Exactly fifty years ago, Michelangelo Antonioni was in Ravenna filming “Red Desert”. Thanks to him and his cinematographer Carlo Di Palma, some of the strongest and powerful images of Italian cinema were shot here, in Ravenna.

Even today, along the road Baiona that, following the canal of the Darsena, from the Roman-Byzantine churches of Ravenna comes to the beach and to the sails of the modern port of Marinara, on the left still survives an archaic natural landscape with swamps, marshy spots, thinning fishing huts, which mark the beginning of that magical landscape, static and tense which is the “Delta del Po” landscape, which stretches up to the valleys of Comacchio.

On the other side, it is the opposite: it presents the quintessence of a modern post-industrial civilization, with a concentration of its invasions of the landscape and environment. The large piles of debris from Red Desert are still there, in updated versions and a little ‘more gloomy, but above all there are some colossal metal cemeteries, a real industrial archeology park that has no equal in Italy. They are the ruins, intact but already crumbling, of the large plants of Eni di Mattei and petrochemical Monti which supported, between the 50s and 60s, the great effort of the Italian boom in the “economic miracle”.

Mixed with them other modern industrial plants, which are teeming with activity day and night producing a phantasmagoric illumination; then the port for large ships, and the pine forest towards the sea, the beaches, the tourist port of Marinara, with its hundreds of private boats, modern business spaces, but also small popular restaurants with takeaway fish and family houses. If we add the immediate hinterland of Ravenna, with its unique monuments, with its seemingly static mosaics, hieratic, but full of a terrific tension and expressive power, the port of Classe, the excavations, Romanesque churches with round bell towers, all this gives us an extraordinary assortment of images and visions.

Osservatorio Fotografico, 2014

Exactly fifty years ago, Michelangelo Antonioni was in Ravenna filming “Red Desert”. Thanks to him and his cinematographer Carlo Di Palma, some of the strongest and powerful images of Italian cinema were shot here, in Ravenna.

Even today, along the road Baiona that, following the canal of the Darsena, from the Roman-Byzantine churches of Ravenna comes to the beach and to the sails of the modern port of Marinara, on the left still survives an archaic natural landscape with swamps, marshy spots, thinning fishing huts, which mark the beginning of that magical landscape, static and tense which is the “Delta del Po” landscape, which stretches up to the valleys of Comacchio.

On the other side, it is the opposite: it presents the quintessence of a modern post-industrial civilization, with a concentration of its invasions of the landscape and environment. The large piles of debris from Red Desert are still there, in updated versions and a little ‘more gloomy, but above all there are some colossal metal cemeteries, a real industrial archeology park that has no equal in Italy. They are the ruins, intact but already crumbling, of the large plants of Eni di Mattei and petrochemical Monti which supported, between the 50s and 60s, the great effort of the Italian boom in the “economic miracle”.

Mixed with them other modern industrial plants, which are teeming with activity day and night producing a phantasmagoric illumination; then the port for large ships, and the pine forest towards the sea, the beaches, the tourist port of Marinara, with its hundreds of private boats, modern business spaces, but also small popular restaurants with takeaway fish and family houses. If we add the immediate hinterland of Ravenna, with its unique monuments, with its seemingly static mosaics, hieratic, but full of a terrific tension and expressive power, the port of Classe, the excavations, Romanesque churches with round bell towers, all this gives us an extraordinary assortment of images and visions.

Osservatorio Fotografico, 2014

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