Alessandro's Feed
Aug 20, 2013
via Photographers' Blog

The king of Italian politics

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Rome, Italy

By Alessandro Bianchi

Four-time Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lost his court case, but not his magic.

Tensions were high three days after he was definitively convicted for tax fraud on August 1. No one knew whether the unpredictable leader of Italy’s center-right for the past two decades would quit politics or not.

Jul 8, 2013

Pope Francis commemorates migrant dead at Lampedusa

LAMPEDUSA, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Francis celebrated mass on the tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Monday to commemorate thousands of migrants who have died crossing the sea from North Africa, underlining his drive to put the poor at the heart of his papacy.

The choice of Lampedusa for his first official trip outside Rome was highly symbolic for the pontiff, who said news reports of the deaths of desperate people trying to reach a better life that had been like “a thorn in the heart”.

Jul 8, 2013

Pope Francis commemorates dead migrants at Lampedusa

LAMPEDUSA, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Francis laid a wreath in the port of Lampedusa on Monday in memory of the thousands of migrants from Africa who have died trying to reach the tiny Sicilian island in unsafe and overcrowded boats.

Francis’ choice of Lampedusa for his first official trip outside Rome is highly symbolic for the new pontiff, who has placed the poor and dispossessed at the centre of his papacy and has urged the Church to return to its mission of serving them.

Jul 7, 2013

Pope Francis visits Lampedusa as migrant arrivals pick up

LAMPEDUSA, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Francis makes his first official trip outside Rome on Monday with a visit to Lampedusa, the tiny island off Sicily that has been the first port of safety for untold thousands of migrants crossing by sea from North Africa to Europe.

The choice of Lampedusa is a highly symbolic one for Francis, who has placed the poor at the center of his papacy and called on the Church to return to its mission of serving them.

Mar 14, 2013
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“I will show you the Pope”

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Rome, Italy

By Alessandro Bianchi

After what seemed like a lifetime of standing in the rain, “Habemus Papam” (We have a Pope!).

I woke up after basically not sleeping at all. Another day and now what? We had no idea what Pope Francis would do. Nobody knew. Only that he was due to attend a small prayer at the Santa Maria Maggiore – a basilica in central Rome. So, fellow photographer Stefano Rellandini and I got on our scooters and went to take a look. When we got there, there was a lot of people – media, tourists (the basilica is right next to the main train station), curious bystanders, and a big wall which surrounds the basilica. Stefano stayed with the pack outside the main entrance and I went for a little wander. How could I see above this wall? The only way was to go into a local school. I walked in, looked for the principle and said “Come with me I have something to show you. I will show you the Pope.” He smiled and said “Okay let’s see.” I said, “I have to have this picture, or my boss will be very unhappy…”

Jan 21, 2013
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The Ruby sex gate, my cell phone and Massoud

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Milan, Italy

By Alessandro Garofalo

“Do you know how Ahamad Massoud died?”

It’s not a quiz but a question addressed to us a few days ago by an employee from the secretary of the Public Prosecutor’s office when we asked why photographers were not allowed to bring photographic equipment into the court during the trials involving the former dancer Maroc, Karima El Mahroug, better knew as Ruby Heartstealer, in the sexgate scandal with former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, accused of inciting the prostitution of a minor and abuse of power.

For a long time here in Milan we used to wait for Berlusconi and various protagonists of his different trials outside the courthouse because a measure prohibits filming in the courtroom for safety reasons.

Jan 3, 2013
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Mastering the violin’s making

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By Alessandro Bianchi

Although I have often relished the tender melody of the violin, it wasn’t until I met Mathias Menanteau that I realized the endless passion and mastery necessary for its creation.

French luthier Menanteau was born on July 29, 1977 in Vendée, France. He moved to Newark, England and attended the international Newark Violin Making School to garner the skill of making and restoring musical instruments. After being awarded a certificate, Mathias set out for Berlin, where he began working in the Anton Pilar violin workshop. It was in this musically rich city that Mathias deepened and acquired new knowledge on restoration, serving him well for various apprenticeships in Paris and New York.

Oct 9, 2012

Thrifty diners barter goods for food in Florence

FLORENCE (Reuters) – At walking distance from the tourist cafeterias around Palazzo Vecchio, Donella and her husband Frank are busy bartering wine and potatoes for a meal of Tuscan “pici” pasta with pork sauce.

The neighborly couple have recently launched a 40-seat restaurant in Florence that allows customers to exchange vegetables and used goods for a traditional Tuscan dinner, in a way to encourage people to dine out despite the recession.

Oct 13, 2011
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The Amanda Knox lottery

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By Alessandro Bianchi

On my mind was the number 77; the number of my press badge and the number I gave to police to get through security at the entrance to the court house.

Within a few minutes, the stepladders of photographers and television crews formed a pyramid that could block your view if you had chosen the wrong place. It was like a lottery and you had to wait to see if you had picked the right number.