An assortment of inflatable alligators, damp bodies and candy cane-colored umbrellas typify Italian photographer Massimo Vitali’s ongoing Beach Series, which he began in 1995. Born in Como, Italy in 1944 Vitali’s internationally recognized panoramas of busy ski resorts, clubs, pools and piazzas explore the multilayered stories present in communal leisure places.

“Vitali’s choice of home reflects his intrigue in the spaces that people chose to congregate in”

This Barbara Anastacio-directed episode takes us away from the crowds and into the tranquil Tuscan city of Lucca where Vitali lives with his wife and son. The photographer’s home is a fourteenth-century church, which—in one of it’s most recent incarnations—was used a boxing and fencing gym for young fascists during the Mussolini years.

Even though the image-maker’s large color works are held in galleries around the world, Vitali chooses not to display any photography in his home. Instead, the crumbling walls, sky blue vaulted ceilings, eroded slogans, frescoes and marble archways of the church provide as much narrative as any image.

Vitali has long used the camera as a tool for social research and his choice of home further reflects his intrigue in the spaces that people chose to congregate in. “My photography comes from a deep curiosity that I possess for people,” says the photographer. “For what they do and how they think.”

My Place: Massimo Vitali, video by Barbara Anastacio, NOWNESS, October 14, 2019.