I travel to italy

Publish date 15-06-2024

by Luca Periotto

«And I gave in to the temptation to move at a good pace without delay towards Italy on this splendid road, see Chiavenna, say goodbye to Lake Como again and spend a pleasant evening enjoying Chianti and Italian folk songs».
Herman Hesse, The Wanderer

In continental Europe of the 18th century, among the intellectuals of the middle bourgeoisie as well as among the rich members of the European aristocracy, it became very fashionable as the summer approached to take part in the Grand Tour: a long journey of an indefinite duration, where the young people learned about the politics, culture, art and antiquity of the European countries they visited, spending both their time and money on sightseeing tours and making purchases in the area. The term tourist as we interpret it today derives precisely from that Grand Tour. Italy with its churches and beautiful fountains, the historic monuments of ancient Rome, the mild climate and good food, naturally immediately became the destination coveted and coveted.

Among these sophisticated privileged travelers of the time who headed to Italy were artists, poets and writers such as Goethe, one of the first who between 1786 and 1788 wrote and published a manuscript report which later became famous as Journey to Italy. Coincidence has it that Viaggio in Italia is also the title of a wonderful and memorable photographic essay - today a rarity, published in 1984 by Il Quadrante Edizioni - a milestone in the history of contemporary photography, a sort of "manifesto" of what , born in the early 1980s, would become an important trend in photographic research in our country, also recognized internationally: the Italian landscape photography school. The project availed itself of the prestigious participation of authors of the caliber of Luigi Ghirri, Gabriele Basilico, Olivo Barberi, Vincenzo Castella, Giovanni Chiaromonte, Mario Cresci, Mimmo Jodice, Guido Guidi, and others no less well-known.

«If you want to be better than us, dear friend, Travel! ... Naples is a paradise, everyone lives in a kind of intoxication and self-oblivion... Italy without Sicily leaves no image in the spirit... it is in Sicily that the key to everything is found."
J.W. Goethe, Journey to Italy

Luca Periotto
NP May 2024

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