Street Photography in Rome, Italy

Street Photography in Rome, Italy

Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Introduction

On the 15th of October 2015, Digby and myself arrived in Rome, Italy. The purpose of this trip was to record a new Street Hunt for our YouTube channel. You can learn more about our previous Street Hunts in our Videos section. We returned back to the Streethunters.net HQ in Crete on the 19th of October feeling very satisfied with our time in Italy. During our stay we shot a lot, ate very nice Italian food, enjoyed Rome by night and had an amazing time. None of the above would have been possible without our dear friend and fellow Street Hunter Marcello Perino, who proved to be a truly wonderful host and a good friend.

When will the video be ready?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, a Street Hunt video usually takes up to 3 weeks to produce, not including actual recording time. Fortunately the recording is now complete and we just have to process our photos and videos. This time around we have done something to spice things up, but we will not let you know exactly what right now. I will only say that the experience will be twice as interesting as usual! So, sometime around the 2nd week of November we will be sharing with you the all new Rome Street Hunt which we hope you will enjoy as much as the previous ones!

So What Is This Post About?

Through this post I wish to share with you the experiences we shared during our stay in Rome. I will write about the things we did each day and the places we visited. Before I continue though I would say a special thanks to the people that helped make this Street Hunt experience so amazing.

Special thanks to Marcello Perino

Marcello Perino
Marcello Perino. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

When we were planning to visit Rome, we contacted Marcello to ask him if he could recommend any good, affordable places for us to stay. We knew Rome was an expensive city so we wanted to avoid any accommodation “traps”. Marcello came back to us with an amazing offer. He said he would host us for as long as we wanted to stay at his place. Italian hospitality at its finest! When we arrived in Rome everything was ready for us. Marcello welcomed us to his home with some good quality beer and we got comfortable in a matter of minutes. Following those initial moments, Marcello continued to surprise us with his shooting location recommendations for each day, with the restaurants he picked for us and with the the beer houses and pubs he took us too. He even took a day off work so he could spend it with us! What a guy! Marcello went out of his way to make our experience in Rome unforgettable and allowed us to see Rome as Roman citizens. We enjoyed every single minute of it! Visit Marcello’s website for more on his work.

Grazie mille mi amico Marcello!

Special Thanks To F.D. Walker

F.D. Walker
F.D. Walker. Photo by Digby Fullam

Forrest is a good mate! We have known one another for only a few months, but we have already practiced Street Photography together in 3 European cities. We first met in Rethymno, Crete and after that we shot in Istanbul together during the Istanbul Street Hunt. Forrest was my guide in Istanbul along with Kerem Nasipoglu. About a month ago I remember telling Forrest about our trip to Rome and he was excited by the idea. I asked him if he would like to meet us there for some shooting and he was quick to reply with a resounding yes! That dude loves to travel and loves to shoot! He couldn’t resist a visit to the Eternal City, especially in October when the light is really interesting. So, on the 15th of October in the evening we met Forrest in Rome and since then, we spent all our shooting, eating and drinking time together. You can check out Forrest’s work on his website. Forrest, thanks for coming bro!

Special Thanks To Dan Redrup

Dan Redrup and Marcello Perino
Dan Redrup and Marcello Perino. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Dan is a Street Photographer from the UK currently living in Rome. He is a very pleasant person, a pure joy to be with. He loves shooting and is like us a beer connoisseur, so he automatically clicked with the 4 of us! Dan joined us on the Street Hunt day, the 17th of October, and again on the 18th of October when we went shooting in another area of Rome. I would like to thank Dan for joining us and to say that I am pleased to have made a new mate. To see more of Dan’s work check out his flickr page. Cheers Dan!

Day 1 – 15/10/2015

Digby and myself left Rethymno at 04:30 to catch a 06:45 plane in Chania. Chania airport is about 70km away from the Streethunters.net HQ. We got there on time, boarded and headed off to Athens. We decided to fly via Athens to save some money. Luckily we found some good deals! We landed in Athens at 07:30, waited a couple of hours and then flew off to Rome. Man, that was a bumpy ride! I hate flying and when there is a lot of turbulence let’s just say I am not in the best of moods. Finally after a very long 90 minutes we arrived in Rome and grabbed a bus to the city centre. There, we walked to Marcello’s office, dropped off our bags and hit the streets of Rome! We were so excited walking in the Eternal City we didn’t notice how much we photographed and walked that first day. By the time Marcello got off work at 18:00 Digby and I had already exhausted ourselves, but our Italian friend found ways for us to regenerate fast! He drove us to his place, we settled in and then we went to this amazing restaurant and had some smashing food! Forrest came and met us there and we went for some night shooting. Once that was done, we hit the SCHOLARS Pub in the Rome centre and enjoyed some beer! We all love beer! Day 1 was nearly over but we felt very happy that we still had 3 full days in Rome to enjoy. Our first day was a great day!

