In the space of little over a month, between 31 October and 6 December

2005, the proposed Turin-Lyon high-speed train (Treno Alta Velocità, or

TAV) line became a national news story following the dramatic protests

that marked initial attempts to open exploratory survey sites. On 31

October, the “Battle of Rocciamelone” took place between police and

demonstrators who were blocking access to the Seghino site, where

drilling was due to commence. In the ensuing days, protests were held

across the valley, culminating on 16 November in a general strike and

“the march of the 80,000” from Bussoleno to Susa. On 30 November

and 1 December, protestors gathered at Venaus—where another, far

more important construction site for a long exploratory tunnel was

planned—and set up a camp, which was then dismantled by police

during the night of 5–6 December.