The main steps of the sedimentary evolution of the west Lombardian South Alpine foredeep between the Eocene and the Early Miocene are described. The oldest is a Bartonian carbonate decrease in hemipelagic sediments linked with an increase in terrigenous input, possibly related to a rainfall increase in the Alps. Between the Middle Eocene and the early Chattian, a volcanoclastic input is associated with an extensional tectonic regime, coeval with magma emplacement in the southern-central Alps, and with volcanogenic deposits of the European foredeep and Apennines, suggesting a regional extensional tectonic phase leading to the ascent of magma. During Late Eocene to Early Oligocene, two periods of coarse clastic sedimentation occured, probably controlled by eustasy. The first, during Late Eocene, fed by a local South Alpine source, the second, earliest Oligocene in age, supplied by the Central Alps. In the Chattian, a strong increase in coarse supply records the massive erosion of Central Alps, coupled with a structures growth phase in the subsurface; it was followed by an Aquitanian rearrangement of the Alpine drainage systems suggested by both petrography of clastic sediments and retreat of depositional systems, while subsurface sheet-like geometry of Aquitanian turbidites marks a strong decrease in tectonic activity.