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AF-S Zoom Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Relaxing at the Seraya Shores Hotel in Bali

Bali (Indonesia). I’m sure that photos can have a positive effect on those watching them. Maybe I’m facilitated by the fact that, being the author of these photos, watching them is a way to re-live some moments.

Today it’s one of those days which have been developed in black and white since the morning. No colors at all out of my window, the sky is white – grey, it’s a bit rainy and yes, unfortunately it’s getting colder. Summer is over not only according to the calendar, and I’m in the mood that I must accept it.

But as said… there are photos! Oh yeah, they help me a lot in these cases. This one, for example, has been taken a couple of summers ago in Bali – on the shores of the Lombok Strait in East Bali, to be more precise. I perfectly remember this place: its name is Seraya Shores Hotel and it is located close to Karangasem. I staid there, it was a paradise on earth, and since this weather is going to depress me, I decided to cure my soul with this image.

Ok, outside is still grey, rainy and cold. But for few minutes – the necessary time to write this post – I was feeling like I was there…

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Human Stupidity (Mural in the Medina of Marrakesh)

Marrakesh (Morocco).

Human Stupidity Has Limits

This is what this mural says. I found it one day I was walking and photographing around the Medina of Marrakesh, one of the most inspiring places I have ever seen in my life (and I visited it twice – quite unusual for me).

Photographing this nice example of street art, it came to my mind the popular quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein:

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.

It’s of course very ironic, but sometimes I think it’s not so distant from reality – especially when I watch the world and think about the way things are going on… Sorry for being a bit pessimist, but these are tough days – and I don’t think I need to explain why. However, I will try to use the sentence written on this wall to build a bit of confidence in the future: perhaps, even Albert Einstein had been wrong at least once in his life.

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The Former Shanghai Slaughterhouse

Shanghai (China). It’s official name is “1933 Laochangfang”, it was the Shanghai slaughterhouse and it was built – as written in its name – in 1933 during the pre-communist period. The building was expressly designed to manage the complicated logistic typical of a slaughterhouse: series of ramps, bridges, slipways and chutes were facilitating the work of men with their cattle, whereas a central atrium was the market. Visiting the 1933 Laochangfang is very impressive, even though today you can only imagine that in its original destination it was an abbattoir; and instead of cows or other animals, today the Shanghai slaughterhouse is a trendy location for events, with bars, restaurants, ballrooms and exhibitions.

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Filetto in Lunigiana

Filetto (Massa Carrara, Italy). Filetto is a lovely small town in Lunigiana, in the northern part of Tuscany. Filetto is one of the many places with a long history, and today it is also very popular for medieval markets and historical commemorations. The whole Lunigiana is worth a visit, I strongly recommend to base the tour in Pontremoli and to drive around these places.

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Playing War (Children from Balat)

Istanbul (Turkey). Today April 23rd is the Children’s Day in Turkey (Çocuk Bayramı). The country celebrates its children, and I think this is a wonderful tradition. I celebrate this special day with all my Turkish friends posting a photograph I captured two years ago during a walk around Balat, in Istanbul. I met these three children playing war: when I proposed them to pose for my camera, they did it in a way like “ok, but please be fast; we have to fight our enemy”. The huge contrast between their behaviour and their children’s eyes impressed me a lot. I found this photo quite symbolic: for this reason – once again – I use it to celebrate this important day: 23 Nisan Çocuk Bayramı kutlu olsun!!

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The Italian Stock Exchange (Palazzo Mezzanotte)

Milan (Italy). Piazza Affari is an important square in Milano, not only because it hosts the Italian Stock Exchange, but also because there is the famous sculpture named “L.O.V.E.”, crafted by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. L.O.V.E. is an acronymous: L is for “Libertà” (freedom), O is for “Odio” (hate), V is for “Vendetta” (revenge) and E is for “Eternità” (eternity). The statue represents a hand, which is making the typical fascist salutation, but with all the fingers – except the medium one – cut or consumed. It must be considered that the building of the Italian Stock Exchange is an example of architecture from the fascist period – therefore the finger can be intended as directed to fascism and, in general, to every regime. However – as the majority of people think – it’s also a clear “f**k off” to the financial world. Whichever meaning you want to see within L.O.V.E., I recommend a visit to Piazza Affari: during the day it is crowded by white collars and bankers, but by night it is surprisingly quiet and silent.

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