Finding Uruguay In Italy

2016-06-05

Savona-fisherman

Savona-coast Savona-coast1Staying in Italy for four days at my blogger friend Italian Hurricane‘s place made me realise how similar Italy and Uruguay are. The architecture, some dishes, the smell of the stairs of the house.. finding Uruguay in those details comes unexpected, and it hits me hard.

Savona-street Savona-building Savona-church2Savona-church3 Savona-Maria Savona-church1It’s weird, I travel several hours by train into Switzerland’s neighbouring country and I find myself reminded of South America, thousands of kilometers away. I’ve always known that most of the Uruguayans are descendants of the Spanish and Italians, but until now the similarities have never been so obvious to me.

The hospitality is also just like how I know it from South America; Chiara’s aunt and uncle who barely speak English invite us for delicious Italian lunch. They are warm people and even though I have to improvise and mix my Spanish, Latin and French knowledge trying to formulate some simple Italian phrases, I don’t feel awkward. A smile breaks every language barrier.

My anticipation grows and I miss the little South American country during my stay in Savona and the days afterwards.

Savona-vico-spinola Savona-facade1 Savona-bicycles Savona-facade2 Savona-pillars Savona-mural Savona-via-luccoliFour weeks till my flight to Uruguay.

I know I’m painting Uruguay with the pink paint of nostalgia. There are many things I don’t like too much there, such as the limited choice of food, the constant cold, the subliminal fear of being robbed (especially now with my camera equipment). I used to have more unpleasant memories than pleasant ones from  my time there, but luckily this has changed during the last two years since I’ve gotten together with my love.

Savona-cruise-ship Savona-portHowever, Uruguay has also something I can’t find here in Switzerland. Something rustic. The warmth in their language – people you don’t know very well calling you querida or linda (dear or pretty). The willingness to give even though they sometimes don’t have that much. The possibility to talk to random strangers.

Besides my regular fashion/portrait shoots, I’m planning to do some street photography (you can find last year’s photos here) and a documentary project in a poorer neighborhood including the instant camera I got for my birthday last year. Both the street photography and the project will bring me out of my comfort zone again and I wonder how difficult it’ll be this year.

So I’m dreaming again, imagining photographic opportunities that might or might not happen.

Savona-dustbin Savona-obituary Savona-chainI’ve been awfully negligent towards my beloved blogs for almost two weeks – and the reason is Instagram! I met the awesome Dennis from The Vegan World-Traveller for lunch when I retrieved my portfolio. We had some blogger talk and he was able to motivate me to give this app another shot (I was close to deleting my account more than once). So I did.

My goals were to get a bigger audience in Uruguay and find some models (not professional ones of course) for shoots there. I invested a lot of time, but gosh, I didn’t expect to be so successful. I’ve found like twenty models, some fellow creatives (photographers, art enthusiasts and even an actor) and a make-up artist who likes my work so much that she wants to work with me for free (and be photographed too, haha).

Funny enough, there are two newbie portrait photographers who are willing to accompany me on a shoot to learn from me. That’s so crazy when you think that I did exactly the same thing in Uruguay last year, thinking that I’d never get into portrait photography!

Anyways, thank you for sticking with me. I can’t wait to share my adventures in Uruguay with you, but first I have to say goodbye to this phase of my life here in Switzerland. Knowing that things will never be the same makes me quite sad, just like last year in Germany.

Have a wonderful week, my loves. x

Savona-car-nature Savona-ivy Savona-plant1 Savona-plant2 Savona-purple-flowers

30 Comments
      1. Thank you for your comment, Gloria! Have you been to Italy before? It’s really a beautiful country, I fall in love with its coast and architecture every time I visit it. Do you speak Italian? :) Have a wonderful day x

        1. I had Italian in high school, but can’t say I really “speak it.” I can catch some words here and there. No, I’ve never been to Italy, although a few of my cousins have gone — in fact, one of them is there right now on an extended trip, including the town where my mother and her father were born. She has even met some of our Italian cousins there.

