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  • Michele Vittori on the Tourism Impact of Terminillo

    Michele Vittori, born in 1980, is an Italian photographer who works for the municipality of Rome. Mainly interested  in the territory where he grew up, he develops projects related to the anthropized landscape, near Rome and in the mountainous areas of the central Italian Apennines, all places very related to his experience and family. In that field, his project La Montagna di Roma documents the tourist station of Monte Terminillo.

    How did you get interested in photography and why did you pick photography as a medium and form of expression?
    I started photography in 2008 by attending photography courses at the Graffiti school and Officine Fotografiche in Rome. Over time I found interest in contemporary documentary photography

    Photography for me is a tool to investigate my relationship with places and aspects related to memory and a way to look beyond the surface of things. I love to take pictures of places without the presence of people, trying to balance my perception with the landscape I represent.

    Introduce us to your project La Montagna di Roma.
    This project started at the end of 2015, Terminillo is a very well known mountain in central Italy.

    Monte Terminillo is a massif in the Monti Reatini, part of the Apennine range in central Italy. It became the “mountain of rome” during the Fascism by creating a ski resort destined to the Roman bourgeoisie. At that moment began the anthropization of the mountain for tourist purposes.

    I have seen this place since childhood, then as an adult as a lover of the mountain. Over the years, the tourist station passed through several success stories often not adequately supported by investments that can guarantee their durability, causing a gradual crisis of tourist activity. My investigation started with the aim to document the territory looking at the relationship between the natural environment and its change dictated by the needs of mass tourism. Changes that radically alter the image and memory of a place.

    How did the place evolve nowadays?
    Today the ski resort is still experiencing a major crisis, and it is waiting for tourist revival projects.

    Your series is part of a collective project called Limine, tell us about it.
    Lìmine is a collective project of seven photographers, started in 2015,  who have embarked on a personal journey around the idea of urban margin, choosing Rome and its territory.

    The sensitivity and vision of each photographer have faced the very concept of border, not only meant as a space boundary or as a mere measure of time. We have focused our research on the idea of border as another dimension, multifaceted and changeable. Since the beginning of the project we were very lucky to have as curator one of the main italian photographers, Massimo Siragusa who helped us in every phase of the project until the photobook Lìmine. Guide to the Limits of a City, who was also curated by Doll’s Eye Reflex Laboratory.

    The book is a metaphysical kind of touristic guide, both describing and reinventing a city displaying nuanced boundaries, recalling the edges of an idea, a memory, a feeling. Periphery and old city, land and sea, beauty and decay meet and mingle, and new topographies overlap with ancient maps, forcing us to refocus our vision.

    Explore Michele Vittori’s work on his website.