Il vicolo

If you have ever wandered around Italy’s ancient Italian villages and small towns (fig. 1), you may have noticed that navigating these paesi is often difficult. 
Many of these old towns were built on remote hills or mountains, often for defensive purposes, and still preserve a quiet, almost surreal atmosphere. Winding, narrow alleyways (figs. 2-3) with cobblestone pavement throughout homes built with locally extracted rocks and stones (fig. 4) are everywhere. It is hard to imagine that life here goes on as always (fig. 5), even though the pace and the habits of the local population (fig. 6) are quite different from more urban venues. 
Stores, trattorias, shops, and other local businesses (figs. 7-9) remain open, however some experience difficulties related to the usually declining population. They rely heavily on the tourism industry (fig. 10). 
Reaching these small towns (figs. 11-12) usually requires a lot of walking and a good dose of balance, since even bicycles are rarely of use! Castles (fig. 13) are not uncommon since often these paesi were governed by local nobility. 
Over the years, I have often returned to some of these paesi, Calcata, Sperlonga, Leonessa, and more (figs. 14-15). I always look forward to visiting these magical places, where time really seems to have stopped ages ago.