Pictures From Italy by Maurice Mattei
These pictures were shot between 1977 and 2007. Most of them were taken in and
around Garfagnana - a region of Tuscany. A third or so were shot in other parts
I am fortunate that most of my family lives in Italy and my parents and/or I
would visit them on a fairly regular basis. In all, I traveled to Italy approximately
twelve times. Having family there allowed me to blend into the culture somewhat
more easily than if I had been a common tourist. I was five when I immigrated
to the United States with my parents and I am still reasonably fluent in Italian.
This, too, was another fortunate advantage.
Most of my family does not live in the larger Italian cities. Two of the towns
I spent much of my time in had populations of less than several thousand. This
offered me the opportunity of experiencing things that the majority of visitors
would not have experienced.
A word about the title of the series. "Straniero" in Italian means, among other
things, stranger or foreigner. Although I often stayed with my family while visiting,
I could not help but feel a subtle cultural estrangement from the environment that I
was in. I suppose this is inevitable in these situations and
it may, at times, have influenced the type of picture that I took.