Lower Manhattan Skyline from Hoboken (New Jersey)

New York (USA). This is an old photograph – there’s the Freedom Tower still under construction, it was January 2013 – of Lower Manhattan at sunset captured from Hoboken, on the New Jersey’s side of Hudson River. To those travelling to New York and asking me some tips about what to photograph and especially from where, I always recommend this place. Especially in winter at sunset, when – although the biting cold – positioning the tripod along the river side and waiting for the best light is an authentic pleasure.

It’s a long time since my last post with a photo of New York, and unfortunately it’s a long time I do not have the opportunity to go there – one of the most beautiful places on earth. New York, for a photographer, is a magic place: I think it’s one of the few cities – together with some megalopolis – able to offer inspirations for every photography category. From landscapes to street photography; from architecture to museums; from nature to sky’s colors. It’s hard leaving New York without some outstanding captures. It’s hard leaving New York in general…

New York. Una foto piuttosto datata – si vede la Freedom Tower ancora in costruzione, era Gennaio 2013 – della parte bassa di Manhattan scattata al tramonto da Hoboken, sulla sponda dell’Hudson lato New Jersey. A tutte le persone che vanno a New York e che mi hanno chiesto qualche consiglio su cosa fotografare a soprattutto da dove fotografare, ho raccomandato questo posto. Soprattutto al tramonto in inverno, quando (nonostante il freddo pungente) è un vero piacere piazzare il treppiede sulla sponda del fiume e aspettare la luce migliore.

Era tanto che non pubblicavo una foto di New York, e purtroppo è tanto che non ho occasione di quella che ritengo essere una delle città più belle del mondo. New York per un fotografo è un posto magico: credo sia una delle poche città – insieme a qualche altra megalopoli – in grado di offrire spunti di ispirazione per qualsiasi genere fotografico. Dai panorami alla street photography; dall’architettura ai musei; dalla natura ai colori del cielo. Da New York è difficile tornare senza qualche scatto magico. Anzi, da New York è difficile tornare in generale…

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Two Statues Are Talking About Milan

Milan (Italy). I already took a similar photo some months ago (this one) but the weather was not as nice as it was yesterday evening on the Duomo Terraces, one of my favorite location for shooting landscape photographs of Milan.

Watching these two statues makes me think about their possible conversation:

Left (L): “Look! The new Milan is over there!”

Right (R): “Yes, I see it… unbelievable how fast is its growth”

(L): “Until some years ago there was nothing there. Look now, isn’t it a wonderful skyline?”

(R): “Oh yes, it’s really beautiful”

(L): “From left to right, you start with the Garibaldi Towers: 25 floors and 100 meters high, they are energetically independent thanks to solar panels and a sophisticated insulating materials”

(R): “Wow! And the next one?”

(L): “The next one, at the right of Garibaldi Towers, is the Unicredit Tower complex”

(R): “Oh yes, I recognise it”

(L): “What you probably don’t know is that the towers were designed by the starchitect Cesar Pelli: he designed important buildings around the world, such as the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the One Canada Square in Canary Wharf (London) and the second tallest skyscraper in Spain, the 250 metres tall Torre de Cristal in Madrid”

(R): “I see… the next one is famous! Isn’t it the Bosco Verticale?”

(L): “Oh yes! It’s a famous building… It even won the International Highrise Award, a prestigious international competition. The two buildings have 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 perennials and groundcover on its facades, the equivalent of that found in a one hectare woodlot.”

(R): “Great example of architectural sustainability! Ok, I like this lesson: let’s go on!”

(L): “Sure! The next tall building is the 143 meters high Solaria Tower. It is currently the tallest residential building in Italy. I can’t imagine the view from its top…”

(R): “It must be breathtaking…”

(L): “Indeed! Proceeding to the next one, here we are to the Lombardy Building (Palazzo Lombardia), designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. For the period between its completion and the Unicredit Tower opening it was the tallest building in Italy. Furthermore, it won the 2012 Best Tall Building Europe prize from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.”

(R): “It seems that most of these skyscrapers were awarded with some prestigious prizes… People in Milan should be aware of it!”

