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Italy

The Mercato Metropolitano in Milan

Milan (Italy). The Mercato Metropolitano is a new – and I think pretty successful – experiment in the vibrant landscape of Milano. It was opened some months ago, just before the summer season, but I think it will be closed soon because it’s largely open air – so do not wait too much if you have not been there yet.

I went to the Mercato Metropolitano some weeks ago and I liked it. It’s the the place to go if you want to eat some nice street food, with many regional cookeries in a very informal environment – as a “metropolitan market” can be. To be honest, I was expecting something more similar to the Mercato Centrale (Florence) or the Mercado do Ribeira (Lisbon), where the daily market in the evening is transformed into a large restaurant. But the concept – in terms of food quality and offer – is quite close to them.

The Mercato Metropolitano is close to Porta Genova: there is one metro line (the Green one) and several trams to / from there. It’s also a nice place to take some photos (as of course I did, with my Leica Q).

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Landscape of Venice from the Rialto Bridge

Venice (Italy). I’m realising that in the last days I’m capturing and posting very popular landscapes: my blog posts are more “postcards”. Well, I’m not too much disappointed by this; photographing around me means capturing whatever stimulates my attention, as I always repeat.

Yesterday, I was in Venice. Crossing the Rialto Bridge I noticed this “typical” scenery: although it was not easy to find the time and the quietness to set my camera properly (it was a very crowded place), I was able to capture this image. As I already said, it’s a postcard – and perhaps you have seen the same image hundreds of times. But I liked it; so: why not sharing it with my followers?

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Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) – Missoni Knitown at Brera District

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

Missoni’s stand is a “must” of each Fuorisalone: every year, the popular Italian fashion house opens the doors of its atelier in Via Solferino to host psychedelic exhibitions highlighting their fantastic fabrics. The theme for Fuorisalone 2016 was “Missoni Knitown”, an installation made with a surreal and abstracted town built with geometric solids such as cubes, cones and parallelepipeds, creating a very original skyline “dressed” with the typical design by Missoni. All around, ambient music and soft lights – which challenged the ISO of my Leica Q camera, by the way.

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A Half-Hidden Bench (Una Panchina Appartata)

Pontremoli (Italy)

Walking along the steep way to the Piagnaro Castle in Pontremoli, people may notice this bench, nicely decorated with a quote from Italo Calvino’s masterpiece “Marcovaldo”:

“C’era, in un angolo della piazza, sotto una cupola d’ippocastani, una panchina appartata e seminascosta. E Marcovaldo l’aveva prescelta come sua. In quelle notti d’estate, quando nella camera in cui dormivano in cinque non riusciva a prendere sonno, sognava la panchina come un senza tetto può sognare il letto d’una reggia.”

The book is translated also in English, and this is the same quote:

“In one corner of the square, under a dome of horse-chestnuts, there was a remote, half-hidden bench. And Marcovaldo had picked it as his own. On those summer nights, in the room where five of them slept, when he couldn’t get to sleep, he would dream of the bench as a vagabond dreams of a bed in a palace.”

Marcovaldo is a poor rural man, unskilled worker, living with his family in a big industrial city in northern Italy during 1960s (the years of the economic boom). He seems having an affinity with nature, with an evident distaste for city life: in each story, he succumbs to something that appears natural and beautiful but actually disappoints him. Common themes in the stories include pollution, appearance vs. reality, failure, poverty and consumerism.

For this reasons, I found this quote (and this bench) perfectly contextualized with this corner: everyone can see in it the the beauty of small, rural villages; the calm of simple life; the pleasure of sitting here, reading a book and disconnect from the rest of the world. Probably, we all should be a bit more “Marcovaldo” sometimes: am I wrong?

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The Ceiling of Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Italy). I must admit: have a sort of obsession for ceilings (here there are some samples from this blog) and I consider  myself a lucky person because sometimes I find great ones during my trips! Those who have seen me taking photos, can witness that I stay long time curved to find the perfect symmetry above my head: indeed photography is a great passion, and for a passion you can do everything, including painful things 🙂

Anyhow, let me stick on this photo, just to provide some information (well, I don’t have too much to say… just look at it!). This is the ceiling of Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli: I visited it some weeks ago, and although it was not my first time there, still I noticed that it’s impossible not to remain amazed by this place! It totally captures your eyes, not only with its unusual shape, but also for its decorations on the walls and – of course – on the ceiling.

When I took this photo, the light was quite uniformly illuminating it, so the conditions were perfect for capturing this triumph of colors and scenes. If you have the opportunity to come to Pontremoli and visit the Church of Nostra Donna, do not forget to watch above your head: you will be truly amazed and you will understand my “obsession”! You can trust me…

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