Naples Beach Resort (la Spiaggia di Piazza della Vittoria)

Naples (Italy). There are situations that can not be illustrated, because everyone sees in them what she wants. Others that are so dense, that explaining them would be cloying.

The photo I’m posting here above was taken exactly in one of these situations.

I could write a lot about this photo, on how the experience of being on a tiny plot of sand was, holding a camera surrounded by people – friends with each other – which were doing the most different things; on the speeches that I have listened to; on questions that I was asked; on curious welcoming – but warm too – that I received on that occasion; and why not, on the social environment so rich in terms of human diversity, in which I found myself.

This is Naples: one of the city I love most (and of which I love people in almost an unconditional way). It was mid-August, it was hot, and people were going to sea looking for a little coolness. But obviously, not everyone can afford the prestigious seaside resorts such as those ones in Posillipo and Marechiaro, and for this reason they choose to come to this small sandy portion formed probably for the effect of the breakwaters in front of it. This place is few steps down of the central Piazza della Vittoria, where the promenade of Via Partenope begins, close to the famous pizzeria Sorbillo (with the queue of people waiting to sit down). The bathers bring here their umbrellas, chairs and tables from home, to eat (so much, and about everything!) all together, and to spend the day together, freshening up in the sea, whereas kids build sand castles and teenagers play with the inseparable smartphone. In the background, Castel dell’Ovo and the Vesuvius.

These are situations in which I could spend hours not only photographing; indeed, probably if I could stay a bit more I would have laid down my Leica camera and I would have started talking to people, listening to their stories and eliminating the unavoidable distance between the photographer and the subject. These are situations that must be lived, to be observed to understand the sociological context in which they are developed, and then eventually to be photographed – but always with the utmost respect.

Napoli. Ci sono situazioni che non possono essere raccontate, perchè in esse ognuno ci vede quello che vuole. Altre che sono talmente dense, che spiegarle sarebbe stucchevole.

Questa foto che propongo qui sopra è stata scattata in una di queste situazioni.

Potrei scrivere parecchio su questa foto, sul come sia stata l’esperienza di stare su un fazzoletto di sabbia tenendo in mano una macchina fotografica circondato da persone – amiche tra loro – che stavano facendo le cose più diverse, sui discorsi che ho colto, sulle domande che mi sono state fatte, sull’accoglienza curiosa – ma anche calorosa – che ho ricevuto in quella circostanza; e perchè no, sul contesto sociale così ricco di varia umanità in cui mi sono trovato.

Questa è Napoli: una delle città che amo di più in assoluto (e di cui adoro la gente in maniera quasi incondizionata). E’ metà agosto, fa molto caldo, e le persone giustamente cercano un po’ di refrigerio andando al mare. Ma non tutte evidentemente possono permettersi i prestigiosi stabilimenti balneari di Posillipo e di Marechiaro, e per questo scelgono di venire in questa piccola porzione di sabbia formatasi probabilmente per effetto delle barriere frangiflutti antistanti. Siamo all’altezza della centralissima Piazza della Vittoria, dove inizia il lungomare di Via Partenope, proprio sotto la celebre pizzeria Sorbillo con la coda di persone che aspetta di sedersi. I bagnanti che vengono qui, si portano da casa gli ombrelloni, le sedie, i tavolini, ovviamente da mangiare (tanto, e di tutto!) e si ritrovano per trascorrere la giornata insieme, magari rinfrescandosi in mare mentre i bambini fanno i castelli con la sabbia e quelli un po’ più grandi giocano con l’inseparabile smartphone. Sullo sfondo ben visibile c’è Castel dell’Ovo e oltre il Vesuvio.

Queste sono situazioni nelle quali personalmente potrei trascorrere ore intere: non solo a fotografare, anzi – probabilmente se fossi rimasto un po’ di più avrei posato la mia Leica e mi sarei messo a parlare con le persone, per conoscere le loro storie e per eliminare l’inevitabile distanza tra fotografo e soggetto. Sono situazioni da vivere, da osservare bene per capire il contesto sociologico in cui si sviluppano, e poi eventualmente da fotografare – ma sempre con il massimo rispetto.

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Fishermen’s Boats in Ganh Dau, Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc (Vietnam). I remember Phu Quoc island as an “interesting mix” of wonderful places alternated to terrible spots: the island itself is beautiful and very well positioned – just in front of Cambodia. However,there are some parts that are going to be heavily compromised by new huge touristic resorts, and this is really sad to be admitted.

I was there some weeks ago, and I wanted to explore the island; therefore I headed to north to see the beach of Ganh Dau. This beach is also an important harbor for fishermen, which leave here their boats before going for fishing close to Cambodia. The atmosphere at Ganh Dau is nice, calm, and relaxed – I took this photograph to give exactly the impression I’m saying, and I used a wide angle lens to capture as much as possible of what was in front of my eyes. However, as said, resorts are really growing like mushrooms here around, and they are creating some serious threats to the island’s natural equilibrium. One of the largest resort on the island, the Vinpearl Resort, is very few kilometers from here, and it’s a brand new huge real estate development hosting a golf club, an amusement park, pools and other attractions.

The contrast between the Ganh Dau beach and the close Vinpearl resort is quite symbolic of Phu Quoc today: I really hope that this massive anthropization will not compromise the perfect atmosphere of this island, transforming this photograph as a pure and simple postcard from my memories.

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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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(After-lunch) Sunbathing in Naples

Naples (Italy). Another photograph captured on the same afternoon and in the same place of this other one (Piazza della Vittoria, at the beginning of Via Partenope’s promenade). I must admit that Naples is a city that under the photographic point of view (and not only) offers me always so many emotions, both for its indisputable beauty, and for the people it’s possible to meet.

As I wrote in my other post, I could stay hours taking photos in these moments, which are so rich of sparks that it’s impossible not remaining completely captured by the scene and by the life happening in it. This is – I’m repeating myself – the charm of Naples, one of my favorite cities in the world.

I am from Naples so I like the mixture of drama and comedy all together (Sophia Loren)

Napoli. Una foto scattata lo stesso pomeriggio e nello stesso posto di quest’altra (Piazza della Vittoria, dove inizia il lungomare di Via Partenope). Devo dire che Napoli è una città che offre sempre tante belle emozioni dal punto di vista fotografico (e non solo), sia per la sua indiscutibile bellezza, ma anche per le persone che si possono incontrare.

Come scrivevo nell’altro post, queste sono situazioni in cui potrei stare ore a fotografare: sono momenti così ricchi di spunti che è inevitabile rimanere completamente catturati dalla scena e dalla vita che in essa si svolge. Ed è proprio questa – lo ribadisco un’altra volta – la magia di Napoli,una delle città che amo di più in assoluto.

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