Portraits in Teggiano

Teggiano, Italy is a little town in the province of Salerno in the Campania region. The center has about 8,000 inhabitants and a few thousand more outside the historical center. It’s a place most Italians do not even know exists. It feels like a secret.

teggiano

Gabriella’s fascination with Teggiano began as a young girl, when she would come here every summer to visit her grandparents, her nonni. Coming from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Teggiano felt like a whole new world. It is a medieval town, which years ago was the home of the castle of the Sanseverino family, who ruled over Teggiano for three centuries. The castle still stands atop a hill with a view of the whole town. It is a simple place with simple people, who live lifestyles fairly different than in America. They’re not materialistic, instead they work for what they need and value traditions, friendships and most of all, family. It is a place where everyone knows everyone and family ties are strong.  It has old roads that twist and wind through mountains that become snow topped in the winter time. Farms and old houses, some of which are abandoned, line the sides of the road. It is not particularly a town for young people, however from a young age Gabriella found it special.

At 12 years old, she started to photograph it. There were no distractions. No internet at the time, no TV, no movies. So she would explore and photograph the countryside, leading to the beginning of a strong passion for this form of art. That is why she feels such an intense desire to photograph every aspect of Teggiano, before it changes and loses its authenticity.

That’s how this ongoing project, “Portraits in Teggiano” was born. It’s a documentation project that aims to capture the soul of this small city, the people who encapsulate it. It started with relatives of the photographer. Her father carrying carrots from his small garden, her grandmother sweeping the floor, her 91 year old aunt. It then expanded to family of family. Her boyfriend’s 88 year old grandmother who lived her whole life in Teggiano. Then, the neighbor, who learned how to drive a tractor at 5 years old and farms everyday with his family; the candy seller, father and son in a butcher shop, the local car shop owner… Each and every one of these faces has a story and they call Teggiano home. This is not a finished project, instead it is something Gabriella hopes to continue on her next visit. She wants to share what it is about this town that makes it so special.

About the author:
Gabriella Corrado was born in 1996 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, a bit outside the city of Philadelphia. Born into an American-Italian family. After studying for a few months in Rome, she moved to Milan to study her passion, photography. She now studies at IED Milano and is in her second year. She recently won first prize in photography for the Folletto art lab competition and has a few publications in online magazines and online digital photo school.

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