Small villages all end up resembling each other in my eyes, not so much in appearance – they can be ancient or modern, in Italy or outside – as in the lonely, melancholic atmosphere I feel hovering among their streets.
In the last six months I have taken a few trips out of town and a holiday abroad, and in almost every place I have visited my eye, in different forms, has seen and photographed the same thing.
I have always lived in the City, and I wouldn’t change this biographical fact for anything in the world, in the sense that I have never been attracted to the rhetoric about the bucolic charm of small towns, I have always disliked Cincinnatus returning to his field, and I also say of my grandfather, whose peasant ancestry I proudly claim, that thank goodness he became urbanised towards the end of the nineteenth century.
So it is with a sceptical and citizen’s eye that I have looked at and photographed these small villages; without any sociological affectation or documentary pretence, I have tried to render only the sense of abandonment, of emptiness, the result of the progressive loss of the centrality of these places, the fruit of a centuries-old history which, here and elsewhere, has emptied them of activities and people.
Without any regrets or nostalgia, in the changes some things are lost and others are gained, if anything trying to good-naturedly mock the endless postcards about such pretty old villages!