Happy Birthday Italy!


Visit an amazing photo exhibition at MAXXI Rome celebrating 70 years of the Italian Republic.

Italy has existed for thousands of years. It has been composed of feudal kingdoms, municipal republics and other forms of government. That said, in the early 19th century the German diplomat von Metternich famously remarked that Italy was only “a geographical expression”. The boot-kicking peninsula was physically there but lacked the political unity to be a proper “nation”.

Franco Fontana, Basilicata Landscape, Italy 1978, Collezione MAXXI.

Over the next sixty years, the process of Italian Unification began. There were economic revolutions and battles between the industrial north and agricultural south, competing nationalist leaders like Garibaldi and Mazzini…it was a complicated affair that ended with Napoleonic rule. Then, in the early twentieth century, Italy became the world’s first incubator of political fascism – with the rise of Mussolini – so it wasn’t until after the Second World War that the country officially became a republic rather than a monarchy. It is in this sense that the country is only 70 years old.

Gianni Cipriano, Palermo, febbraio 2013. Silvio Berlusconi, 2013.

To celebrate Italy’s 70th birthday, the MAXXI museum in Rome has curated the work of 40 Italian and international master photographers, creating an assembly of “extraordinary visions” of Italy. The photographs depict cities, the countryside, suburbs, coastal regions, mountains, politicians and more.

Visiting the exhibition is a great way to experience a visual journey across the history and landscape of Italy. Also it’s an excuse to see MAXXI itself – a beautiful building designed by the late Zaha Hadid and featured on our recent photo-story in Rome

‘Extraordinary Visions’ runs at MAXXI until 23 October 2016. Tickets cost €11.00. It’s a thirty minute journey from Generator Rome via public transport. Ask at reception for directions.