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Ancient Italy



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Midwinter Celebration
Photograph by O. Louis Mazzatenta

The walls of Sant' Antonio Abate Church in Novoli in southern Italy blaze with holiday lights during a Mass on January 16, the eve of the feast day of the town's patron saint. After the service the townspeople gather at a giant bonfire of flaming grapevines—a ritual passed down from the first millennium B.C., when the Italian peninsula was a patchwork of vibrant cultures known today as the Italic peoples. Even as the Romans began to consolidate their power in fourth century B.C., these different groups retained their traditions, many of which are still visible throughout Italy today.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Cool, dry
Time of Day: Evening
Lighting Techniques: Available light


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