Xerjoff Magazine

The great beauty, a view from the top


“Italy from above” is an evocative photographic volume proposing an aerial journey over the Belpaese, revealing the great artistic and architectural heritage characterising its territory.

After the volumes on Venice, Milan and Rome, Jaca Book now proposes an inspiring aerial photographic journey over Italy. Curated by architecture historian Maria Antonietta Crippa with critical essays by geographers, archaeologists and historians, the book, entitled (L’Italia dall’alto – Storia dell’arte e del paesaggio” (“Italy from above – History of art and landscape”) guides us through a fascinating visual journey along the various and glorious seasons of the artistic and architectural history of our country.

A history that allows us to catch the complex legacy of our heritage and at the same time to understand how it not always perfectly interacts with the contemporary landscape. Nadar, the great French photographer who at the dawn of photography captured Paris from a hot-air balloon, described the experience with these words: “It seems like an inexhaustible toy box was abundantly scattered all over this land.” It is exactly the feeling you have when browsing this volume, that shows our treasures one after the other: Venetian alleys, Palladian villas, lush gardens, historic centres, cathedrals, castels, parish churches and small villages…The work is organised according to a thematic and chronological order that from the Roman times – whose print is still crucial to the identity of our landscape – arrives to the beginnings of 19th century, on the eve of the great industrialisation.

The pictures in the book, resulting from twenty years of work on the Italian territory, were made by studio BAMSphoto – Rodella. “Our search for the most suitable shooting degree – explains Basilio Rodella – developed to eventually find a point of balance around 45° inclination to the ground. A type of shooting that allows to see what’s beneath the rooftops, that detects the structure of the façades, proposing the harmony or disharmonies of full and empty spaces and connecting noble and humble architecture”.

Above: Castel Beseno, Near Rovereto (Tn). Photo: BAMSphoto – Rodella