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The reason for the award is already clear from the name with which they have chosen to be recognized. Their story is intertwined between the virtual and the real, between the Group “La Ciociaria e la Provincia di Frosinone in Foto” in social networks and the Franco Olivetti Association in the real world with a branch in Frosinone.

They are a fantastic group of passionate Ciociarians of photography that for many years has been promoting the territory and organizing photography courses to bring young generations closer to this form of art.

The group was founded on Facebook in 2014 by the passion of Emilia Trovini, Gerardo Forti and Ferdinando Potenti and today has reached 8,500 members with an incredible number of beautiful photographs covering all the towns of Ciociaria.

Thanks to them, many of the Italian emigrants abroad have been able to review their roots and many curious people have got to know this land of ancient history and which reveals its real artistic and natural surprises.

Seven of these photographers then founded the Association of photographers Franco Olivetti in homage to their teacher and photographer friend. Franco is a successful photographer who has worked for Vogue and other prestigious magazines. Founder and president of the Foto Club Roma and winner of important international awards, so much so that a photo of a balloon was chosen by Kodak in 1988 to publicize the new slides. His photos are still in exhibitions and one was auctioned by Sotheby’s and he is the only photographer to have displayed his photos in the Pantheon with the exhibition “A glimpse from above”.

They were all friends and Franco Olivetti was not ‘stingy’ as he loved to teach and spread the culture of photography giving in the first instance. This is why the group has preserved the spirit of generosity and love for the territory that has led them to found a real association and to organize a venue equipped for everyone.

Gerardo Forti, Emilia Trovini, Ferdinand Potenti, Rosetta Terramagra, Enzo Sorci, Tiziana Cosso Olivetti and Daniele Olivetti gave the ‘kick-off’, but today the association has about 50 members and promotes courses open to anyone who wants to approach this art. Courses are also attended by young people.

And we know that in our world of social media, Instagram and Facebook, photography is the essential element to attract and excite people. And we also know that photography is the weak element in the promotion of small businesses and local excellence.

Promoting the culture of photography, in addition to the beauty of the territories, is a great merit and means spreading the seeds of the development of the territory into an increasingly vast territory. It means helping many small entrepreneurs, many local associations and small tour operators to be more attractive so as to bring wealth to the ‘minor territories’.

This is the purpose of the ‘Town Ambassador’ award given by Discoverplaces to their business, they are a real seed that fosters local development with love.

In their history, considering the activities prior to this association, this amazing group of friends has organized in various forms over 16 courses of photography from which four professional photographers have come out!

In the course they teach subjects such as: triplet (diaphragms, times, ISO), ways of measuring exposure, focusing techniques and advanced MAF (focusing), photographic composition and image education, HDR (High Dynamics Range) and multi-exposure, night photography, securing image rights, flash and studio shooting. The course ends with an evening out in which you can practise everything you have learned in life and with a studio shoot with a model. The headquarters of the association is equipped with everything!

In their ‘real activity’ the group also organizes photographic exhibitions with the emblematic name of ‘Stupenda Ciociaria’, so as not to appear biased.

The next show? One dedicated to the 50 years of the moon landing at Mattatoio, the house of culture of the municipality of Frosinone that has always supported them by giving them their headquarters and signing an agreement for the promotion of the city.

Rossella Testa, Councillor for the Historic Centre, was present at the awarding of the prize, who proudly told how this collaboration has led to a new interest for the city with the reopening of activities in Frosinone Alta: “A 2017 exhibition at the Town Hall has seen over a thousand visitors and a long daily line to go and discover local beauty. Those images that you have under your eyes every day but that only the goal of a photographer can make you appreciate and love”.

If then you see someone running around with a camera in the villages of Ciociaria, try to invite him to lunch and tell him the stories of your town.

And if he falls … (as sometimes happens), help him get back on his feet and offer him a good glass of Ciociaro wine: a Cesanese, an Atina, a Maturano or a Passerina. Perhaps the photos will be a bit ‘blurred’.

Claudia Bettiol

IT Ingegnere, futurista e fondatrice di Discoverplaces. Consulente per lo Sviluppo Turistico dei Territori, specializzato nella sostenibilità e nella promozione culturale dei piccoli territori e delle piccole imprese. Ama i cavalli ENG Engineeer, futurist, joint founder of Energitismo and founder of Discoverplaces. Consultant for the development and promotion of the Touristic Development of Territories specialising in sustainability and in cultural promotion of small places and small enterprises. She loves horses