F.D. Walker and Digby Fullam
F.D. Walker and Digby Fullam. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos
Marcello Perino
Marcello Perino. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos
Digby Fullam
Digby Fullam. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Day 2 – 16/10/2015

The previous day we had shot quite a bit in Rome but we wanted to really get the vibe of the city, and to understand Rome and its people well before we shot the Street Hunt on the 17th. So we woke up early to catch the light, jumped into Marcello’s car, zoomed to the city centre, picked up Forrest and went to Piazza Di Spagna. We started shooting there, even though the Piazza was closed due to the Jubilee Renovations. We then worked our way down the posh Via dei Condotti where the light was amazing. Marcello recommended we walk to Campo de’ Fiori. On the way there we enjoyed the best espresso in the world at Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe, we visited the amazing Pantheon and just kept on shooting. At one point we reached Campo de’ Fiori – home to a bustling produce market in a public square in the mornings. I played with the light and shadows, Marcello shot like a maniac, Forrest met a really lovely lady and Digby decided he loved his X-Pro1. So it was a morning of revelations and great achievements for all of us!

Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos
Darth Sidius. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Once our time in Campo de’ Fiori was over, we walked all the way to the Castle Sant Angelo and from there we walked to the Vatican where we took a photo of the Emperor Darth Sidious as he was studying Saint Peter’s Cathedral. At that point we decided that we needed some food and some beer. Marcello recommended we try the best street pizza in the city and of course we all agreed. We hopped onto the underground, whizzed over up to the Republica area and in a few minutes we were standing in the street, eating pizza and drinking beer. Yum! Now that our bellies were full and we felt ready for more street shooting, we grabbed the bus towards the centre of Rome and from there headed on foot towards the Trastevere area.

F.D. Walker and Digby Fullam
F.D. Walker and Digby Fullam. Photo by Digby Fullam

Once there Marcello took us to a wonderful beer house where we rested our feet and had a few cold ones before we hit the streets again. Once we set our foot on the streets (and fuelled by all the lovely beer we had tasted) we set up our flashes and did some Flash Street Photography. That was great fun, as it is always. We walked over Isola Tiberina and visited the Jewish quarter. We found many interesting characters there and got a few keepers. We remained in the streets for more than 3 hours until we rested our bones at the SCHOLARS Pub. We remained there until midnight and then we called it a day. Next morning was Street Hunt day and we had to be rested.

Day 3 – 17/10/2015

Street Hunt day had arrived. We got up, picked up Forrest and went to Piazza Del Popolo. The Street Hunt this time was shot in a way that makes it doubly interesting and doubly entertaining. We will reveal more on the day we publish the Rome Street Hunt.

Because we will be publishing a separate blog post for this day, I will not go into huge details now. I will just give you a short summary of the events that transpired that day.

Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos
Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

So, we started at Piazza Del Popolo and walked all the way down to Piazza Venezia, one of the most magnificent squares I have ever visited in any town. There we met Dan and continued to the Colosseum. The light was not on our side that day, but we did our thing in spite of that. We shot for quite a long time, discussed street photography and once we felt hungry we went to Ai Tre Scalini for some food and beer. After some really good food, we continued the Street Hunt shooting around Piazza Venezia. From there we went to Campo de’ Fiori and once we were done there we headed to the beautiful Piazza Navona. It was here I grabbed my flash! We spent a good deal of time at Piazza Navona before we left and headed back to Piazza Venezia where we ended the Rome Street Hunt. It was a rap and it was a blast! We can’t wait to see the final result.

F.D. Walker, Spyros Papaspyropoulos and Marcello Perino
F.D. Walker, Spyros Papaspyropoulos and Marcello Perino. Photo by Digby Fullam

We felt like we had to celebrate, so we said goodbye to Dan and got ready for a boys night out in Rome! We first went to experience the finest Tiramisu in town and then we headed to Marcello’s where we had some beer, freshened up and headed to Buono for pizza. We were lucky to get a reservation as it was packed. After that we went to ConTestaccio where we saw a live Rock concert by the 3chevedonoilre group. That was awesome fun! We ended up sleeping at 04:00. Marcello had planned an amazing day for us for Sunday. I was so excited I barely slept!

