Talk:Po Valley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Italy (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Italy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles on Italy on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Requested move (old)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Speedy close - reopening of discussion already closed [1] as no consensus. Húsönd 17:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Po valley is more common and less astonishing than the present name. If there is consensus that it should be Po Valley, fine; but if not, I would follow WP's general preference for lower case: Po is a proper name; it's not clear that Po valley is. (The present name is astonishing in part because the English spelling is Padane, as in Cispadane Republic, Transpadane Gaul. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:01, 14 December 2007 (UTC)


  • Support as nom. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:01, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's not a valley. Timeineurope (talk) 01:12, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose- names are interchangeable anyways. In Italy it is common to say Po Valley (Val padana), but Padan plain (Pianura padana) is deemed more correct. "Pianura padana" is what you would typically see in Italian textbooks. Either way there is the redirect.Mariokempes (talk) 00:54, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
    • No, they are not; this name is unintelligible to mere English speakers, for whom this Wikipedia is intended. Would you move it:Londra to London, because the names are "interchangeable"? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Wait a minute—in Italy it's common to say Po Valley, despite recognition that it's less "correct"? Why is this even an issue? This needs to be changed. Unschool (talk) 21:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
        • In the english speaking world I've never actually heard anybody refer to it as "Padan plain", BUT my point is that it really doesn't matter. If someone types in "Po valley" it would redirect here anyway. I still think "Padan plain" or "Po plain" is more correct, geographically speaking- but go ahead and change it if that is the consensus. Mariokempes (talk) 18:56, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support I must admit, it is not somewhere I am overly familiar with, having only travelled through the area once, but certainly Po valley is the term I have always seen used to describe the area in Britain. I do however think there is something to be said for Padan Plain being less confusing than Po valley, due to the lack of the river Po within said valley (as I understand it), however it is for Wiki to follow trends, not set them. Narson (talk) 21:03, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. When I learned this as a child, I was taught Po Valley. I taught geography for many years and our texts called it either the Po Valley or Po River Valley. Simply put, to the best of my knowledge, this is what it is known, at least in the States. As to the argument that it is not a valley, that may be true. But the Caspian is not a sea and the Kalahari is not a desert. Tradition often trumps taxonomy. Unschool (talk) 21:13, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Evidence (below) shows that primary English usage is Po valley. Counter arguements are quite unpersuasive as of now. It is obviously a valley, and Italian textbooks don't have to much to do with English language conventions.Erudy (talk) 02:52, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I would actually prefer Po plain as more idiomatic English than ‘Padan’, and fairly widely used judging by Google Scholar’s 2,100 hits. Po valley would be a fine name for a more broadly scoped article, probably one which included the whole of the river’s drainage basin. But the article we have here concerns only the plain(s) which form the base of the Po valley. —Ian Spackman (talk) 12:48, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


The unreliable raw google gets similar results. 530,000 for Po valley; 22,400 for Padan Plain, examination of which suggests that the latter is primarily a carelessly over-literal translation from the Italian. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

For fun I tried Italian Google... Po valley (val padana): 115,000 for Po valley. Padan plain (Pianura padana): 212,000 for Padan plain. Mariokempes (talk) 01:00, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Mildly "refined" google search

Investigation of individual hits reveals that variations of "Padan Plain" do appear to be used occasionally in English. However, the overwhelming majority of usage is for "Po valley". Britannica, the European Space Agency, the US Army, the Italian Tourism Ministry all use Po valley. There is even an small Australian firm, called Po Valley Energy, developing oil and gas in northern Italy. The weight of evidence, in my opinion, is greatly in favor of "Po valley" as the primary name for this feature, while "Padan Plain/plain" is an occasional alternative.Erudy (talk) 02:46, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


  • What would most English language travel guides refer to the region as? Unfortunately, I don't have my Italy guides with me. As this is the English Wikipedia, it would make sense to refer to the region by its most commonly used name in English. --StuffOfInterest (talk) 19:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
    The only reference I can find quickly in the Blue Guide to Northern Italy is to “the wide, open plain[…] known as the pianura padana.” So we are not alone in being unsure as to the best translation. —Ian Spackman (talk) 11:22, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • There's another "plain of the Po" in the same book, describing Lombardy
    • Lonely Planet's walking in Italy speaks of "the densely settled Po valley (Pianura Padana)" p.18
    • Let's Go Italy speaks of "the fertile plains of the Po River Valley". (p. 378, of Emilia-Romagna)
    • Rough Guide to Italy speaks of the "Po plain".
    It is an occupational hazard of travel guides to succumb to the local lingo, because it's what's on the street signs. If they are evenly split, English is not. I hold to my recommendation; but if we can agree on Po plain, that would be at least intelligible. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:43, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
  • The opposition appears to be largely based on Italian Val having a slightly different semantic range than valley. This is natural, but should not override English usage, which is about 400 to 1 against Padan Plain. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:25, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • You should probably mention this to Husond. Dekimasuよ! 03:03, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Speedy closed. Please don't unilaterally reopen closed discussions, Septentrionalis, especially without contacting the closing admin. Húsönd 17:32, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
        • The first close was dubious, especially since a reasonable third proposal had been made and not been discussed. (The close is also contrary to the evidence, but a closing admin is not required to weigh the arguments.) A discussion closed no consensus may be reopened at any time, especially in a new variant; this second close is manifestly improper. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:11, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Requested move (new)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move to Po Valley --Lox (t,c) 20:34, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Reopening, as above; when this discussion was cut off, there was a definite potential of consenus on Po something. While I have a preference between the possibilities, any of them would be better English than the present name.

