As an American, one thing I will say about Europeans is they have an evolved sense of style. I took this in central Bologna around noon while I was busy snapping pictures of people. Most of my people pictures were not very good but this one I liked. It makes me think of the differences between Europeans and Americans.
I could have spent my time taking pictures of the architecture and ancient landmarks, but the Europeans and their culture intrigue me. It’s instructive to observe how they carry themselves in everyday settings. By taking pictures of people in different places I am recording something a little more ephemeral than a ninth century church. Not that there’s anything wrong with ninth century churches.
If you walk around and observe things around you, interesting things appear, they happen all the time. This lady has a delightful style and, she’s using a bike. The scene is reminiscent of something I’d expect to see in a fashion ad.
If I saw something this in the little town in Florida where I live I would know for certain that hell had frozen over. But here in Italy a fashionable lifestyle is as common as an ancient church.
I wasn’t in Venice long but managed to walk along the city edges one afternoon where I saw things resembling normal life. If you stray away from the main square you eventually end up in areas were things are a little quieter. I have no idea who this man is, but looking at this several weeks later reminded me of what I was thinking about at the time.
Amongst the canals and stone houses are things like a grocery store, a florist and a hospital. I saw city workers picking up the trash. It was those kinds of domestic norms that I found oddly comforting. Walking through an unfamiliar environment can be a disorienting until you recognize things that we have in common, then it starts to feel a little less foreign.
It’s nice to see the historic squares and cathedrals, but seeing how people live day to day is just as interesting. W all go through the similar routines of life, yet we are also products of our environment, language and culture. So casually observing the interplay of these in a quiet section of town can be just as fulfilling as standing in the middle of St Marks Square.
When I was in Salerno it rained like cats and dogs. Italy had been in a drought that was just broken with a few days of heavy rain. Despite that I was happy to walk around looking for compositions while sheltering under entryways.
I took this during one particularly heavy downpour. I was forced to stay in one spot for an extended period, which in retrospect was a good thing. It’s sometimes better to pick a spot and let the world come to you. If you wait patiently, all kinds of interesting scenes will appear no matter where you are.
This is in an old shopping district of Salerno. The buildings and shops looked like they haven’t changed much in a hundred years. I got the sense that some shop keepers carried on traditions from one generation to the next.
As the rain let up I continued to walk and eventually the narrow streets opened up into a newer section of town. The shops there were brand-name boutiques you’d recognize in any mall. As for me I preferred the character of the old section much more.