Piazza Gae Aulenti

Let’s Listen to the Sound of Milan (City’s Voices, Alberto Garutti)

Milan (Italy). There are some afternoons during the weekend, in which I really love (well more then love, it’s a sort of need) to take one of my cameras, leave home and walk around randomly, without a specific destination or assignment. When I was living in Istanbul, I remember I used to go very frequently to Uskudar to take photos of people, landscapes, situations: it was a great way to fight against the stress accumulated during the week and relax a bit.

Being now in Milan, one of my favorite “walk around” areas here is the new site at Porta Nuova, with the UniCredit Tower and some other modern buildings such as the Bosco Verticale. The situation here is of course completely different from the one I was dealing with in Istanbul. In fact, photographing around Uskudar was mainly based on trying to capture the unique mix given by interesting people, a breathtaking landscape, and – sometimes – peculiar situations (to give an example: this is one of my favorite photos ever, taken on the Bosphorus seaside close to the Kiz Kulesi). Photographing around Porta Nuova and Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan is a totally different situation, and when I’m there walking around, my attention is mostly captured by the architecture, and how it can influence the behavior of people spending their time there (many people gather here for a walk).

The photo posted here is an example: it’s an interesting artwork by Alberto Garutti. Several pipes – 23, to be exact, and they look like trumpets – connecting different floors of the building, and used by people to listen to the sounds from underground. The name is “City’s Voices”, and people show to appreciate them putting their ear to listen to the soft noise coming from the other floors (as said, “underground”).

I photographed this artwork using a Leica Q camera with its wonderful 28 mm Summilux lens: the perfect angle for situations like this one (in my opinion).


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Nightlife At Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan

Milan (Italy). I love my Ricoh GR! The purpose of this blog is not reviewing (and promoting) cameras, lenses or other photographic equipments: if you have been following me for time, you probably noticed that there are no advertisements or links to sellers here. However, I must say that the Ricoh GR camera is a great tool if you want to have fun walking around (I mean, without the specific intent of taking your camera bag and walking around for photographing something). Just bring it with you – as a phone, it perfectly fits in your pockets – and I’m sure that each time you will find at least a good reason to use it. Someone says that a camera-phone is more than enough, but I totally disagree: for me there’s no better than ta Ricoh GR.

Ok, back to this post: last Sunday I was walking around Milan, just to breathe some fresh air at the end of a very hot and humid day. I headed to Piazza Gae Aulenti, a modern and interesting area in town recently re-designed and hosting intriguing architectures. There’s a “futuristic” fountain, with coloured water jets surrounding the “Solar Tree”, a lamp designed by Ross Lovegrove for Artemide. I thought that a long-exposure photograph was a nice way to represent the atmosphere there, with people looking in a certain sense like ghosts, as if the hotness was making them “evaporating”. This is the final result: not my best photograph – I know this – but for sure something that a camera-phone will never let me shoot (and – most important – something I liked to do).

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Walking Toward New Architectures (Milano, Porta Nuova)

Milan (Italy). Taken last Saturday from Alvar Aalto square, a new place created with the requalification of the so called “Varesine” district. Sometimes I like coming here and shooting some photos around me. Not only because you can meet interesting people, everyone with a very personal style and doing different things: skaters, businessmen, hipsters (so many!), dancers, families, dog sitters and so on. But also because this mix of lifestyles is projected against the same background given by the new architectures of Porta Nuova, such as the UniCredit Tower (probably one of my most photographed landmark in Milan) but also the UniCredit pavilion, the Bosco Vericale (“Vertical Forest”), the Solaria Tower (at my back in this photo) and the less famous “E1-E2 building” (or “Porta Nuova buildign”, the one at the left).

I always find very inspiring contrasts here: every lifestyle has its own relationship with the urban environment, and each of them perfectly makes sense. The businessman perfectly fits with these architectures, and so does the hipster or the skater, as well as the dog sitter and the family. This means – to my eyes – “architectural versatility”: a great asset for a place, which has therefore the right characteristic for people integration.


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Milan (Italy). Piazza Gae Aulenti and its new architectures are characterizing this (today) fancy part of the city. The impressive Unicredit tower, designed by the architect César Pelli (the same of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, just to give an idea) surrounds the square, where the “Solar Tree” – designed and realized by Artemide – illuminates the place with its eco-sustainable light. Few meters from there, the newly inaugurated “Bosco Verticale” (vertical woods) designed by Boeri Architects, with its characteristic trees populating the facade.

It seems people appreciate this new corner of Milan and come here for a walk, an ice cream or the typical aperitif.

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(Milan by Night) Porta Nuova District

Milan (Italy). It’s not the first time I capture some photographs of Porta Nuova district. And, especially at night, I find this area of Milan particularly exciting and inspiring. I find the contrast between the modern architectures of the UniCredit Tower – designed by the starchitect Cesar Pelli – and the blue dark skye in the background pretty nice.

Perhaps the Porta Nuova District is not yet a symbol of Milan, but I guess it will be soon one of the main city’s attractions, and not only for landscape photographers and architecture lovers. And I think that the skyline of Milan is more and more characterised by these lines.

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