Street Photography in Napoli/ Naples: The best places to hit the streets
Situatet on the foot of the ancient Vesuvius volcano and the bright blue Gulf, Naples is a city of contrasts. Rich of art and history, influenced by different cultures over the centuries, it is famous for its buildings. The old town (centro storico) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But besides all of this, it is the open, welcoming nature of the citizens is what makes Naples a perfect place for street photography is. A distinct pride on the Neapolitan way of life, a faible for individual fashion, strong solidarity with their neighbours and friends and strong family boundaries are characteristics that are typical and easy to find.
Quatieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarters)
Old and somehow charming with its narrow streets and clothes lines hanging between the high, run-down houses, the Spanish Quarters are a perfect surroundings for street photography. They are located in the district Montecalvario in the historic center of Naples. The name comes from the Spanish soldiers for whom the houses were built in the 16th century. Since the beginning, the area established a shady reputation with its high rate of prostitution, criminality and poverty.
But nevertheless, it is an area where you can get easily in contact with the Neapolitans, if you wish to portray some of them. You will find street life happening and a lot of small shops and workshops in the small streets that give you some nice opportunities for good shots.
A typical Neapolitan neighborhood is the Riona Sanità. It has a lot of small street markets where to finde motives for street photography. You may find as well interesting buildings like the Palazzo San Felice, and like most of the older quarters in the center, it has a lot of churches, too. Some of the most famous are the Basilica di Santa Maria della Sanità or the Chiesa di San Severo fuori le mura and their catacombs. And the Fontanelle cemetery:
The Fontanelle cemetery is worth a visit with your camera, too, as it is quite special as it is basically an ossuary filled with sculls, which have their own history and a quite peculiar rite: Once it was quite popular to be buried in or close to a church, but especially during the Great Plague pandemic in 13th century and a cholera pandemic in the 19th century, the cemeteries ran out of space. So they decided to move the sculls and bones to a cave. But as it was – due to the high numbers of death and chaotic circumstances – impossible to say whom was who, the Neapolitans established at some point a rite: People „adopted“ anonymous sculls and cared for the nameless souls, who were supposed to bring them luck in return.
In 1969, Cardinal Ursi prohibited the adoption and caring for the sculls, as it had degenerated into fetishism in his opinion. But the cemetery has been restorated and can still be visited.
Piazza del Plebiscito and Molosiglio Gardens
The huge square Piazza del Plebiscito in front of the Basilica Royal with its colonnades is a perfect place for street photography, especially if you like to play with the contrast of modern people and old architecture. Either in black-and-white or with all the colours, it it definitely a place to go with your camera. It is close to the Molosiglio Gardens with its monuments, which give you a beautiful scenery for your street photography as well.
The best photo galleries for Street Photographers
Galleria Lia Rumma
Lia Rumma has a gallery in Napoli since the 70s, meanwhile as well with a branch in Milano and works with a lot of famous international artists. You may find there exhibitions with all kind of art works – from performance art to photography. Some of the photography artists who’s works she has shown in her galleries are e.g. Sabah Naim (who combines street photography with hand painting), Tobias Zielony (who portrays in his projects young people and adolescents in society) Victor Burgin (co-founder of conceptual art, who uses photography just as one of his artistic ways of expression), Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini (known for their photographic and video art).
(Via Vannella Gaetani 12, 80121 Naples, Italy, phone+39.081.19812354)
The Alfonso Artiaco gallery has been founded in 1986 and moved several times since them. Now situated in the Piazzetta Nilo 7, the art of different national and international artists may unfold its messages and aesthetic in huge, light rooms. Artists working with photography (either using it as a basis for their creative works or showing photographic works as such) who exhibited there are e.g. Darren Almond, Anri Sala or Vera Lutter.
(Piazzetta Nilo 7, 80134 Naples, Italy, phone +39 081 4976072, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
PRAC – Piero Renna Arte Contemporanea
The architect Piero Renna has opened his gallery for contemporary art in October 2013. The special interial architecture with the rounded arches gives his modern gallery an ancient touch.
