Giulianova is a small town in the Italian Abruzzo region, facing the Adriatic sea. Since I was a little kid I went there with my parents for three weeks of vacation every year for 27 years. A vacation place is always a great place to develop our photographic passion and the area of Giulianova had always been a subject of my photographic explorations, starting when I was eight years old with a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex.
One of the main attraction for me was the harbor with the fishing vessels that offered plenty of subjects for my pictures.
After many years of absence I was back in Giulianova last September and the charm of the harbor hit me again.
This time the harbor was not just a place where to look for single fine art images as I was used. Twenty-five years as a commercial photographer gave me the tools to approach the harbor in a different way and tell a little story about it.
I’m passionate about the human ability to produce and, no matter the situation, always create wealth for themselves and the world. When I’m on assignment I try to give an homage to the producers, the single men and women using their mind to do their jobs at their best, from the simplest tasks to the complexity of multi million dollar industries.
At the Giulianova harbor I decided to tell a story that repeats every day with the same rituals, a story of producers creating wealth fishing so we can enjoy the wonderful seafood the Adriatic sea has to offer.
The life of Giulianova had always been connected with the harbor. Differently from other towns around, the life in Giulianova does not end with the touristic season, but goes on based on the fruits that the Adriatic can offer.
Every day the life of the harbor repeats with some differences based on the season, weather and moon, but basically with the same actions that created a ritual for the people living close to the harbor.
Every day fishermen go out with their boats, sometime for a day, sometime for more days, and they come back with their fishing treasure, more or less rich depending on the sea’s gods blessing.
At the harbor a small crowd is waiting for them on the piers. The crowd is composed by a variety of people, truckers bringing the ice and get ready to carry the fish to the national and international markets, restaurant owners looking for the fresh and delicious fish for their menu, and simple people looking for the raw material for their dinners.
With modern technologies is become easy to look at vessel tracking applications and know exactly when the boats are arriving at the harbor, this is what the professionals and truckers do to know exactly when to get ready on the pier to receive their goods.
Many people not in hurry follow the old habits and just watch at the horizon and when they see the boats getting closer they go on the pier and wait. The wait means to talk with friends and spend time in a pleasant way enjoying the sea breeze and sun.
As soon as a boat crosses the pier point and prepares to dock the crowd becomes alive. The trucks start the engines to position close to the boats and the people advance on the pier to see what fish was caught and get the first choice.
In a moment the ice is unloaded form the trucks and put in position. The boxes of fish are downloaded and covered with ice. The captain watch carefully the client weighting the fish and counting it to establish the average size and so the price for the markets.
In the meantime people approach the stern part of the boat where fishermen sell the fish retail, this time is various kind of fishes caught in a small quantity that is not enough for the general market. The clients point their finger at what they like and with a back and forth of screaming the deal is made.
For each boat coming to the harbor the procedure is the same. The crowd can be composed by different people but they all follow the same rituals and the same gestures. Half hour and all is done, ready to be repeated for the next boats.
Local people remain around commenting the catch of the day while fishermen repair the nets and prepare the boat for the night and the next fishing day.
When the sun goes down, the harbor becomes silent, lovely watched by the Christ of the Sea, the same that protected the fishermen during the day.
The trucks are on their way to the markets to sell the fresh fish in the morning, the restaurant owners are making their clients happy with the delicious fresh seafood and the local wines, the families are eating what they just bought, and the silence will last few hours, until the first hours of the morning when the boats will prepare to sail, still in the dark, for another day on the Adriatic.
All the pictures were realised with a Fujifilm X-Pro2, with the display covered by a cardboard to not fall in the digital habit to look at the pictures on the display and connect the brain after taking the pictures instead of before.