Utopia (Il gioco dei timidi)

UTOPIA (Il gioco dei timidi)

(Il gioco dei timidi)

A photographic project for Leica and Contrasto​

There is a chair floating in the clouds above the skies of Rome.
Someone engraved a special word to remind us we are still human.
She wrote it with a small white chalk, and then let it go.

This is a photographic work shot in the east side of Rome about ordinary people and their daily-life stories, turned out into extraordinary ones by such an uncertain city.

There is a small though significant detail you should keep in mind: all these stories have a thing in common – they do share a dream. The dream of a different city, where the concept of “community” becomes relevant through effort and mutual participation. Stories of value that arise from a utopian dream, because being human is always a choice.

A mosaic made of faces, details, metaphors, a journey through a silent but still visible resistance.

You will be invited to the night tango lessons where the elderlies are dancing until late because “tango gives us the strength to carry on in these very dark times”. You will meet the horses saved from the slaughterhouse by Sonia, a rare and kind soul. You will enter a popular gym in a crime-ridden neighborhood where boxing has become an opportunity for the youngest athletes to rise from hell. And then you will meet the volunteers of Nonna Roma association, who fight every single day to support whoever is in need.

“Utopia” (also known as “Il gioco dei timidi”) is a photographic project developed for Leica Camera Italia and Contrasto Agency and is part of the Leica Roma Chilometro Zero project.

Nòstos (Homecoming)

Nòstos (Homecoming)

A journey through the landscapes of my childhood

My journey home, to the landscapes of my youth – those places where I was once a heart full of blindness and anger – is a quest for reconciliation with the past. It’s a pilgrimage to the roots of my being, a mosaic of memories, dreams, thoughts and loved ones transformed by the magic of imagination. You will witness the traces of the past, the ghosts that still linger in the shadows, but they are no longer menacing. They are simply a part of the story.

I grow up in a foggy small village in the north of Italy.
A place where time seemed to stand still.
I used to call it “nowhereland”: an unknown place unworthy of any interest.
I left home when I was 18: a simple life was for me a boring one and it scared me. And dreaming big hidden in the hall of a small local cinema was not enough to fill that void.

So I moved to Rome, where I started over. But that “fog” was always there, at the back of my thoughts, reminding me every day where I came from.

In 2020 the pandemic changed my plans, forcing me to go back to my village after so many years.
Maybe it was time to deal with the past.

I decided to spend my time wandering the countryside, the alleys, the old farms and the waterways, exploring faces and places I couldn’t remember anymore.
I told myself: “Find a way to make peace with the past. Remember it. Draw on that wealth of dreams, suggestions and sleepless emotions. Create a new balance between spaces and memories”.

So, these are the memories I tried to forget for a long time.
These are the landscapes of my childhood, transformed by the magic of imagination.
A mosaic of dreams, thoughts and loved ones. Sometimes time blurs their contours, shuffles the cards, and makes forgotten fears resurface.

Now I’m aware that somewhere there was beauty and there was life.
And I was there.
I was just too young and stubborn to be able to see them.



Workshop in Gerace with Massimo Mastrorillo

The discovery of a territory means the discovery of its people, its community made of stories and memories (and so the recovery of memory) – which we then try to translate into images.

In 2022 I participated in the artistic residency “I luoghi dei mutamenti” in Gerace, a small town in the province of Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Promoted by the association Tabula Rasa and photographer Massimo Mastrorillo, this experience was an opportunity to get in touch with the community of Gerace, trying to capture and photograph its soul.

Our research had to focus on the concept of “signs” and “traces” – which, for me, is equivalent to the concept of “memory”.

And memory, as always, is made of stories and tales.

“You, ancient city built on rock / what is your true rock? /”  Sister Mirella

“The wind blows where it wants and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes” Giovanni

“I feel like I have been part of nature and the trees, forever” Giovanni

“Sometimes you go back because you can’t stay in one place anymore” Antonio also called ‘Ntoni

“We have found the strength to resist, now we just need to rediscover ourselves” Gabriele

“Always look for a gentle poetics” Oreste

Water is an act of faith

Water is an act of faith

Life will rise again after the storm

In March 2019, Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, causing over 1,000 deaths and incalculable damage. Beira, one of the coastal cities most affected, was razed to the ground. Four years later, the city is still recovering, but the fear of another disaster remains, as it is estimated that within 30 years much of the city of Beira will be submerged by water.

This photographic work explores the fragile balance between man, water and spirituality in Mozambique, one of the most affected areas in the world by the catastrophic effects of climate change.

In August 2023, I had the honor of joining a small Italian NGO, Amici per l’Africa, to document their mission to build four drinking water wells in Beira.

In Africa water is more than just a necessity: it is a sacred gift, a source of both life and death, and a powerful symbol of faith and resilience. And in a poor country where people lack basic resources, the duality of water is even more pronounced.

I was moved by the deep faith and devotion of the Mozambican people, because water wells are a tangible reminder of God’s love and presence, even in the midst of suffering. In Africa water is also associated with the ancestors, who are believed to play an important role in the lives of the living. And in the context of climate change, water takes on an even deeper spiritual significance: for people who have lost their homes and livelihoods to natural disasters, water can be a symbol of hope and renewal.

As I documented the wells being built in the surviving villages, I realized this was the story I needed to tell, to honor the resilience of the African people and inspire others to help.

Sabbinirica (God bless you)

Sabbinirica (God bless you)

Workshop in Ragusa with Massimo Siragusa

“Sabbinirica” is an ancient Sicilian greeting that means “May God bless you.”
It is a deeply rooted custom that dates back centuries. In Sicilian culture, it was believed that parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, by virtue of their age and the bonds of love and blood, had the power to bestow a blessing.
This blessing, while not a religious one in the traditional sense, was nonetheless believed to have beneficial effects, calling down divine protection on the recipient.

The photographs in this series were taken during a three-day workshop in Ragusa, Sicily, led by photographer Massimo Siragusa. The workshop was held during the Ragusa Foto Festival, and the participants were tasked with exploring the theme of sacredness in Sicily.

The resulting photographs capture a variety of scenes, from religious rituals to everyday moments. However, they all share a common thread: a sense of the sacredness of life. Whether it is a woman praying in a church, an empty room with the signs of human presence, or the depiction of a crucified Christ, each image conveys a sense of the divine.