Category:

Architecture

Afterwork Shooting at San Maurizio

Milan (Italy). In the past days I had the opportunity to read a lot about San Maurizio (the full name is San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore). This place just went through a long period (30 years!) of restorative measures, and its opening was one of the major cultural events of the past months.

One of the things that was stimulating my curiosity is the parallel made by someone with the Sistina Chapel in Rome, and to be honest I was a bit skeptic. But today I decided to check with my eyes (and my camera, of course!). I’m lucky because this place is very close to my office (it’s in Corso Magenta) and on Thursdays it remains open till late (10:30 PM).

When I entered, I really could not believe my eyes: if the external façade is quite simple and – let me say – “poor”, the interior is really stunningly decorated. I was truly enthralled by all those images (perfectly renovated) describing scenes from the Holy Bible and dating back to almost 500 years ago (Bernardino Luini decorated this place between 1520 and 1530). But what made my visit even more special and memorable, was the second part of the hall – the so called “Hall of Nuns” – where four young musicians were playing music with three violins and a cello.

I took several photos, and I merged some of them to compose this “pano” view and to give an idea (although a very limited one) of this place. I can now join those who were saying that this is the “Sistina Chapel” of Milan: it was a great afterwork shooting!

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Life Along Camondo Stairs

Istanbul (Turkey). There are so many stories around Camondo Stairs! Every time I have the possibility, I love standing in front of them and watching the life around: every time there are people walking up and down between Karakoy and Galata, photographers (it’s a very popular spot, I guess thanks to Henry Cartier Bresson) trying to capture “the perfect moment”, selfiers (it’s a neologism!) playing with their cameraphones, architecture lovers finding their inspiration and simple curious being attracted by their unusual shape.

Days ago, after an abundant snowfall on Istanbul, I came to this place to shoot some photos. I was not expecting so many people, but at the end I was not frustrated by their presence. Camondo Stairs are probably much more beautiful with people using them, making them alive many years after their construction.

Karakoy is a lovely area: if you know Istanbul I guess you understand what I’m writing about. But if you are a newcomer or a tourist and you landed on this page via google, do not forget to include this district in your tour and do not be scared of getting lost here.

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The Haunted House at Fondazione Prada in Milan

Milan (Italy). Time ago I visited the Fondazione Prada (Prada Foundation): I wrote some posts about very interesting exhibitions hosted at that time (Thomas Demand, Tom Friedman, Pino Pascali and Damien Hirst), but I didn’t say too much about what is probably the most capturing aspect of this place: the architecture of its spaces.

So, I decided to expand the tag “Fondazione Prada” with some photos focused exclusively on the architectures – with the intention of going there again and taking some more shots.

The Fondazione Prada is a very interesting example of conversion and reutilization of a former and abandoned industrial space into something of completely different. The architects of OMA Studio leaded by the Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas worked to keep the original structure – possibly adapting the existing spaces to the needs of a museum – but still giving the feeling to visitors of being in a place totally new, as if it had been built from scratch.

While I was walking around pavilions and photographing around me (this sentence sounds familiar) I was noticing that the majority of structures was not totally new, therefore I still could imagine the site “as it was” in the past, functioning for its original scope (a distillery). But at the same time, some elements – such as for example the “Haunted House” – were bringing me to another dimension, both temporal (for the modernity of their design) and architectural (for the striking contrast of colors and materials). The result, for me, was a sort of “temporal confusion”, something of very intriguing, and that made me conclude that a visit to the Fondazione Prada is absolutely recommended.

Some more photos will follow. Here I used the Nikon Df (the only reflex I still have, and I love it!) mounted with a wide angle Zeiss Distagon ZF.2 18 mm lens.

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Cena Con Me

Milan (Italy). Imagine… thousands of people attending a dinner without knowing anything – really anything, including the location – since few hours before the scheduled time. Only few rules, being the most important one on the dress code.

White!

Yes, this is the spirit of Cena Con Me, an event I already photographed a couple of years ago, but that every time is a surprise. The organizers create the event on Facebook and collects the requests. Then, it communicates the location (in Milan) 5 hours before the time. Since that moment, people start collecting all the items prepared in the past weeks and gather to the selected place.

It happens therefore that a pacific place suddenly becomes a mess: a “white wave” made of people, tables, chairs, plates, glasses, balloons, candle holders, flowers, accessorizes… everything is rigorously white.

Beyond the color, there are few more basic rules: respecting the location leaving the place as it was before the event – therefore carrying away any sort of garbage; and closing the event at midnight.

Under the tag “Cena Con Me 2017” I’m posting some photos of the event. The location is Piazzale Giulio Cesare, the heart of City Life, a very interesting new development, with the amazing skyscrapers of Zaha Hadid and Arata Isozaki in the background.


Milano. Immagina… migliaia di persone che partecipano a una cena senza sapere niente – ma veramente niente, compresa la location – fino a poche ore prima dell’orario programmato. Solo poche regole, tra cui la più importante riguarda l’abbigliamento.

Bianco!