Po valley is, to my ear, and that of other anglophones, above, idiomatic English; I will accept Po Valley, even Po plain, although I do not believe the evidence supports them. Since there are several possibilities, the most straightforward way to set this up is as an approval poll, in which everyone indicates which forms they find acceptable.

Approval poll[edit]

Please !vote for as many of these as you can accept; feel free to add new possibilities.

Po valley
Po Valley
  • Second choice Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:52, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
    • I find "Po valley" more natural, and it implies that this is, as all of these choices are, a description, not a proper name; but the difference of capitalization is marginal. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:06, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • First Choice My first due to the use of the capitalisation accepts that this is a name people have attached to it and may not be correct in literal terms.Narson (talk) 13:56, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • First choice This is standard English usage. It's not appropriate for Wikipedia to try to change scholarship by establishing the name "Padan Plain". Noel S McFerran (talk) 15:55, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • First choice Jecowa (talk) 02:05, 26 December 2007 (UTC) Per WP:NC#Common names and WP:NC#Caps.
    • By the way, Oxford defines a valley as "a low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it." This location seems to meet this description. Jecowa (talk) 02:14, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
  • First Choice, only because it's the way I was taught. More importantly, though, I must say, any of these choices employing "Po" would be better than anything using "Padan". Per Haukur below, the case for Padan has not been made—even in Italy, as someone alluded to in the prior discussion, "Po" is often used. If "plain" helps as a compromise, I think it'll be okay. Redirects from Po Valley or Po valley would still get the reader to an article that they recognize. Unschool (talk) 05:27, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Po plain
  • Third choice, but acceptable Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:52, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Third choice Narson (talk) 13:56, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Second choice. I don't think the case for 'Padan' has really been made here and I don't think the case against 'plain' as more appropriate for the article as currently scoped has been made either. Haukur (talk) 23:58, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Po Plain
  • First choice. This capitalization seems more common in a casual check. I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise. Haukur (talk) 23:58, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Padan Plain



There is no question that the standard Italian is pianura Padana, although one of the comments in the last discussion is that Val Padana is also commonly used. Val and valley have slightly different implications; this is not surprising, since the terrain of Italy also differs from England, North America, or Australia. But "Po valley" is what English speakers most often use and would expect; Padan is a very rare word, and is found, if at all, in Cispadane and Transpadane (note the e). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:52, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
  • Page moved per discussion above; cheers. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


I created the page, I am the responsibile for its strange naming - maybe because I'm Italian speaking mothertongue and LIVE in the Po valley, or Po plain, or Padan plain or God knows. I come back and find a revolution has been staged without consulting me... However I have to approve: Po valley can be more apt a definition for English speakers than mine, despite we seldom use the expression Val Padana. Just keep in mind, however, that the English language Wikipedia is THE Wikipedia of reference for THE WORLD, non-English speakers included (just like me).

Basil II 00:54, 4 January 2008 (CET)

Thank you for your generous attitude. May peace on this article be everlasting. Unschool (talk) 06:52, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Alternate names[edit]

I have added the alternate names to the head of the article. Using Google Books, we find Po Valley about 3x more common than Po Plain or Plain of the Po (which is decisive for the name of the article, but they are common enough to mention), and Padan Plain very rare or old-fashioned (and might well be discarded...). --macrakis (talk) 22:10, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Needs refs and English workover[edit]

While I appreciate the grandness of the Italian grand style (you sometimes see it in American Civil War battlefield tour guides) it does not really sound like encyclopedic English, which is rather matter-of-fact. Too emotional and a bit opinionated; by that, I mean the author keeps interjecting his emotional reactions to events. It might make a nice essay, but we aren't essayists (not here anyway). So, if you don't mind, I think I will anglicise it a bit. We are a bunch of cold fish, you know, or haven't you heard? Yuk yuk. No offense. While I am at it I will try to find some refs as there are none here. This is an ongoing project. After the move it seems to have been dropped as though everything about it to be settled was settled. Ciao.Dave (talk) 16:50, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

OK. Someone had to have translated some of this stuff out of Italian originals but they didn't cite any originals. The degree by which the translation might be improved is 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 symbolizing the greatest need. I don't think just fixing the English will do much good, but that is all I am going to do for now. Why don't you suprise me and come up with some references? Back later.Dave (talk) 02:08, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
No hay problema. I wrote down the original page from scratch with my heart, far more than with cold reasoning. I'm Italian, after all, and a Lombard :)--Basil II (talk) 13:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Basil for your candid admission and thanks for your work on the article. I think I will work on it from time to time. My immediate problem is to find English refs for this material. I note also that just because something was translated from the Italian does not make it accurate or sacrosanct. If I may seem a little overzealous in my comments I do apologize. Smoothness has not been a strong point of mine. Blame it on the puritan yankees if you wish, or on me. I can certainly see (from a distance) why you would get enthusiastic about the Po Valley. Writing off the top although not perhaps as accurate at least puts something there for others to work on. Have a great day. Ciao.Dave (talk) 19:20, 3 June 2009 (UTC)