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Italy

Damien Hirst – Lost Love at Fondazione Prada

Milan (Italy). Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Prada Foundation (Fondazione Prada) in Milan – Largo Isarco, 2. The Foundation is hosted in a former industrial site, amazingly redeveloped and reconverted in spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities. It includes also a very trendy bar, designed by the popular movie maker Wes Anderson (author of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Grand Budapest Hotel”, just to mention some among his most popular movies).

I promised to myself that I will come to visit the Prada Foundation again soon to take photographs specifically of the buildings, the interior spaces and the architectures (only these things alone are worth a visit). The photo posted here – together with the other two linked at this tag – has been taken inside the “Cisterna” (cistern), a huge building divided in three parts and hosting the temporary exhibition called “Trittico”. Trittico envisages “a dynamic display strategy” and is made by “three carefully selected works from the Collezione Prada, installed at a time and periodically rotating” (from the official website). The name of this installation is Lost Love by Damien Hirst: it’s a cubic submerged gynecologist’s office transformed into an aquarium populated by colored fishes.

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The Cimitero Monumentale  in Milano

Milan (Italy). The “Cimitero Monumentale” in Milano is an old and very large cemetery in the heart of the city. I went there yesterday for another test session of my new Leica Q camera (which is becoming one of my favorite companion, not only for street photography).

The light was very soft – it was more or less 8 PM – and there was nobody around there (the Cemetery itself was already closed). I took few shots, as usual I tried to find the perfect symmetry keeping the uprightness of lines. This is the result.

The Leica Q is an amazing camera: I’m shooting mostly in manual focus, there’s a thin sense of pleasure in doing it for me, especially with the excellent focus peaking feature. I like to alternate street photography – which is not my most typical sector, but I’m enjoying it more and more – with something of more “traditional” for my eye, like this large view of the building’s facade.

Some more shoots with Leica Q will come in the following days! Stay tuned if you are interested in them, and feel free to write me if you have questions or comments!

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The Juggler at Porta Garibaldi Station in Milan

Milan (Italy). It’s very hot in Italy in these days, and in Milan – like in many other cities – people are suffering the high temperatures. Even simply walking around the city is tough! For this reason I was very impressed when some days ago, during a street photography shooting around Milan with my new Leica Q, I met this juggler. His job is making people at the crossroads smile, and he was putting all his energies to do it in the best possible way (and possibly raise some money). Believe me, it was really hot and he was completely sweaty.

After his performance, I met him and we had a short conversation. He told me his story: he’s from Sao Paulo in Brasil, but his life now is in Italy, where he lives happily with his wife and daughter. He explained me that his job does not consider the weather: it can be terribly cold (as it is in winter!) or extremely hot as in these days, it does not matter. Every day his mission is taking his “monocycle”, his tools and wait for the red light to start his performance and make people smile, eventually rendering their wait at the crossroad lighter.

When I watch this photograph, I like it because it shows people smiling while looking at him and therefore they give me the impression that they are enjoying his performance. Well done my juggler friend, I’m sure we will meet again at some crossroads around Milan!

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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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At Christmas Time, We Let in Light and Banish Shade (Florence, 2015)

Florence (Italy). I took this photo last Saturday, when I was walking around Florence enjoying the city where I was born. Exactly one year ago I took the same photo and I posted it with the same title! Perhaps, now that Photographing Around Me is going through its second year of life, I should consider carefully what I posted in the past to avoid the risk of being repetitive…

However, I have been feeling something for this photo since the moment I prepared its composition, trying to include the carousel, the tree and the illuminated building – all of them symbols of Christmas and typical of this period; and I even used it as a cover of my Facebook profile (by the way, feel free to follow me if you want, it’s open to everyone and I use it mainly to share my blog’s posts and some other photos).

Why this photo is so important to me?

Both when I was capturing it, as well as when I was editing and preparing it for the blog, some words came to my mind:

… It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid

At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade

And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy …

I guess it won’t take too much time remembering the song’s lyrics these words are coming from (however, just in case…). And I found these words incredibly appropriate, considering the hard times we are going through and what’s happening in the world. So, I truly hope that this Christmas – not only for believers – will come into our lives spreading these exact words and teaching us how to smile. Again.

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Sala Azionisti – Edison S.p.A.

Milan (Italy). Having the office in a historical building in the heart of Milan – although I spend here most of the time – has for sure several pros. One of them is represented by prestigious architectures that decorate and embellish what otherwise would be an anonymous working environment.

The “Shareholders’ Meeting Room” (in Italian: Sala Azionisti) at Edison S.p.A. headquarter is a perfect example to demonstrate what I’m trying to explain. Some days ago I finally had the opportunity to photograph this prestigious room, where there is one of the most beautiful ceilings I have ever seen in my life. It is a finely decorated polychrome glass dome, built in 1922 by the Italian manufacturing company “Corvaya & Bazzi” with a special decorative technique named “tubage”.

Tubage was very popular at the beginning of 1900s, but unfortunately the Second World War made most of the companies working with this technique disappear – and with them, their skills and expertise. Today some specialized companies are able to reproduce this technique, which basically consists of decorating using a syringe filled with a special paste, covering the work with a transparent enamel and tempering the surface at high temperatures.

Unfortunately, the Edison Shareholders’ Meeting Room it’s not a free access place, unless there are some public events. You can check it here, just in case!

 

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Coffee With a View (Caffè del Verone, Museo degli Innocenti)

Florence (Italy). I’m just back from the newly opened Museo degli Innocenti (Museum of Innocents, where innocents are abandoned children), a museum about a very old Florentine institutions – the Istituto degli Innocenti – which was founded in 1421 and was dedicated to provide assistance to abandoned children.

I will write some info about the Museo degli Innocenti soon. This photo has been taken from the coffee shop – Caffè del Verone – where it’s possible to enjoy a breathtaking landscape of Florence – the same one utilised for the cup decoration…


Firenze. Sono appena tornato dal Museo degli Innocenti, recentemente aperto e dedicato alla vecchio Istituto degli Innocenti che fu fondato nel 1421 per assistere i bambini abbandonati.

Scriverò presto qualcosa sul Museo degli Innocenti. Questa foto è stata scattata dal “Caffè del Verone” da dove è possibile godere di una vista mozzafiato di Firenze, la stessa vista utilizzata per decorare la tazza…

 

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Hope (Canzo-Asso Station)

Canzo (Como, Italy). Hope was the first word that came to my mind when I saw this yellow flower coming out from the rails of the Canzo-Asso train station. For this reason I decided to lay down on the ground with my camera putting my lens at the same level of this flower, and capture this photo. Now that I’m watching it (without post-procession, just very little adjustments) I can only confirm the same word: hope. Because when you see what the nature can do – such as creating a flower from the arid and hard soil of a railway – you understand that beauty can be every where. And this is what hope means to me, not only as a photographer but also as a human being.

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