After a quarantine closed in our homes, the limits and the caution to be paid in this unique summer are giving us, inadvertently, a way to rediscover local territories and landscapes, very often taken for granted. There are those who travel solitary along the national coasts, those who return to their native country, or those who, more fortunately, have a second home where they can spend these hot months.
Siena-based photographer Stefano Vigni gives us back, with his shots, the last months spent by him and his family in a small villa on the Tuscan coast. “With La casa di mare (literally The beach house),” says Vigni, “I wanted to redesign the geography and architectural perspective of a place, which has repeatedly been the driving force and inspiration for the construction of other photographic projects related to the description of the landscape and territory, starting from the places that marked my childhood and my visual culture.”
The photographic project is mainly dedicated to the architecture of the villas built between the Sixties and Seventies, in a place born from the desire of a group of entrepreneurs to build a private village for the bourgeoisie from the city of Grosseto, and from northern Italy in general: Pinolia, as it should have been originally called.
Located on the edge of the Maremma Natural Park, Principina a Mare marks an invisible boundary between the built and nature, where it is not clear where one ends and the other begins. The little houses, abandoned during the winter, are part of an architectural design made up of maritime pines, holm oaks and numerous varieties of flowering plants and evergreen trees.
“The sea house fills the living space of my imagination: I would love to be able to move in this place for an indefinite time. I wonder if the evolution of the times we are living in doesn’t eventually reveal a solution within the reach of our society,” continues the photographer. “Abandoning big cities to move back to small towns, country communities, small hamlets, where social distancing is not a great effort, but rather a status, an almost natural condition given the low population density.”
Stefano Vigni, born in Siena, is a photographer, publisher and academic professor. He teaches at IED Milan and LABA Florence. His publishing house Seipersei, of which he is the founder, has more than 30 books in its catalogue.