Sunday, May 16, 2010


This photograph was taken in September 2003 somewhere in Umbria. We were walking through the alleys and narrow streets of this beautiful hilltop town since midday.

Then as the sunset started to gradually embrace rooftops, buildings, and streets beneath something magical happened.

Suddenly, as if responding to a mysterious call people started to pour into streets in their best outfits. It was an amazing sight. People standing, chatting, walking, greeting each other, individuals moving from one group to another. A wonderful human foam erupting and flowing everywhere.

Pay attention. There are no advertisement posts, no interfering commercial garbage, no hideous shop signs, no one is using mobile phone, no texting. Just people facing people.

So people’s attitude towards architectural and spatial settings is as important as their attitude towards each other. Italians know how to live and don’t let disruptive commercialism to take over their most precious everyday event, Piazza.

People genuinely facing and communicating with each other without letting anything getting in their way. They are simply experiencing being human in an embracing social fabric.

‘Piazza’ is a public square where people at any age gather just before sunset, and talk, gossip, fall in love, laugh and in general ‘feel’ human again. Piazza is the heart of Italian society. How much I envy them.

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