3chevedonoilre
3chevedonoilre. Photo by Digby Fullam

Day 4 – 18/10/2015

This was our last full day in Rome and Marcello wanted us to experience it like Italians. So we got up, picked up Forrest and drove to Porta Portese. Porta Portese on Sundays is packed with people because a huge market takes place there. I remember it took me 1 hour to walk from one end of the market to the other and back. Dan was there before we arrived. He had already been in the market once and was looking very satisfied when we met. It was a good day for Street Photography because the sun was out and the light was amazing. We split up and agreed to meet after one hour. 20 minutes later the sun went away and it never came back. So, we took as many shots as we could and decided that the light was not good enough for any more shooting. Besides, Marcello had other plans for us that day. It was time for us to drive to Ariccia on the outskirts of Rome.

Ariccia in Rome, Italy
Ariccia in Rome, Italy. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Ariccia is a little village that is famous for its restaurants and has beautiful views of the countryside. The people of Rome swarm to Ariccia every Sunday to enjoy the the amazing views and good food. We had to wait for 1 hour to get a table so we decided to make the most of the time and do some street photography. An hour later we found ourselves eating like kings, drinking delicious red wine and enjoying ourselves immensely. Once lunch was over, Marcello revealed to us that we had one more stop before returning back to Rome. It was late afternoon by now. So, we grabbed the car and drove to Lake Nemi. We spent some time in a local cafe that was warm and cosy. They must have had a fire lit somewhere because I could smell it. We had some Grappa with black chocolate while enjoying the view from the window. It was raining lightly now and the surrounding area looked as if it had been pulled out of a fairy tale. After our Grappa we took a walk in the light rain and made some Travel photos. We walked down a path into a mysterious place with dense plants, trees and rocks.

Moretti Beer
Moretti Beer. Photo by Digby Fullam
In Nemi. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos
In Nemi. Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

We followed the path as it was getting dark and we could see the lake in the background. At the end of the trail, we reached a cafe and a fountain that overlooked the lake Nemi. We enjoyed a coffee, made some long exposure Landscape shots and then noticed the rain was getting worse. It was time to leave. We headed back to Marcello’s in Rome where we had a taste from a selection of very nice Grappa. After that we took Forrest back to his hotel, said our goodbyes and headed back to Marcello’s. It was time to pack and get ready because at 04:15 our taxi would arrive and take us to Ciampino airport. We had to grab a 06:45 flight in the morning.

Day 5 – 19/10/2015

So, we slept for nearly 3 hours. Got up, got ready, left Marcello’s, jumped into the cab, got to Ciampino, went through bag check and waited for our plane to be ready. We boarded on time, flew back to Athens and there we spent 5 hours at the airport drinking coffee and waiting for the time to fly by (no pun intended). At 12:30 we headed to our gate, at 13:30 we boarded our plane and by 14:30 we were back in Chania in Crete. After a 1 hour drive we got back to Rethymno. The Rome Street Hunt had ended.

Conclusion

Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos
Photo by Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Rome is a must! You should visit at least once in your life. For Street Photography it is perfect because you will see a combination of old and new, of posh and not posh, of youth and elders. Rome has it all and the light is amazing. Combine that with the fact that it is a city with tremendous history and very well preserved ancient and renaissance monuments and you have a really interesting place to spend a few days shooting. I recommend you choose to visit during spring, summer or early autumn so you have good light. I felt really unlucky when I was out shooting and the light would go away. There are so many things you can do there also besides shooting though. Italians have amazing food and they know how to have a good time, so you will definitely enjoy yourself! During our time there I felt 100% safe, so if you are a person that worries about safety there is nothing to be worried about. Just keep an eye on your things in the bus and on the underground, just as you would in any other major city.

In 3 weeks the Rome Street Hunt will be ready and you will see what an amazing time we had and how nice Rome is for Street Photography. So, until then…

Stay Sharp & Keep Shooting!

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6 COMMENTS

    • Hey bro Marcello! Glad you enjoyed the post. I managed to remember everything in detail by following the time stamps on my photos 🙂
      I am happy you relived the rhythm of those days. I miss Rome terribly. I hope I can return soon.

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