BEHIND THE SHOT

— The stories behind locations and shooting  —

- THE OLD ITALIAN PRIDE AWAKE-

An old building like many, anonymous from the outside and also wrapped in scaffolding. Anyone passing by would perceive it as a ruin that is not worth fixing up.

The area in central Italy where I am is hilly and the building is located in an anonymous street close to some houses.

My first visit was in 2020, by chance I had found some information on the net and I had decided to try it the first time I had passed in the area.

Access could be chosen between two methods, both only from the front of the building because the inaccessible back overlooked a high ditch. The first climbing on scaffolding remaining in plain sight for anyone who had passed by the road. The second passing between grates placed to protect a side courtyard, but extremely visible of the adjacent house.

I chose the second one because the grates were easy to move and it took a small amount of luck to hope that nobody would look out the window. You know, maybe even if the neighbors saw you, they’d not care, but still better to be careful and think about the worst-case scenario, even if the building in question was pretty dilapidated and I don’t think anyone would worry about any raiders.

At least I could get in quickly and easily.

As was customary at the time, the palace had an internal courtyard shared with several dwellings of working families serving the squire who lived in the main wing.

It was the power of curiosity that kept me from snooping around the rooms to find something good. In fact, all around there was a chaos of rubble and anonymous mouldy rooms, full of debris.

I missed analyzing the first floor, but the only access was a completely collapsed staircase. Fortunately someone, probably some other explorer, had improvised a staircase made of various objects that led to an access to the first floor.

And there she is!

The pearl in the midst of so much destruction, seemed to want to die in peace and hardly accessible.

But I was there for one last tribute to her beauty. On the 4 walls stood frescoes of idealized classic landscapes and on two front walls, opposite sides, were immortalized representations of muses of art and music, perhaps it was Minerva goddess of music.

The room, to my taste, had the perfect mix of beauty and decadence. The half-collapsed ceiling had the charm of a scar on the bodies of living men, and a stack of old fixtures was dusted on one side.

In 2021, year of this photo, I went back in August on a sunny day. I wanted to better photograph the whole room as I bought my new ultra-wide-angle lens that year.

This time the low sun could penetrate from the side openings, going to warm the room. I was witnessing the poetic metaphor of a spotlight on the last act of a beauty overcome by time.

Un vecchio palazzo come tanti, anonimo da fuori ed anche avvolto da ponteggi. Chiunque passasse davanti lo percepirebbe come un rudere che non val la pena sistemare.
 
La zona in centro Italia in cui mi trovo è collinare ed il palazzo è situato in una vietta anonima vicina ad alcune abitazioni.
 
La mia prima visita risale al 2020, per caso avevo scovato delle informazioni in rete ed avevo deciso di tentarlo la prima volta che fossi passato in zona.
 
L’accesso poteva essere scelto fra due metodi, entrambi unicamente dal fronte dell’edificio perchè il retro inaccessibile dava su un alto fosso. Il primo arrampicandosi sui ponteggi rimanendo in bella vista per chiunque fosse passato dalla strada. Il secondo passando tra grate messe a protezione di un cortiletto laterale, ma estremamente a vista dell’abitazione adiacente.
 
Scelsi la seconda perchè le grate erano facilmente spostabili ed occorreva una minima dose di fortuna per sperare che nessuno si affacciasse alla finestra. Sai, magari poi i vicini anche se dovessero vederti se ne infischierebbero, ma sempre meglio essere accorti e pensare allo scenario peggiore, anche se il palazzo in questione era bello diroccato e non penso qualcuno si sarebbe preoccupato di eventuali incursori.
 
Azzardando un minimo, riuscii ad entrare facilmente e velocemente.
 
Come consuetudine del tempo, il palazzo aveva un cortile interno condiviso con più abitazioni di famiglie di lavoratori al servizio del signorotto che abitava l’ala principale.
 
