I Diamanti di Ferrara
My memories of Ferrara stem from my prolonged stay in the city many years ago.
I was endeavouring to finish my law degree but struggling through a difficult time with the studying, which seemed to occupy my every waking hour. I was still living with my parents at the time and, although they were very supportive, I turned to a law lecturer I knew for advice. He had a legal studio in Modena, but 2-3 days a week he travelled to Ferrara, where he had another studio in Piazzetta Sant’Anna, and he offered me the opportunity to do some legal training in the studio there. I seized the opportunity with both hands, enrolled at the University of Ferrara and rented a small flat in Via Cavour.
I was immediately impressed by Ferrara. I totally embraced its fog, which I found fascinating, the way it shrouds people and things, making them hazy and almost invisible at times, as if they were wrapped in a cocoon.
On finishing my last few exams and the work experience at the legal studio, it was with some sadness that I left Ferrara.
But I returned a number of times over the years as I had made some dear, lifelong friends in the city; we had bonded as friends and studied together as students in the final drive to pass a number of law exams: I still keep in touch with most of my friends from Ferrara and I am very grateful to them today for having made me so welcome in their city and drawn me so generously into their circle.
On returning to Ferrara with a view to making a book on this city which I love so dearly, I was rather taken aback to be greeted by fine, sunny days: so I decided to try to recreate in certain photos, for example those taken in Corso Ercole I° d’Este, the fog that had so enchanted me and which had come to represent, for me, the very essence of the city.
Naturally, as well as the Castle, the Cathedral and many of the beautiful attractions Ferrara is so blessed with, I also photographed Piazzetta Sant’Anna, where I did my legal training.
My sincere thanks to the people of Ferrara, who are for the most part “sanguine and frank” (by this I mean no offense to the people of Ferrara, as to my mind this is a virtue and, naturally, my definition is based solely on those I got to know) and to Ferrara itself, which is universally acknowledged as a beautiful, fascinating city, and will forever hold a place in my heart.
MARIA PIA SEVERI