It is quite rare that a garden becomes a top news story but this week, Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli was at the center of a controversy and reached the frontpages. Authorities decided to build a huge garbage dump nearby the garden, the famous emperor’s summer residence near Rome built between 117 and 138 AD, which is listed as a Unesco’s World Heritage site. The Italian culture minister Lorenzo Ornaghi had threatened to resign and finally the government decided yesterday evening to ditch the plans.

 

A banner near Hadrian’s villa protesting the plans of the waste dump

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I spent three days shooting a film on the Bosco della Ragnaia in Tuscany. I shared my time between the Campo (the field) and the Bosco (the wood) and interviewing Sheppard Craige, the American artist who is building this amazing place. Fortunately, the bad weather lasted only one day and overall, I was lucky to get some beautiful images and record peaceful sounds.

 

A camera set for a time lapse sequence. The placard reads : ” Thanks not to touch me, I am taking pictures. Grazie! ”

 

Sheppard Craige (L) and I getting ready for an interview

 

Carrying the equipment around the nine-hectare garden

I spent a few days in the Puglia region, land of extraordinaries centenary olive trees. There are so many that I could spend years taking pictures of them. I was lucky to have an assistant to help me for the night pictures, my friend Bertrand, who was also in holidays in the area. Here are two images of the first shooting session and I will post a few more pictures of the second evening in the next days.