E’ stata la forza della curiosità a non farmi desistere dal curiosare nelle varie stanze per trovare qualcosa di valido. Infatti tutto intorno regnava un caos fatto di macerie e stanze anonime ammuffite, piene di detriti.
 
Mi mancava da analizzare il primo piano, ma l’unico accesso era una rampa di scale completamente crollata. Per fortuna qualcuno, probabilmente qualche altro esploratore, aveva improvvisato una scala fatta di vari oggetti che portava ad un accesso al primo piano.
 
Taaaaaaac. Ed eccola lì!
 
La perla in mezzo a tanta distruzione, sembrava volesse morire in pace così difficilmente accessibile.
 
Ma io ero lì per un ultimo tributo alla sua bellezza. Sui 4 muri spiccavano affreschi di paesaggi classici idealizzati e su due muri frontali, ai lati opposti, erano immortalate delle rappresentazioni di muse dell’arte e musica, forse si trattava di Minerva dea della musica.
 
La stanza, per i miei gusti, aveva il perfetto mix di bellezza e decadenza. Il soffitto mezzo crollato aveva il fascino di una cicatrice su corpi di uomini vissuti, ed una catasta di vecchi infissi era impolverata su un lato.
 
Questa la mia esperienza del 2020.
 
Nel 2021, anno di questa foto, ci tornai in Agosto in una giornata di sole. Volevo fotografare meglio la stanza nella sua interezza siccome avevo comprato in quell’anno il mio nuovo obiettivo ultragrandangolare.
 
Questa volta il sole basso riusciva a penetrare dalle aperture laterali andando a scaldare la stanza. Assistevo alla metafora poetica di un riflettore sull’ultimo atto di una bellezza affranta e vinta dal tempo.

An old building like many, anonymous from the outside and also wrapped in scaffolding. Anyone passing by would perceive it as a ruin that is not worth fixing up.

The area in central Italy where I am is hilly and the building is located in an anonymous street close to some houses.

My first visit was in 2020, by chance I had found some information on the net and I had decided to try it the first time I had passed in the area.

Access could be chosen between two methods, both only from the front of the building because the inaccessible back overlooked a high ditch. The first climbing on scaffolding remaining in plain sight for anyone who had passed by the road. The second passing between grates placed to protect a side courtyard, but extremely visible of the adjacent house.

I chose the second one because the grates were easy to move and it took a small amount of luck to hope that nobody would look out the window. You know, maybe even if the neighbors saw you, they’d not care, but still better to be careful and think about the worst-case scenario, even if the building in question was pretty dilapidated and I don’t think anyone would worry about any raiders.

At least I could get in quickly and easily.

As was customary at the time, the palace had an internal courtyard shared with several dwellings of working families serving the squire who lived in the main wing.

It was the power of curiosity that kept me from snooping around the rooms to find something good. In fact, all around there was a chaos of rubble and anonymous mouldy rooms, full of debris.

I missed analyzing the first floor, but the only access was a completely collapsed staircase. Fortunately someone, probably some other explorer, had improvised a staircase made of various objects that led to an access to the first floor.

And there she is!

The pearl in the midst of so much destruction, seemed to want to die in peace and hardly accessible.

But I was there for one last tribute to her beauty. On the 4 walls stood frescoes of idealized classic landscapes and on two front walls, opposite sides, were immortalized representations of muses of art and music, perhaps it was Minerva goddess of music.

The room, to my taste, had the perfect mix of beauty and decadence. The half-collapsed ceiling had the charm of a scar on the bodies of living men, and a stack of old fixtures was dusted on one side.


In 2021, year of this photo, I went back in August on a sunny day. I wanted to better photograph the whole room as I bought my new ultra-wide-angle lens that year.

This time the low sun could penetrate from the side openings, going to warm the room. I was witnessing the poetic metaphor of a spotlight on the last act of a beauty overcome by time.

Parete opposta, Opposite wall

2021

Fresco detail, 2021

Fresco detail, 2021

“Minerva”, 202o version

“Euterpe”, 2020 version

“Euterpe”,  2020 variant