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Aliano, Basilicata, Italia

It is Friday night and I don't have much time! I want to post a photo I took in April 2004, when I traveled with some friends to Matera and Aliano in Basilicata. Aliano is the village where Carlo Levi was exiled as a political prisoner and where he wrote his famous book Cristo si e fermato a Eboli (Christ stopped at Eboli.) I love that book and it was an amazing experience to visit the village. This is the first photo we took, as we rolled into town in our Fiat Punto. I love this photo, even though there is some reflection of the car window. For some reason I often get so sad when I see old men (I have been like that since forever; my mom and sister joke that they shouldn't take me on vacation because I break down when I see sad looking old men) but these guys looked like they were having a nice afternoon.


You can read more about my trip in my trip report. Here is a little piece of it:

As we drove into the small piazza, I thought we had driven into the 1950s. The benches were occupied by old men, while women wearing black dresses and scarves on their heads were watching from the doorways. A hunched-over woman was leading a donkey loaded with produce up a narrow alley. Everyone stared as we pulled into the square and got out of the car; it was quite clear that it was very rare that a Fiat with three (foreign) girls came to town!

Comments (9)


Oh C--I have seen this so many times and wanted to capture it but never have had the opportunity. It is such a common sight in smaller villages. I particularly think of Sicily.


I love the dog.

Jane, I know, I usually don't want to disturb people, but I took this photo from inside the car, discreetely.

This is also one of my favorite sights in Italy. Great photo!


I want to read your trip report, but I just had to quickly say that I love that photo, and I know how you feel. There's something about elderly folks that wring my heart. I'm just always afraid that they might be sad or lonely. But that group looks fine (and they do have a great dog!)

Awesome photo! So classic. I love the dog too and also how it says "new look" in English above them. Off to read your trip report now.


I'm always happy to hear about a good book. I haven't read Christ Stopped in Eboli but will have to check it out.

Your trip report is wonderful. That haunting last paragraph almost had me in tears too. Thank you so much for such a lovingly written and insightful report.


I also love this photo. I took many like this in my mom's town in Puglia. I loved the men's faces. I had so much fun scrapbooking them, I did a collage, and put them all around a piazza!

Thanks all of you for your kind comments! The "New Look" sign is one of my favorite things about the photo.

Palma, that collage sounds great! Any chance you could post a scan on your blog?

Anne, I think you will like Christ stopped at Eboli. It really is a fascinating account of life in southern Italy and it made the rest of the country aware of the problems in the south.

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