Back in August, I discovered Maurizio's blog via some beautiful photographs he took of people I simply adore here in Genova. He had titled that post Il Sogno di Francesca e Norma.
I added his blog to my blogreader thingy and enjoyed reading his stories. His work means he travels ... extensively. There is no other way to describe the way so many different countries appear on his blog. But the thing that truly fascinated me was the way that people, from all over the world, seemed to trust him to take their photographs. This isn't an easy thing. I was curious.
One of his bases is Genova. Like me, he's pretty much head-over-heels in love with this city and I think it shows in the images he captures, accompanied by stories, whenever he's here. He's Italian but speaks other languages too.
It turned out that we were going to be in Genova, at the same time, for just a couple of days. So today was the day that we met for lunch. But lunch Mau-style.
This means that we went to that tiny local restaurant, so full of character that I'm surprised the building doesn't break apart from the strain of it all, and ate a most divine lunch ... served by people who truly enjoy seeing him. Not hesitating to mock or advise him but also showing their deep affection for him.
We ate tagliolini al pesto, ravioli al tocco, cima with insalata russa and arrosto con purea. There a glass or two of Nebbiolo as well. A dessert was brought to the table despite us deciding we wouldn't order any. Did I mention how much these people enjoyed seeing him?
We moved on, heading down to a gelateria he knows. Again he was greeted so warmly and I was given more than a few small spoons of gelato to taste due to being there with Mau. I will be returning to that place of divine gelato, again in the months ahead. I'll post on it once I have all the details. There was much talking, I didn't make notes ...
I was introduced to the couple who own a vege and fruit stall, and went back to them this evening to buy pumpkin and onions for my pumpkin soup. But really, where ever this man goes in the city, people smile. He has this idea, this belief, that life is beautiful ... and he seems gifted in making it true.
Finally he organised a photograph, one he'd taken of me over lunch, onto a usb stick and introduced me to the most superb printing shop I've never found here in Genova. It's hidden. So hidden. I know this because I've been searching for one like it since first arriving here back in 2008.
So I have this large laser print of the photograph you'll find over on Mau's blog. The one where I'm realising there's a camera pointing at me and there's no escape. I'm the most difficult photographic subject I know.
I popped back to see the printers tonight and had 3 prints made for Barbara. A small series from the family photo session I did last Sunday. The large laser prints are so veryvery affordable (less than 2 euros) that I suddenly have a way of gifting people the photographs I take of them while here. I'm rapt.
So Mau has raced off back into the world. I wandered out for an aperitivo with Barbara. This city ... I do love being here.
Oh, and the photograph below. As photographers, we confessed to a mutually intense dislike of having our photographs taken however we allowed it today.