Commissioned by Geo magazine in France to produce an essay on the 'boot of Italy' as it referred to for its shape, also called the 'mezzogiorno', I spent three weeks seeking out pictures to depict snippets of daily life and scenes of this magnificent yet somewhat forgotten part of Italy. While Italy's tourism industry is firmly concentrated north of the Amalfi coast, the picture postcard Tuscan and Umbrian celebrated wine regions little governmental money has trickled down south.
On my visit it was evident that despite the best efforts of the regional communes a certain decay was setting in with apparent rises in unemployment across all sectors other perhaps than agriculture. This is the less chic Italy. The road less travelled. Yet it was on this road trip that I found immense pleasure amongst these warm and welcoming people whose cuisine is every bit as savorous even if the countryside isn't quite as glamorous.
On every trip of this nature I take at least one piece of reading material aside from the obvious guides. On this trip the book of choice was the typescript Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote for the magazine Successo. 'La Lunga Strada di Sabbia' - The Long Road of Sand, is a diary of a trip he made around the coast road outline of Italy in its entirety. Highly recommended.
© Derek Hudson 2020
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