4 Days In Italy

At the beginning of October I spent 4 days in one of my favorite places, the area around the town of Fanano in the Modenese Apennines. It is a mountainous and heavily wooded region about an hour’s drive south of Bologna.

I decided to use the trip as an opportunity to start applying some of what I’m learning on the course, particularly in terms of having a number of themes or projects in mind whilst photographing. I’m also in need of practicing my selection of final images.

Previous trips to the region have left me with many landscapes. It’s such a fabulous location that these cannot be ignored, but this time I was also on the look out for man made artifacts in among the forests. On my return, and after removing the obvious duds, I’m left with nearly 700 photographs.

Working through those with the man made elements brings out 4 themes: ruins, roads, ski runs and a range of random objects scattered through the landscape. Using these as a guide and being critical of the technical aspects of the images I was able to reduce the number to 48.

It has been suggested that the process of whittling down sets of photographs into final selections should incorporate pauses, giving time to come at them with fresh eyes each time. A couple of culls later and I’ve reached a total of 16, with 4 per category.


Fanano - Artifacts - Road 1Fanano - Artifacts - Road 2Fanano - Artifacts - Road 3Fanano - Artifacts - Road 4Ski Runs

Fanano - Artifacts - Ski Run 2Fanano - Artifacts - Ski Run 1Fanano - Artifacts - Ski Run 5Fanano - Artifacts - Ski Run 4


Fanano - Artifacts - Path Marker 3Fanano - Artifacts - Ruin 1Fanano - Artifacts - Ruin 3Fanano - Artifacts - Ruin 2

Random Artifacts

Fanano - Artifacts - Telegraph 1Fanano - Artifacts - Block 1Fanano - Artifacts - Picnic Bench 1Fanano - Artifacts - Pipe 1

10 thoughts on “4 Days In Italy

    1. Thank you Sarah, did you mean the photographs are special for you or the place? I proposed to my wife on one of those mountains, so definitely a special place!
      Regards, Mike.


  1. Some good photos there Mike. My favourites series is ruins, but there’s good photos in each. The first of roads, the last of ski runs, the last of ruins are my favourite.

    I like the remnant of strength in the final ruins.


    1. Thank you Richard.

      I can’t tell you how isolated those ruined houses are. They are quite literally half way up a mountain with a steep path that is a metre wide at most leading to them. It was a two hour walk to the valley bottom for us. I want to find out a bit more about them if I can. That last ruin photograph contains the letters “FAM.N.1906” within a carved border. It must have been a hard life up there.

      Regards, Mike.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. These are lovely photographs. Indeed they remind me of some of the 500 or so I have just taken in Sutherland! My father was a POW in the camp at Fontanellato near Parma, and it was through this countryside that he escaped into Switzerland during December and January 1944/5.
        It is a lovely part of Italy, and these are very good photographs that are special for me to see. Thank you.


      2. Thanks for sharing that story Sarah. I can only imagine the effort required back then, under those conditions. We walked 16 hard miles that day, with good boots, plenty of water and food, even a flask of wine! By the end we were utterly exhausted. To have done that under the conditions experienced by an escaping POW, amazing.


      3. The inscription is a good starting point. I wonder how often they had to go down into the valley for supplies. Did they barter, we’re they self sustaining and living separate from the world?

        I like photos that ask questions.


      4. There’s some evidence left of land clearance, so presumably they could grow vegetables. The mountaintop also has pasture, though presumably not suitable in Winter. One thing I can be certain of: at this time of year they had access to lots of huge, fragrant, delicious porcini mushrooms.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It sounds like they could survive year round. If they could keep a few breeders all year then they would have meat, veg and mushrooms. It sounds idyllic to me, but I bet the reality is somewhat different.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mike
    I think the photographs are excellent I can feel myself walking the paths and breathing the air. The place is special because I can also imagine my father and my godfather walking similar paths, looking down on those roads with caution and seeking refuge in the isolated buildings.
    As to proposals ….. we honeymooned in Sutherland 45years ago! We decided on a good and special holiday rather than any sapphires!


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