Photos and Words

Every day is different

Missing Vappu /4

Few food stalls were open in Tammelantori on Vappu day This year Vappu in Tampere. I went to the city center to take some photos of the people in the streets which were almost empty. Ona normal Vappu, Tammelantori (market square) would be full of people wearing their new or old students white caps. they would be out, not matter whether the weather would be good or bad, to celebrate the end of the winter, the approaching summer, the long hours of daylight, their students’ lives, their youth and their memories. Read more here.

We are closed, Tampere 2020
Almost there, Tampere 2020
Munkki ja sima, Tampere 2020
Just me, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Missing Vappu /3

Tammelantori is the main market square in Tampere. I walked there on Vappu day to check what was happening. Few people sat on the wooden benches. Few Asian food stalls were open for takeaways

Message board, Tampere 2020
Grilli, Tampere 2020
Mum and daughter, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Missing Vappu /1

Vappu, or Walpurgis night, in Finland is one of the four biggest holidays along with Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Midsummer. The celebration, which begins on the evening of 30 April and continue on 1 May. Many high school alumni wear the black and white student cap and many higher education students wear student coveralls. Traditionally, 1 May is celebrated by the way of a picnic in a park. For most, the picnic is enjoyed with friends on a blanket with food and drinks.

I went out to the center of Tampere on Vappu. I brought my camera because I thought that this year’s Vappu would be different.The center was deserted. Cafes has doors were open with signs inviting clients to buy Takeaway coffee. But nobody was around to buy. The Cafes were empty. I walked to Tammelantori and saw a couple of Asian food stalls selling the traditional munkki and siima.

On a normal Vappu there would be thousands of students in their white student caps walking in the streets or sitting in large groups and having a picnic at the central park at Koskipuisto. They would be joined by adults and elderly people many of whom would also wear their old students caps. Everybody would celebrate the end of the winter and beginning of the summer no matter what the weather is on the day.

I walked for about two hours. The streets were empty. People follow the government guidelines and they are doing the right things. The real Vappu was missing in these extraordinary times.

Be calm, Tampere 2020
Railway station, Tampere 2020
Where are they?, Tampere 2020
Leave me be, Tampere 2020
Closed, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Noto

let’s break the lockdown with some memories. I travelled to Sicivil in April 208 with my Finnish relatives. I will post photos from that trip together in parallel with the images from the lockdown taken here at home.

Noto 2018
Noto 2018
Il corso, Noto 2018

Images from the lockdown /5

Sunday. Max Richter playing a modern version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I have added 120g of strong white flour to a mix yogurt and milk. Hopefully in two days there will be some bubbles. The beginning of a home made yeast.

Clips, Tampere 2020

At least one photo a day

Noto

Noto 2018
Noto 2018
Noto 2018

The old town, Noto Antica, lies 8 kilometres (5 mi) directly north on Mount Alveria. A city of Sicel origin, it was known as Netum in ancient times. In 263 BCE the city was granted to Hiero II by the Romans. According to legend, Daedalus stayed in the city after his flight over the Ionian Sea, as did Hercules after his seventh task. During the Roman era, it opposed the magistrate Verres.

In 866 it was conquered by the Muslims, who elevated the city to become a capital of one of the three districts of the island (the Val di Noto). In 1091, it became the last Islamic stronghold in Sicily to fall to the Christians. Later it became a rich Norman city.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city was home to several notable intellectual figures, including Giovanni Aurispa, jurists Andrea Barbazio and Antonio Corsetto, as well as architect Matteo Carnelivari and composer Mario Capuana. In 1503 king Ferdinand III granted it the title of civitas ingeniosa (“Ingenious City”). In the following centuries, the city expanded, growing beyond its medieval limits, and new buildings, churches and convents were built.

The medieval town of Noto was virtually razed by the 1693 Sicilian earthquake. Over half the population is said to have died from the earthquake. It was decided to re-build the town at the present site, on the left bank of the River Asinaro, closer to the Ionian shore. These circumstances have led this town to have a unique architectural homogeneity, since the core of the town was all built over the next decades after the calamity in what is a typical and highly preserved example of Sicilian baroque. The layout followed a grid system by Giovanni Battista Landolina and utilized the sloping hillside for scenographic effects. The architects Rosario Gagliardi, Francesco Sortino and others each participated in designing multiple structures. The town was dubbed the “Stone Garden” by Cesare Brandi and is currently listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Many of the newer structures are built of a soft tufa stone, which assume a honey tonality under sunlight. Parts of the cathedral, however, unexpectedly collapsed in 1996.

The city, which had lost its provincial capital status in 1817, rebelled against the House of Bourbon on 16 May 1860, leaving its gates open to Giuseppe Garibaldi and his expedition. Five months later, on 21 October, a plebiscite sealed the annexation of Noto to Piedmont.

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