“Calabria: a land that moves in rhythm of camera”

“Mediterraneo e dintorni”, as a preview, describes the shots of Paolo Petrignani about tourism.

Calabria is a region “camera-friendly”: those who travel for photography need their time, subjects and authentic situations, to get into reality and meditate on its shots, and all this in Calabria is naturally possible “. So Paolo Petrignani. That’s why he starts right from the tip of the Country on the initiative of the Tour Operator of Calabrian origin but active in the world, “Sognare Insieme Viaggi”, the new line of short and long-distance tours dedicated to photography and four hands signed with the great international photojournalist. It’s not a fortuitous choice, therefore, starting from Calabria, but the clear desire to focus on a destination still sometimes unknown, sometimes wild, able to offer those who live every day metropolitan and “stressed” contexts, or to those who wish to learn more about the truest face of their land, destinations and experiences to really disconnect plug and start at another speed. The travel line will be presented at the next TTG Tourism Fair in Rimini (but not only) and in this article is presented in absolute preview. Attracting the famous documentarist in the land of King Italo, among landscapes burned by the sun, beaches bathed by two mythical seas, stratified cultures and monuments to a history passed from here, and too often forgotten,  was a friendship born around the world with the holder of the Calabrian tour operator (based in Chiaravalle Centrale and Soverato, in the province of Catanzaro). She is Angela Donato and since 2001 she is CEO of “Sognare Insieme Viaggi”. After the Florentine years of study and training, this entrepreneur has taken her first professionally important steps in the Middle East. Since then she has never stopped and for almost twenty years has brought Italians and Calabrians around the world. Great journeys across the five continents, distant destinations desidered by established travelers, long distances and crossings, a great passion for the deserts, the itineraries at walking pace, journeys of the spirit, translated into a thousand and one tours signed and guided by “Sognare Insieme Viaggi”. Today the compass shows her a track that brings her home. We ask her if by chance the lancet has not gone crazy. “No!”. It’s the short and certain answer. «The world – she explains – is looking for authentic experiences, and when I come back home I realize that if the many people I meet when I’m around for work could live this journey that I’m lucky to live when I get home, they would certainly be happy! “. Paolo Petrignani, for his part, has traveled the world far and wide and has also traveled it up and down, leaving traces of the passage of his camera in the bowels of the earth with the famous shots made for Eni, which evoke the first oil explorations in Egypt in the Gulf of Suez; and with those made for LaVenta and Geo magazine in the Giant Crystals’ Cave of Naica (Chihuahua, Mexico), up to 13 meters under the earth’s mantle in an extreme environment, with almost 50 degrees of temperature and 100% of humidity, at the limit of human possibilities; not to forget his raids on the roofs of the earth, where – at last – he took part in the peaks of the Himalayas to the campaign, promoted by National Geographic to clean up perennial ice from garbage, called “Cleaning high altitude “; just in these  he made a stop also in Calabria, extreme, wild and still at times unknown strip of the Italian peninsula. «We are proud to inaugurate and propose, starting from Calabria, a new line of international travels dedicated to photography, followed by a photojournalist like Petrignani, who will be an exceptional tutor for groups who will want to travel starting from 2019 with us », explains Angela Donato. She continues: “This project stems from the common belief of Paolo and myself of the importance of offering the traveler no hit and run packages, which would not make justice to this region and its most vivid characteristics, but real experiences and authentic opportunities to stop and start again with a new rhythm to watch what surrounds us. We have an invaluable treasure, made of traditions and human values,and we do not realize it enough. My goal, as tourism operator always sensitive to requests and territories, is to be able to put in focus the peculiarities of this land, disappeared or compromised in much of the rest of the world,  enhancing them for travelers looking for authentic experiences, true, as precious, as rare “.On the other hand, if the numbers of tourism in Calabria are not still very significant, in relation to the rest of the country, in addition to the fact of not having entered the circuits of the great international operators, China and Brazil in the lead, a contributing factor is also the strong seasonality that characterizes and still limits a lot local tourism, being the major tourist flows of the region generated during the summer weeks towards seaside destinations and then almost non-existent. «A proposal that aims to enhance everyday life, the life experiences, monuments and interior areas stillin many ways unknown, pleasant and full of anthropological and cultural value – continues Donato – wants also being a way on our part to seasonally adjust the offer and bring to market products capable of distinguishing Calabria from other attractors, generating so wealth thanks to all those voices that usually remain relegated to a narrow segment of the offer overall, that is the mountain, the archaeological sites, the villages, the religious and spiritual destinations, the museums, the green areas and for children “. Through photography and with the complicity of a goal and of an “other” look, “different” by definition, these trips will bring enthusiasts, or those who want approach this particular way of observing the world and “block time”, towards new goals. “Calabria – explains Petrignani – is a land that moves to the rhythm of a camera. Precisely for this reason, together with Angela we thought to start from here. The photographer has different needs, times and methods than a common tourist. He needs  staying in places, watching the lights, finding the ones that best suit your vision, capturing them and, to do this, he must be able to stay in the places, sometimes almost in stalking. Everything described in Calabria is not only naturally possible, but is the only way to fully enjoy what a fewplaces in the world today can still offer, without fiction: profound and authentic experiences in contact with men and women who still guard the sense of time ». It’s like two globetrotters for profession and passion, listening to the many ways of feeling, had lent an ear to the most intimate questions of travelers of our time: what do you want? really those traveling in a world so frantic, where maybe many travel for work and when they leave, in fact, do they just want to stop?