narrates the memory of customary rights, and the lack of their understanding on behalf of the authorities. The consequent resumption of the civil lawsuit , thanks to the retrieval of documents previously considered missing for decades, the human implications of the action, and the concurrent author’s educational progress as a law history scholar are also presented here.