Rights of commons in Italy: a different way of owning towards the recognition of an intangible cultural value

The expression rights of commons in Italy historically dates back to the feudal system and refers to the rights of enjoyment of one’s own property or those of others owned by a specific community, with the content including the use of specific benefits coming from the land, woods or waters. The Italian legislator has intervened several times, even recently, in order to provide a clear and complete discipline to these rights, the most important element of which is undoubtedly the shared model of land governance, as an alternative to those generally recognized (public property and private property). However, there are still many critical issues in this sector. First, this paper aims to examine the controversial legal nature of rights of commons – also in the light of their legislative assimilation to landscape assets – as well as the serious state of uncertainty that characterizes the regime for the legal transfer of land burdened by rights of commons. Lastly – also in the light of examining the experience of the English common lands – the author intends to envisage a partially innovative interpretation of rights of commons, as an intangible cultural asset, through the valorisation of the profile of shared use and the protection of local traditions.