My name is Andrea (Andrew). And I get along with my name fairly well. I don't know why my parents gave me that name, but I'm grateful to them for having done so. Of course, in their goodness, they didn't go into any name-character interpretations, and couldn't even imagine that one day, precisely because my name is Andrea, I would have turned out to be eccentric and stubborn. At ten months of age - the photo you see dates back to November 1968 - I was already playing with cameras. I was curious about anything shiny, anything that moved or made noise, like any child, as a matter of fact. At that time the only thing I was capable of was breaking. Maybe later on I would have built something. But much later. At school my teachers often had to call in my father. Nothing special; just to ask him for a "simple" repayment: for a broken window, a gouged desk, a small piece of wall drawn on or with the plaster chipped away. That's how the origins of my art manifested themselves. It wasn't anything complicated or forbidden. But, when I finished middle school, and later high school, I noticed a lot of smiles, certainly more than usual. And a few sighs of relief, as well. I didn't last long at the university, even if I loved Physics, to the point that I would even hang around after class. But one day certain "chemical reactions" and certain "fumes" were judged to be too much. I ended up disappointed by the others and a little bit by myself, too. So I sought refuge in my room, in the center of Assisi, and stayed there almost the whole day. From the open window I could see the fog slowly creeping in and enveloping part of the town. St. Clair's convent seemed to be about to be swallowed up. Instead, it remained a promontory in the sea of existence.

This image, which has often come back before me down through the years, has become the emblem of my life. I forgot to say that I love my town and photography as much as myself. I've made a symbol of the first, in the sense that I consider it a fruit ripe with history and humanity.

Its charm has ensnared great travelers of all ages, but also the humble wayfarers who, in its presence, savored the discreet flavor of meditation. These elements did not go unnoticed by Francis of Assisi either, who sent out his message of love to the whole world from here.

On the Hill of Paradise where, today still, amidst clouds of mists, the Patriarchal Basilica still stands, the pilgrims of the Earth meet with that spirit of sacrifice that moved the holiness of the Seraphic Father.

Assisi, the woods of turkey oaks growing next to it, the hills that look at it with rapture, and the meadows on top of Subasio are a refuge for me, when I feel lonely and sad. I am not a poet, or rather I try to be one, but I don't know how to write verse. And so through the "window" of my camera I seek the answers to my "whys". I became a photographer out of love - I've already said that - and because I believe that this activity can be carried out only if you feel it inside. It is an explosion of freedom, nostalgia for the past, hope in the future, and dreams. I say that it is necessary to leave room for dreams because it might happen that they come true. And when this happens you have to be prepared... as best as possible.

When I took the picture you are looking at I thought, in fact, of the most beautiful things in life: opening your eyes and seeing a sunset. An allegory of pink and orange seems to light up the profile of the hills. And the breathing of the earth ascends up beyond the clouds

That same earth that nourishes humanity and that rests after having given its fruits. My story in images has found space, in recent years, in specialized tourism publications and in several personal shows held at the "Menache International Art Gallery" in Mexico City and at the Sala Barna, in the Calle San Eusebio of Barcelona, Spain. Public and critics judged me "outpost of Assisi" in the lands of the sun.

The stones, the bell towers, and the rose windows become pulsations that need no words. The Basilica of St. Francis, before an expanse of show, anticipates hope.

Like the drops of water that break on the stones and flicker endlessly.

Go through the door and see beyond. All of this is possible; all you need to do is want it. All you need to do is know how to appreciate the greatness of nature, and have the courage to be moved by a blossom on a branch...

I, Andrea, nervous, eccentric and time-wasting, a lover of Mondays and - it's hard to believe - the color red, which is the flavor of life. I took a picture of myself on a roof of old tiles, after a short snow. I am motionless, curled up, bewildered. I am looking around. Maybe tomorrow I will fly again.