Street & People

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.


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.


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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Castellabate, Outside the Basilica

Castellabate (Salerno, Italy). A minister (or maybe the parish priest?) photographed when he’s reading the newspaper on the parvise of the ancient Pontifical Basilica of Santa Maria de Gulia at Castellabate, a lovely town located on the uplands of the Cilento National Park (UNESCO site) in the Salerno province. This Romanesque style church, which dates back to the first half of the 12th Century, represents one of the beauties of Castellabate. The village is mostly known because it hosted the set of a pretty successful Italian movie (“Benvenuti al Sud” with Claudio Bisio and Alessandro Siani, the Italian remake of the original French movie “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis“), but I think it should be visited especially for its position and its peculiar narrow streets.

Castellabate (Salerno). Un sacerdote (forse il parroco?) fotografato mentre legge il giornale sul sagrato della antica Basilica Pontificia di Santa Maria de Gulia a Castellabate, un delizioso paese in provincia di Salerno, posizionato sulle alture del Parco del Cilento (sito patrimonio UNESCO). La chiesa risalente alla prima metà del XII secolo e in perfetto stile romanico, è una delle bellezze di Castellabate. Il paese è conosciuto per essere stato utilizzato come set di un film abbastanza di successo (“Benvenuti al Sud” con Claudio Bisio e Alessandro Siani, il remake italiano dell’originale francese “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis“), ma merita di essere visitato più che altro per la sua posizione e le sue caratteristiche stradine.

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Tour(s) Eiffel

Paris (France). One (of the many) vendors of miniaturized Tour Eiffel’s souvenir, on the Esplanade du Trocadero.

When I’m in Paris and I  have some time to spend, I like coming here: it’s full of tourists shooting photos in absurd positions – the most popular uses the perspective to show them keeping the top of the Tour Eiffel with a hand – and it is a nice “piece of world”.

To shoot this photo I used a Ricoh GR. It’s a great camera, I will never get tired of repeating it!

Parigi (Francia). Uno dei tanti venditori di souvenir della Torre Eiffel sulla Esplanade du Trocadero.

Quando sono a Parigi e ho un po’ di tempo da spendere, mi piace venire qui: è pieno di turisti che scattano foto in posizioni assurde – la più comune utilizza la prospettiva per dare l’idea che tengano la Torre Eiffel con una mano – ed è un divertente “pezzo di mondo”.

Per scattare questa foto ho utilizzato la Ricoh GR. E’ una gran macchina fotografica, non mi stancherò mai di ripeterlo!


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Fishing Along The Shoreline (Lignano Riviera)

Lignano Riviera (Italy). This photograph dates back to almost one year ago: I took it at the end of last August, when I was in Lignano (Lignano Riviera, to be precise), a touristic spot in Friuli Venezia Giulia (in the North-East of Italy). I still remember that when I took this image, there was a fantastic warm and gentle light – it was around 7.30 PM, the so called “golden hour”, and the sun was going down just behind my – and my eyes were captured by this young boy fishing (or maybe playing as a fisherman) along the shoreline.

I don’t know why I did not consider this photograph immediately: maybe because initially I was much more intrigued by another image, captured and published that same day, and which was representing the concept of “end of summer”. However, in these days I was leafing through my portfolio and I noticed this scene: I looked at it with a different gaze since it was able to give me something like a “sense of calm”, the typical mood that accompanies the last days of summer – as they were when I captured this image. In a certain sense, I can say that this feeling is contrasting with the frenzy that precedes the summer holidays, as it is in these days; and maybe this is the reason why I thought it was a nice photo to be reconsidered (and shared).

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Dalmatian Fisherman in Lastovo

Lastovo (Croatia). I like walking along docks: I always bring a camera with me, and fishermen are one of my favorite subjects.

I met this men in Lastovo (the Italian name is Lagosta) and – no need to say – my attention was captured by the big fish (I think it was a snapper) and the man that was preparing it. Very close there are some good restaurants, and he was arranging the dinner for some customers (including myself). The clear sunlight of sunset was colouring the scene with a nice warm tone.

One curiosity: in Milan there’s a place named “Piazzale Lagosta“. I think it’s the same “Lagosta” of the Croatian “Lastovo”.

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La Soglia Magica (Milano Malpensa Airport)

Milan (Italy). Landing at Milano Malpensa Airport and heading to the trains that go to Milan Downtown, you pass through “La Soglia Magica” (The Magic Threshold). It’s supposed to be an artistic – architectural installation, with a sort of curtain made of artificial fog (is it a stereotype of Milan?) coming vertically from the ceiling. Well, it’s a long time I do not see “La Soglia Magica” working (and I fly from / to Malpensa quite frequently), whereas some days ago I saw a tourist sleeping undisturbed on the ground, with the head on his suitcase. I found this scene interesting…

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Milan from the Window of Tram n. 1

Milan (Italy). This photograph demonstrates – if necessary – that in every moment of the day there is an opportunity to capture an image (and how useful and handy is the Ricoh GR camera, which perfectly fits in my raincoat pocket and is ready to use in every moment).

Yesterday I was on my way home back from the office and I jumped on the tram n.1. It is definitely a very old but characteristic coach, which dates back around 1920 – 1930 but is now fully operating after a complete and renovation work. When I was sit on one of its wooden benches, I was thinking about how watching a city from the window of a tram is an amazing experience. If in Lisbon, the famous tram n. 28 crossing the Alfama district is one of the most popular touristic attractions, why it cannot be the same here in Milan? Not to mention how nice and interesting can be photographing life from and inside trams! I’m developing a specific project about it…

Here, the tram is crossing Largo Cairoli, moving from Foro Bonaparte to Via Cusani; through the window I can see the Expo Gate and the Sforza Castle in Piazza Castello.

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Reframe by Ai Weiwei at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Florence (Italy). Last weekend I was walking around the downtown of Florence, when I saw this interesting installation made by the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It’s a serie of 22 rubber boats positioned in correspondence to Palazzo Strozzi’s windows, on its façade. The installation’s title is “Reframe – Nuova Cornice” (new frame). In these years the same type of boats have been used by refugees which, escaping misery and looking for a better life, cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Italy – in Europe, to be more precise. For this reason, I considered it appropriate including in the composition an European flag, a traffic sign indicating “no access” (which is more or less what Europe answers to their request) and the shopping window of the luxury brand Louis Vuitton…

Firenze. Lo scorso fine settimana, passeggiando per il centro di Firenze, ho visto questa interessante installazione dell’artista contemporaneo cinese Ai Weiwei. Si tratta di una serie di gommoni, montati sulla facciata di Palazzo Strozzi, in corrispondenza delle sue finestre. Il nome dell’installazione è “Reframe – Nuova Cornice”. Si tratta degli stessi gommoni utilizzati dai profughi per attraversare il Mar Mediterraneo ed arrivare in Italia – o meglio in Europa – e scappare dalla loro miseria alla ricerca di una vita migliore. Per questo motivo, ho ritenuto appropriato includere nella composizione della mia foto sia una bandiera europea, che un cartello di divieto di accesso, che la vetrina di Louis Vuitton…

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