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Italy

The Rialto Bridge (Landscape of Venice From the Fondaco dei Tedeschi)

Venice (Italy). I don’t know if it’s good or not for a photographer to reveal the places from where he capture his photos. But since I don’t consider myself a photographer (at least not enough to be obsessed for having a list of secret places) I think it’s not a very big issue and – on the contrary – I believe it’s right to give the opportunity to other people to watch such a beautiful landscape.

Some days ago I was in Venice, and I went to visit the new Fondaco (or Fontego) dei Tedeschi (translated, it’s more or less “the Germans’ storehouse”). It’s such an incredible place! Not only for its history and interiors, but also for the breathtaking landscape offered by some of its windows.

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi was built in the 13th century and it was used as the dock as well as the warehouse of goods transported by Germans to Venice. In 2008 the Poste Italiane Group (the national mail company) sold the Fondaco to Benetton Group, which renovated it under the artistic supervision of Rem Koolhaas’ OMA Architecture Firm (the same one which designed the Prada Foundation in Milan) to be reopened as a luxury shopping mall on October 1st 2016.

Well, at the penultimate floor there’s a window overlooking the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge: indeed, photographing through a window’s glass is not the best situation, but considering the final result I think I can be happy enough. To be honest, on the top of the building there’s even an amazing rooftop, but the number of visitors is limited for safety reason and there can be long waiting times.

So, I think I can say that from now on, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is one of those unmissable stop-overs during my visits to Venice!


Venezia. Non so se sia giusto che un fotografo riveli i posti da dove scatta le sue foto. Ma siccome non mi ritengo un fotografo (non tale da essere ossessionato – appunto – dall’avere una lista di posti segreti) penso non sia un problema e anzi sia giusto dare l’opportunità ad altre persone di vedere panorami simili.

Ero a Venezia alcuni giorni fa e sono stato a visitare il nuovo Fondaco (o Fontego) dei Tedeschi. Un posto incredibile, non solo per la sua storia e il suo interno, ma appunto per il panorama mozzafiato che si può ammirare da alcune sue finestre.

Il Fontego dei Tedeschi viene realizzato nel XIII secolo e serviva come punto di approdo e magazzino delle merci trasportate dai mercanti Tedeschi a Venezia. Nel 2008 il Gruppo Poste Italiane lo cede a Benetton, che lo restaura sotto la direzione artistica dello Studio OMA dell’architetto Rem Koolhaas (lo stesso della Fondazione Prada a Milano, per intendersi) e lo riapre il 1 Ottobre 2016 come grande magazzino di lusso.

Ebbene, al penultimo piano c’è una serie di finestre che si affacciano proprio sul Canal Grande e sul Ponte di Rialto: certo non è il massimo scattare attraverso il vetro di una finestra, ma a giudicare dal risultato penso di potermi accontentare. A dire il vero c’è anche una bellissima terrazza all’ultimo piano, ma l’accesso è contingentato per motivi di sicurezza e può capitare che ci siano tempi di attesa molto lunghi.

Ecco, penso di poter dire che il Fondaco dei Tedeschi è una di quelle tappe che non può più mancare nelle mie visite a Venezia!

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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.

White!

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.

Bianco!

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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Milan (Italy). Cenaconme (literally translated into “dinner with me”) is an yearly event in Milan: people get together to a place (the name is disclosed few hours before the event itself) with the rule of bringing with them a table, chairs, food, beverages and the total white dress code.

The event happened today in Piazza Castello, a very central square in front of Sforza Castle. I went there with the double intention of assisting to a unique event, but also to test my new Leica Q camera. This few photos have been selected to document the event…

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Long Time No See (Roofs of Florence)

Florence (Italy). Long time no see, Florence: I have been quite busy, but I still love you don’t worry. Long time no see, my dear camera: if I have not been bringing you with me for long time, it’s because there was nothing to photograph. Long time no see, photographingaround.me: I guess you are disappointed because I’m not updating you anymore – at least not enough – but I had other thoughts in my head.

Well, now I’m back!


Firenze. Tanto tempo che non ci vediamo, FIrenze: sono stato piuttosto impegnato negli ultimi tempi, ma ti amo ancora – non preoccuparti. Tanto tempo che non ci vediamo, cara macchina fotografica: ma se non ti ho portata con me per tutto questo tempo, è perchè sapevo che non ci sarebbe stato nulla da fotografare. Tanto tempo che non ci vediamo, photographingaround.me: immagino tu sia deluso perchè non ti sto più aggiornando – almeno, non abbastanza – ma ho avuto altri pensieri per la testa.

Bene, sono tornato!

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Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

Milan (Italy). A night view of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, one of the most important, ancient and beautiful churches in Milan. I like photographing this Basilica by night: first of all because at that time, this corner of Milan becomes calm and silent; but also because the colors of its brickwork is warm, and its effect under the artificial lights is not disturbing my eyes and my camera. And when I shoot photos here, I like to imagine that when St. Ambrose built the Basilica out of Milan at the end of the 4th century, he knew this was going to become a city’s landmark – as it is today.

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The Duomo Square of Milano in Chiaroscuro

Milan (Italy). Since “photography” means literally “writing with light”, shooting photos when the air is incredibly clean – such as after a rainstorm – it is like writing with the purest and most brilliant ink or painting with the most prestigious temperas!

Days ago I visited the Museo del Novecento (I already wrote a post about that day), and just before leaving the building – more or less it was the beginning of the so called “golden hour” – I dedicated some more minutes to enjoy the fantastic view of the Duomo (Cathedral) with its facade painted by a warm sun and with the churchyard completely shadowed. I found this contrast very interesting and inspiring, especially because it was perfectly marking the landscape’s shapes, enhancing the beauty of the Cathedral’s facade with its details and architectures.

Around one year ago I wrote a post on a “chiaroscuro” glimpse of Venice (another place where the light can be really magic sometimes): perhaps I should consider this type of situation more frequently, and to support this resolution I create the “chiaroscuro” tag for writing more posts…

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Selfie Time (Climbing the Milan Cathedral)

Milan (Italy). Selfies for everyone. Selfies everywhere. It seems that visiting a place is not important for the place itself, but to show on social networks that you have been there. It’s more a matter of “putting a flag” than “increasing your cultural knowledge”. No need to say: I strongly disagree with this approach and I’m developing a sort of rejection for selfie-lovers and their ridiculous sticks. For this reason, whenever I’m shooting something around the world, I find these subjects quite interesting for my photos: they offer a clear contrast between the ancient human genius (which built magnificence things, like for example the Milan Cathedral, or “Duomo di Milano”) and the contemporary human stupidity. Where are we going?

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