(L): “I’m not sure they are… But let’s come to the Diamond Tower, the tallest steel building in Italy. The Diamond Tower is characterised by an irregular geometry, and the perimeter columns are inclined compared to the vertical. Its layout has been developed to maximise the amount of sunlight passing through the building and to allow a view on the city, and the Diamond Tower has been awarded with the LEED GOLD certification, one of the highest ranking recognised by the Green Building Council.”

(R): “Another award!”

(L): “Yes… you are right. Last but not least, the Pirelli Tower. Although this building still today looks very modern, it dates back to 1950s and was designed by two among the greatest architects of the Italian history: Giò Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi. It even seems that the Pirelli Tower inspired the design of the Pan Am Building (now MetLife Building) in New York It’s not an award, but…”

(R): “Oh yes, it’s amazing!”

(L): “And, at the right of the Pirelli Tower, there is the Breda Tower, built in 1959 and recently restored.”

(R): “Great! Thank you very much for this interesting lesson! I really did not know about how amazing and rich of information a skyline can be… This landscape won’t ever be the same from now on”

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Being a Commuter in Istanbul (Winter is Coming)

Istanbul (Turkey). Sometimes I should post my photos without writing my thoughts: not because I’m lazy, or because I’m overwhelmed with my work. More simply, because some photos speak for themselves.

Before reading below, please take few seconds and think about what this photo is saying. You can keep it for yourself or write a comment if you want: it does not matter; the goal is to make you watch something without the usual rush.

Why I’m doing this? Because this what usually happens when you are a commuter in Istanbul… You are always, constantly in a hurry, and thousands of people around you are in the same situation: most probably, you will have to take a bus, then a boat, then a metro and finally maybe a taxi or a “dolmus”… However – here I’m coming with my message – if you can find the time to “think about what you are doing”, then you will realize that the frustration of “being a commuter” can develop into the consciousness and – let me say – emotion of “being a commuter in Istanbul”.

I took this photo some years ago, and it is still one of my favorite one: I was waiting for my boat, but I was so hypnotized by the situation, that I remained on the side of the Bosphorus for a long time watching this scene. What for everyone – me included – was something of absolutely normal (even boring or, as I said, frustrating) was slowly becoming unique. The ferry (in Turkish they are called “vapur”, keeping the old name of steamboats) was slowly leaving the dock from Uskudar to bring people to Besiktas: the sky is grey, the city’s colors are totally erased. A group of seagulls is following the boat, and people are feeding the animals with small pieces taken from their “simit”. In the background, the Galata Tower interrupts the skyline made of old houses and some mosques.

Now, think about it one more time: how is being a commuter in Istanbul?


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Night Walk at La Defense, Paris

Paris (France). As I anticipated in my previous post, I was in Paris in the past two days. More precisely, it was a very short stay, only 24 hours: quite frustrating, especially if you bring with yourself the illusion of having the time for a couple of photos (as I normally do).

Anyway, it was not so bad: as I usually do in these case, I don’t bring anything but a small Ricoh GR camera, which perfectly stays in my raincoat pocket and offers good performances. I was walking back from the restaurant to the hotel, when I noticed this “landscape”. The illuminated skyline of La Defense was there saying to me: “hey man, take a picture of me!”. It was only a matter of finding something of stable on which putting the camera previously programmed for a long exposure shot, to capture the  nice effect of light trails.

And that’s it: this is the final result. Not my best photo of the past days, but still something I enjoyed to do: isn’t it the backbone of my passion for photography?

P.S. Tomorrow I will go – again! – to Paris. Let’s see if this time I will be a bit less overwhelmed and I will find time for a walk taking some photos on the street.

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Landscape of Milan from the Terrazza Triennale

Milan (Italy). Some days ago I finally could go to the Terrazza Triennale – the terrace of the Triennale museum – a very popular place for an aperitif, with a great view on the park (Parco Sempione) and the new skyline of Milano (which I described here in detail).

I was not so impressed by the place itself: to be honest, the drink was nice but the Terrazza Triennale it is not the best “aperitivo in Milano”. A very nice list of gin bottles (it’s going to be a standard, but it’s good since – if you follow my posts – you should know that I’m a gin lover) with many top labels, and used not only for the classic gin tonic, but also for more elaborated cocktails. I was a bit annoyed by the waitress and by their inefficiency, probably due to a bad management of the bar (for example, first they served cocktails and after long time we received something to eat). I even gave a look to the menu for the dinner, but it was quite unappealing (and I heard bad comments about food).