Si, questo è lo spirito di Cena Con Me, un evento che ho già fotografato in passato un paio di anni fa, ma che ogni volta è una sorpresa. Gli organizzatori creano l’evento su Facebook e raccolgono le richieste di partecipazione. Successivamente, comunicano il luogo di svolgimento (a Milano) 5 ore prima l’orario programmato. Da quel momento, la gente inizia a prendere tutte le cose preparate nelle settimane precedenti e a ritrovarsi presso il luogo stabilito.

Succede quindi che una piazza tranquilla diventi improvvisamente un caos: una “onda bianca” fatta di persone, tavoli, sedie, piatti, bicchieri, palloncini, candelabri, fiori, accessori… tutto è rigorosamente bianco.

Oltre al colore, ci sono poche regole di base: rispettare la location lasciando il posto come lo si è trovato prima dell’evento – quindi portando via ogni tipo di rifiuto; e chiudere l’evento a mezzanotte.

Con il tag “Cena Con Me 2017” posto alcune foto dell’evento. La location scelta quest’anno era Piazzale Giulio Cesare, nel cuore di City Life, un nuovo sviluppo urbano molto interessante, con sullo sfondo i bellissimi grattacieli disegnati da Zaha Hadid e da Arata Isozaki.

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Trieste in Chiaroscuro (Palazzo del Governo)

Trieste (Italy). I love photographing when the sun goes down and paints the buildings facades with a warm tonality, creating at the same time long dark shadows. I have even created a tag to describe this special situation of contrasts – naming it “chiaroscuro”.

Some days ago I was walking around Piazza Unità d’Italia in Trieste, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, and the sunset was partially painting the elegant facade of the “Palazzo del Governo” (Government Building), which today hosts the Province and the Prefecture. Is there any better situation to enrich my gallery of chiaroscuro photos?


Trieste. Mi piace fotografare quando il sole scende e colora con una tonalità calda le facciate dei palazzi, creando al tempo stesso lunghe ombre scure. Ho anche creato un tag – l’ho chiamato appunto “chiaroscuro” – per descrivere questa speciale situazione di contrasti.

Alcuni giorni fa ero in Piazza Unità d’Italia a Trieste, senza dubbio una delle piazze più belle d’Italia, e il tramonto colorava una parte della facciata dell’elegante Palazzo del Governo, sede della Provincia e della Prefettura. Quale miglior occasione per arricchire la mia galleria di foto in chiaroscuro?

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A Bridge To The Past (Pontremoli)

Pontremoli (Italy). A night walking is always a source of inspiration, especially if you can rely on a highly performing camera such as the Leica Q. Even when the light is very low, this fantastic camera is still able to give me the possibility of photographing around me with a good level of confidence. This is another example (was it necessary?).

How mysterious can be a bridge! I took this photograph last summer during a night walk around Pontremoli. Pontremoli? What’s Pontremoli? If you follow my blog, you should know something more about Pontremoli. I have always loved this bridge (named “Ponte del Giubileo”, in English “Jubilee Bridge”): its shape is so curved that if you stand at its beginning, you cannot see what there’s at the other side. For this reason, I like to come here and shoot images from this perspective. And the post’s title is not fortuitous: this is really “a bridge to the past”, because Pontremoli is a very old town and its bridges – including this one – connects different neighborhoods since the Medieval period.

A proverb (I think it is Indian) says “Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it”. Maybe it’s a bit “drastic”, but sometimes I feel it could be mine. Anyway… this post was intended to show how the Leica Q is great at f/1.7, let’s not digress too much!

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Climbing Up to the Castle (Salita al Castello di Udine)

Udine (Italy). Giovanni Boccaccio mentions Udine and the Friuli region in the 10th Day’s “Fifth Novel” of his most famous masterpiece Decameron written in 1350.

“In Friuli, a country, though cold, glad with goodly mountains and store of rivers and clear springs, is a city called Udine…”

The feelings I have when I walk around Udine are those of a very pleasant city with high life quality, characterized by a typical medieval urban tissue perfectly integrated with stylish shops, cozy cafes and beautiful bookstores.

I love so much visiting Udine and photographing its glimpses. This one in the image is the colonnade along the steep way to the Castle, captured some days ago at sunset.


Udine. Giovanni Boccaccio menziona Udine e il Friuli nella “Novella Quinta” della decima giornata del suo celebre Decameron, scritto intorno al 1350:

“In Frioli, paese, quantunque freddo, lieto di belle montagne, di più fiumi e di chiare fontane, è una terra chiamata Udine…”

Le sensazioni che si hanno passeggiando per Udine sono quelle di una cittadina assai piacevole con una alta qualità della vita, caratterizzata da un’impronta urbanistica tipicamente medievale che si concilia perfettamente con negozi eleganti, caffè ospitali e belle librerie.

Mi piace molto visitare Udine e fotografarne alcuni suoi scorci. Questo nella foto è il colonnato che accompagna la ripida salita al Castello, in uno scatto fatto giorni fa al tramonto.

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