The Umbrian Rhythm: Orvieto, Italy

The Umbrian Rhythm: Orvieto, Italy

set atop a plateau of eroded volcanic tuff in the
Umbrian countryside, Orvieto is a fortified city that has been
populated since Etruscan times. I first visited the area four years
ago, when shooting for a book that explored the role art plays in
the life of a community.

Throughout my commercial work in London
I manipulate scenes and images, but when I photograph in
, I am at the mercy of the light. While Italian light can
be soft, it is not shy. It is assertive and it requires a certain
kind of patience.

I returned to Orvieto this past June
for my fourth visit. When I go back to the city each summer, I may
be older and wiser, but I am always in need of its remedy; its
lingering scent of jasmine and abundance of fresh apricots.
Although the city is evolving, it still retains a familiarity. Most
of the streets of Orvieto are rather quaint, but if you head down
the Via del Duomo, you will be met with the 14th-century
masterpiece, the Duomo di Orvieto. While the façade is adorned with
ornate mosaics and large bronze doors, the sides consist of
strikingly simple alternating black-and-white stripes. I aimed to
reflect this juxtaposition in this album, choosing not only to show
the grandeur of Orvieto but glimpses of ordinary, everyday

When walking the warm cobblestone streets I greet the shop
owners and friends that I have met over the years. There is a
particular slowness that I feel during my stays. There is no
hurriedness, no pretences, just a sense of quiet and calm.
Sometimes my days consist of simply going to the market, and that
feels like enough. If you walk down the main street during dinner
time, all you hear are the sounds of knives and forks hitting
dinner plates from the open windows above. This is all a part of
Orvieto’s profound rhythm, a rhythm that prioritises

@gianna_scavo |

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