It shows photographic art as well as sculptures and paintings. Photo artists who have shown their work at PRAC are for example Giovanni Sesia and Manuel Felisi. But you may also find realist figurative paintings that look like street photography (e.g. some works from the artists Andrea Baruffi od Arno Boueilh), paintings inspired of scenes from street life (e.g. works of Gottfried Salzmann, Alessandro Papetti or Thomas Gillespie) or photographic still lifes from Gianluca Corona.
(Via Nuova Pizzofalcone 2, 80132 Naples, Italy –
phone +39 081 7640096, mobile +39 349 2876951, e-mail: email@example.com)
Madre – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina
In the center of Naples you will find as well a quite impressive museum museum for contemporary art that also exhibits photographic art. The museum is located in the Palazzo Donnaregina, after whom it is named. The Madre (abbreviation for the museum’s name, but also the Italian word for “mother“) offers temporary photo exhibitions (e.g. currently from the film set of “My Brilliant Friend“) but has also photographic art from national and international artists in its collection (e.g. from Cindy Sherman, Cyprien Gaillard or Cesare Accetta) as well as a collection of other works of contemporary art (e.g. from Andy Warhol).
( Via Settembrini 79, 80139 Naples, Italy, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Street Photography Workshops and courses in Napoli/Naples
Walk and Photo in Naples
The experienced documentary photographer Giorgio Cossu from Naples offers photography walks of 3 or 6 hours through his city. As he was born and raised in Naples, he knows all the best spots and secrets of his city. No matter if you are a newbie or an experienced photographer – he customizes his tours to the skill level of participants and can also be booked for long-term or individual photography workshops. Giorgio Cossu is not only well talented with the camera, he also speaks – besides Italian – fluently English, Spanish, Portugese and French. He will present you his city from a different angle, can give you technical advise and will leave you after some hours with new inspirations and some quite good photographic results as a souvenir. It’s a perfect way to combine street photography with a city tour, and it is even highly recommended on portals like Tripadvisor.
Spazio Tangram Napoli
Since 2007, Spazio Tangram Napoli is a creative centre that organizes photography workshops with different lecturers in Naples. You might discover the city by night with your camera, learn more about documentary photography / reportage photography in a practical course or take „street photography“ quite literally with a Saturday course on the road – all with the experienced, internationally known photographer Paolo Liggeri. Other courses are for example held by Mario Ferrara, an architect and photographer who had exhibitions, led workshops and realized photographic campaigns all over the world. From time to time, you will also find a course led by the U.S. street photographer Robert Herman, or you may also take photo classes with the art director of Spazio Tangram himself, the photographer Michele Del Vecchio. On the website of Spazio Tangram Napoli, you will find an (Italian) description of each course as well as details about how to apply and the costs. Additionally, you will find the schedule of courses for the next months to come and some more information about the center and the lecturers / photographers who lead the courses.
Scuola di Fotografia
When you are looking for study courses on photography, the Scuola di Fotografia offers a variety of master classes and courses in photography. You may learn more about fashion fotography, food photography and the photography of architecture, for example. As the website and at least most of the courses will be held in Italian, it is despite all practical training in photography as such better to have at least a basic knowledge of this language.
(Via Pirandello 21, 80125 Napoli, Italy, phone +39 3711223786, e-mail: email@example.com )
ILAS – Accademia italiana di comunicazione visiva
The ILAS academy offers a special photography program, which not only covers photography as such but also high-end-retouching and working with photoshop to optimize the results. One part of the program is photo journalism with the documentary photograph and photo journalist Mario Laporta. If you would like to participate in a whole photography program in Italian language but with different technical, practical and theoretical courses, you may consider to join this program.
(Via Alcide De Gasperi, 45, Napoli, Italy, phone (+39) 081 551 13 53)