ciapannaphoto

photography by alessandro ciapanna

EX VOTO – Rome gives thanks

When the situation is absolutely hopeless, when all the doctors agree that there is absolutely no chance of ever reganing full and proper health, not all is lost. You can pray. But not just to any saint or god or deity. You must pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Sometimes, the faithful know, she will grant a miracle. And when she does, you must thank her.

 

 

 

 

 

Top right, street art. Main piece, place name. The rest: thank you notes carved in stone.

Top right, street art. Main piece, place name. The rest: thank you notes carved in stone.

 

 

 

 

The one to thank, times two.

The one to thank, times two.

 

 

 

 

Many cars, but precious few passers-by: five people in about twenty miinutes.

Many cars, but precious few passers-by: five people in about twenty miinutes.

 

 

 

 

One of Rome's many "nasoni" provides cold drinking water - good for people, great for flowers.

One of Rome’s many “nasoni” provides cold drinking water – good for people, great for flowers.

 

 

 

 

A keychain, a few silk flowers.

A keychain, a few silk flowers.

 

 

 

 

The plaques that fall are stacked and left in peace.

The plaques that fall are stacked and left in peace.

 

 

 

 

Some, as this larger one, is nothing short of a true work of art.

Some, as this larger one, is nothing short of a true work of art.

 

 

 

 

Another much revered figure - and documented dispenser of miracles - is Padre Pio.

Another much revered figure – and documented dispenser of miracles – is Padre Pio.

 

 

 

 

This one dates back to the '60s...

This one dates back to the ’60s…

 

 

 

 

... and this one even farther back.

… and this one even farther back.

 

 

 

 

This one is unusual: after giving thanks, F.R. apologises for the delay...

This one is unusual: after giving thanks, F.R. apologises for the delay…

 

 

 

 

 

These little plaques are attached to an old wall in a corner of Largo Preneste, in Rome. There, next to two portraits of the Madonna, people affix their “ex voto”, also referred to as “p.g.r.”, or “per grazia ricevuta”. Roughly, for having been graced. Each and every one of these plaques is testimony to a miracle, large or small. But usually huge.

 

Most are little rectangles affixed with old rusty nails. Some are heart-shaped. Some are in Latin, some in Spanish, most in Italian. Some have small gifts – a keychain, a small toy. Some have a small photograph. Some a note tucked behind a corner. Many plaques have fallen. They remain, respected, neatly stacked and then touched no more, at the foot of the wall.

 

The flowers to the Madonna are very well tended to. A “nasone” (big nose, as Romans nickname their drinking fountains) is handily nearby. I find these public yet discreet displays of affection truly touching.

 

Also, i wanted a very static subject to test out my new camera. Used, actually, but in very good shape. And it’s new to me!

 

Hope you enjoyed.

Alessandro Ciapanna

HOLBOX ISLAND – more ph(one)tography

A few more views of one-of-a-kind Holbox Island, in southern Mexico.

Although these pictures were taken on a rather oldish smartphone, they printed out perfectly on A4-sized paper.

 

 

 

 

Blowin' in the wind.

Blowin’ in the wind.

 

 

 

 

Beach chair, a la Mexicana...

Beach chair, a la Mexicana…

 

 

 

 

Mayan influence, no doubt.

Mayan influence, no doubt.

 

 

 

 

Mangrove? Womangrove? Either way, it's very dead.

Mangrove? Womangrove? Either way, it’s very dead.

 

 

 

 

During rising tides, this "river" flows in the wrong direction - from the sea towards the land rather than the other way around...

During rising tides, this “river” flows in the wrong direction – from the sea towards the land rather than the other way around…

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this set. Thanks for the visit.

Alessandro Ciapanna

HOLBOX ISLAND – more ‘phone shots

A few more snapshots captured with an older Smasung smartphone on Holbox Island, one of Mexico’s better kept secrets…

 

 

 

 

Birds, poles, sea.

Birds, poles, sea.

 

 

 

 

Birds, poles, sea and a man apparently standing on water

Birds, poles, sea and a man apparently standing on water.

 

 

 

 

Pelican, poles, sea.

Pelican, poles, sea.

 

 

 

 

Poles and hammock, but no birds.

Poles and hammock, but no birds.

 

 

 

 

What, no poles?

What, no poles?

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this rather ornithological instalment. Thanks for the visit!

Alessandro Ciapanna