What made this place special to my eyes is its view – and thank’s God I was back from the Fondazione Prada, so I had my camera with me! The sunset was P-E-R-F-E-C-T and while the sun was going down, its rays were coloring the facade of buildings at Porta Nuova. The trees of Parco Sempione were adding something to this fantastic landscape, giving the feeling that the skyline was de facto emerging from the forest in a very impressive contrast.

To capture this photo I used one of my favorite lens, an old glorious Nikon 55 mm f/1.2 Ai, which was badly damaged few hours earlier falling on the ground when I was at the Fondazione Prada (look here: I posted a photo on Instagram…). A bitter-sweet landscape…



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Landscape of Istanbul

Istanbul (Turkey). This is a typical landscape of Istanbul, and one of the main reasons why I love to photograph this city. The strong contrast between the fierce and elegant skyline of Sultanahmet (with mosques’ minarets and domes), and the extremely bad conditions of the houses around. I could spend hours watching this landscape, continuously finding something interesting to notice…

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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.


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.


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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Moscow International Business Center

Moscow (Russia). Last night I was going through some old photos taken almost one year ago during a trip to Moscow, and I found this image posted here. It’s not one of my favorite, since it has been taken in a tough situation: I was without a tripod in a low light environment and it was extremely cold (I remember it was going to snow!). One of the things that makes me particularly nervous, it is the fact that I photographed this complex of skyscrapers from their feet and in complete darkness (not the best observatory point and situation to enhance this type of skyline and its architectures) and that I had to cut the latest two floors of the “Naberezhnaya Tower”.

However, while I was watching it, I thought that it was still able to give an idea about what I wanted to show: the new raising city of Moscow. This is the Moscow International Business Center (known also as Moscow IBC or Moscow City), one of the most interesting areas under development in the world, with investments for 12 billions of dollars, 300,000 people working and living here, and 6 skyscrapers above 300 meters of height (including the 374 m Federation Tower, at that time still under construction).

But the most interesting skyscraper – and I must admit it stands out in the skyline not only for its shape, but also for its enlightenment – is the Evolution Tower (right, 255 m high), in which each floor is 3 degrees rotated versus the previous one, for a total rotation of 135 degrees: a sort of huge DNA chain, to symbolize the relationships among human beings, families and generations, designed by Tony Kettle and Karen Forbes and already become a landmark of the new Moscow.

Mosca. Ieri sera stavo riguardando alcune vecchie foto di un viaggio fatto a Mosca circa un anno fa, e ho ritrovato questa immagine. Non è tra le mie preferite, dal momento che è stata scattata in condizioni non ottimali: poca luce, senza treppiede, ma soprattutto con un gran freddo (ricordo che stava per nevicare!). Una delle cose che maggiormente mi infastidisce è l’aver fotografato il complesso di grattacieli così da sotto e al buio, e l’aver dovuto tagliare gli ultimi due piani della “Naberezhnaya Tower”.

Però, riguardandola, ho pensato che riesce ugualmente a dare un’idea di ciò che volevo far vedere, della nuova Mosca che sta nascendo. Si tratta del Moscow International Business Center (conosciuto anche come Moscow IBC o come Moscow City), una delle aree di sviluppo immobiliare più interessanti del mondo, con 12 miliardi di dollari di investimenti, 300,000 persone che ci vivono o ci lavorano, e con ben 6 grattacieli che superano i 300 metri di altezza (tra cui la Federation Tower, all’epoca ancora in costruzione e alta 374 m).

Ma il grattacielo sicuramente più interessante – e che devo ammettere spicca non solo per la forma, ma anche per la sua illuminazione – è la Evolution Tower (a destra, 255 metri) in cui ogni piano viene ruotato di 3 gradi rispetto al precedente, per una rotazione totale di 135 gradi: una sorta di grande DNA che simboleggia i rapporti tra individui, famiglie e generazioni, pensato dagli architetti Tony Kettle e Karen Forbes e diventato uno dei simboli della nuova Mosca.

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