          1. Oh, I didn’t expect you were half Italian, I thought you had a distant relative/ancestor from Italy! I hope you can visit Italy like your cousins to learn more about your heritage – I like to go to Singapore for that reason and would love to visit China someday. :)

            1. Both my parents were born in Italy and came here as children, so my heritage is fully Italian. However, I was born in the U.S.A., so I am Italian-American (or an American of Italian descent). Maybe someday I’ll get there for a visit! I enjoy seeing people’s photos of their travels in Italy.

              1. oh wow! I think it’s very interesting to see how some people are deeply connected to their roots (past-orientated) while others are more present-orientated and feel connected to the country where they spend the most of their lives. Italy is a beautiful country, I’m sure you’d fall in love with it!

    1. Love the article… love love love the photographs…
      I can’t wait til you get to Uruguay then I’ll live vicariously thru you for now… until my time comes to visit there in 3 1/2 years “Voluntourism Latin America) :-)

      Keep it coming…
      You go girl!

      Safe travels!

      1. Aw, thank you so much Maria, that’s so nice of you :)) well, Uruguay is rather European compared to other Latin American countries but I hope you’ll like what I share :) where are you planning to go?

        Thank you and take care! xxx

        1. I’m planning to go backpacking for 1-3 months in South America to go volunteer (Voluntourism) but it’ll be part of my 3 year plan.
          I’m sure I’ll love what you’ll post. I’m looking forward.
          Take care but most of all, have fun! :-)

    1. I definitely noticed a lot of similarities between southern Europe and Mexico… The architecture, the friendliness, the smell of stagnant water and petrol… All these things you find in Spain, Italy, Greece, but not northern Europe. I can wait to see what you do in Uruguay!

      1. Oh, I didn’t expect that Mexico would be so similar to southern Europe, that’s interesting! I’ve always wanted to visit Mexico, I hope I can see it for myself one day :D haha I’m also not 100% sure what I’l be doing, but I’m sure it’s going to be interesting – thanks for your comment and following my journey! x

    1. Incredible, I’m thrilled that you’ve had so much luck finding models in Uruguay! You see, people love your photography :)

      I also had heard that Uruguay is more European than some South American countries, but I hadn’t realized just how similar it is to Italy.

      1. Thanks for your comment, Josh! Yeah somehow I feel like it’ll be more appreciated there than here in Switzerland, haha. I’m very excited about photographing there – giving directions in Spanish will be a challenge, also to find enough beautiful nature :D

        Yes, I’d even dare to say that it’s the most European country in Latin America. Unfortunately the natives were all killed so most of the Uruguayans are descendants of Europeans and even have a European passport (often Spanish or Italian) even though it was like there great-great grandfather who came to Uruguay.

        Have a beautiful rest of the week! :)

    1. Really beautiful series of photos!
      It’s awesome that you were able to book people in advance for the shoots, I can’t wait to see the results :) So many good things to look forward, I’m happy for you!

      1. Thank you, Ines! :) haha I didn’t really “book” anyone, those are just shoots on a TFP basis (it wouldn’t make sense to accept any paid shoots because of the salary there) and most of them are normal girls, but I think two are actual models and I’ve never worked with a model before so I’m pretty curious how that will turn out :)
        I hope you are doing well <3

    1. Hello Monika. I’m from south Brazil and love Uruguay. About “The possibility to talk to random strangers.”, I remember that two years ago I was lost at Montevideo, approached a guy, and he diligently caught his celphone, accessed maps and offered all the help I need. Warm, really warm people.

      1. Hi Marcelo! That sounds lovely, I’m so happy to hear that you have so beautiful memories from your trip to Uruguay. Thanks for sharing this story (my Uruguayan boyfriend was happy to hear about it) and take care! :)

    1. Incredible travels. The contrastas and similarities are fascinating. Who knew Linda meant pretty. Ha.
      Your photographs are stunning by the way. Very crisp and well framed. OK I know nothing about photography but they look really good to me. Like in a gallery or something.

      1. Gosh, I’m so sorry I didn’t see your comment! haha yeah I also didn’t know it till learning some basic Spanish :P
        Thank you very much for your kind compliment! I don’t think it matters how much you know about photography, I’m glad you like my photos :) take care! :)

      1. Sorry for my late reply– thank you, Renia! <3 yours too! love the fashion :))

      1. What a compliment, thank you very much! <3 sorry for the late reply, I hope you're doing well x

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