The landscape of Italy – the hinterlands of towns, the wider countryside with farms, ploughed land and orchards and olive groves, the lakes and rivers, the natural resources of woodland and mountain – is rich and diverse, ranging from narrow coastal plain to high mountain plateaux. Exploitation of the landscape has long been varied, encompassing small localized farmers and shepherds in the Abruzzo Apennines, to the intensive crop cultivation across the Po Plain. (For introductions to these landscapes see Potter 1987: 14-27; Wickham 1981: 9-14, noting how few cities are not in sight of the mountains.) In Antiquity it is easy to picture a simplistic relationship between town and country, with urban centres as the great consumers, soaking up the efforts of a pre-mechanized rural population whose farms cluster towards the town markets and the vital road arteries between these (fig. 83). The bond between town and country was, in theory, strong: Roman colonists, implanted in new towns as symbols of a new order and as encouragement for local development and exchange, were allocated land plots for cultivation to provide food and a means for making a living; new towns offered scope for sale of produce, both local and more distant; and towns were, generally, carefully sited to exploit an adequate hinterland (fertile soil, resourced with water, wood and road and riverways). There was a need also to provide pasture for animals for meat supply, to have access to woodland for building material, fuel (for home, industry, baths) and productive use, and to have a serviceable communications system (local and external). Needs were current and longer-term (that is, from provision of animals, meat, vegetables and fruit to salting of meat, drying of fruit, pickling of produce, and storage of grain in depots). Under Rome, urban longevity reflected not just a busy hinterland but also a successful trading network allowing additional needs to be met.