Abandoned Roads is a new project started while traveling through an abandoned road which was an important arteria for Italy until the 70’s: the Strada Statale Tiberina 3bis national road.
The road of the river Tevere, as the Romans named it, was the only way for the people of Valtiberina (the valley of the river Tevere) to get from there to the Adriatic sea coasts of Romagna (Rimini and surroundings). In the early 70’s this road was a nightmare. A tiny strip of asphalt turning around the Appennine mountains, climbing up to harsh rocks and through dark woods, crowded of pre-turbo era trucks which were slowing down speed to walk-speed. A one-hundred km journey was matter of five-hours car ride.
Today part of this road is closed and abandoned to itself. A huge dam was made on the river Tevere and part of this road was submerged by the waters of the new lake so created. A new, larger and faster highway is crossing the steep valleys of the river Tevere and gets to the sea in a flat and straight car ride.
The former S.S. Tiberina 3bis is nowadays used by the locals and rode by bikers who dare to challenge police’s barriers and warning signs. The woods have taken over large part of the road path. Landslides here and there make crossing this abandoned road difficult and dangerous. Very faint remains of the former asphalt pop up sometimes from the lake when the waters retire in the summer season. Remains of the huge pine-trees that were delimiting the roadway are left on site after they were cut to ground to make room for the new lake.
I’m traveling back and forth through this road to shoot what remains of the road that was taking me to sea for vacations in my early summer times, when I was a kid. Since this belongs to my very early memories I decided to depict this “early” landscape with a very early photographic technique which was called “salted paper”, invented in the early 1800’s by William Henri Fox Talbot and called calotype (later on called talbotype also). So I’m shooting on 5×7” black and white film and printing on salt paper for to get unique hand-crafts as last memories of this memory of my youth.
This is “Abandoned Roads” project. It’s just begun. Stay tuned!