I imagined that the landscape of Benevento would look like the idyllic and stunning landscape
of Florence, as I had seen it in the charming movie A Room with a View. My ancestors had lived
and worked for centuries in this small Italian province, situated about 150 miles southeast of Rome.
So I dreamed of seeing immaculate churches, perfectly built pensiones and villas, cultivated fields
of crops, and the thriving nature of forests, meadows and olive groves. However, what I saw there,
while photographing periodically over five years, appeared nothing like that. Whenever I gazed
around the Benevento landscape, I wondered if my ancestors had left the region at the end of the
19th Century because of the same economic hardships I witnessed stretching across it. Since the
world financial crisis of 2008, Italy itself has endured a severe economic recession, and everyone
has suffered because of it. The government today is still trying to climb out of it. Yet in the midst
of a landscape filled with such atrophy and emptiness, I discovered beauty.