Spring in  in Sicily – May/June, 2022 

The Aeolian Islands – The Sicilian Lifestyle

You often talk of The Spirit of a Place.

It’s some sort of magic that we connect to some places we have visited.

The one that makes you feel melancholia, or better, as the Portuguese say, “saudade” for a place when you have to leave it. What is it?

Why some places have a special place in our hearts?

I have been traveling, for work and pleasure, in Sicily for many years. And got to the conclusion that is in its villages, hidden from the mass tourism, that you find the real soul of Sicily.

The fascination of small things.

I call it Sicilian minimalism. You find it everywhere. Clothes hanging to dry outside a home. A cactus plant on a balcony. Red peppers roasting on an improvised barbecue. And then, around the corner, the majesty of a baroque church, a liberty-style palazzo, a Greek theatre.

In Sicily there is a continuous contrast…everyday there is something new to discover.

And then the people. So much has been written about this, the fact that there is a big mix of different cultures: Greeks, Arabs, Normans…one think that always surprises me about the Sicilians is that they have a child-like enthusiasm, always listen to your stories with surprise, while they start telling their own…

During this week, we will try to translate these feeling into photographs, to learn how to capture the spirit of this place with our camera, and create strong images to use in our portfolio or our blog.

Show the other what an incredible place this is.

To do this, I have invited Stefano Butturini to be our leader.

He is also great lover of the south of Italy, especially Sicily.


“I’m studying to become Sicilian”, is a bizarre sentence I’ve heard from a layer     originally coming from north-west Italy, when I was first traveling to Sicily. Throughout the years of countless visits and a change of residence to this magic island, that sentence has become my motto too.

Sicily is not only the biggest Italian island, homeland of literary men, of an immense cultural and natural heritage, land of the street-food, of myths and legends but this island is the essence of welcomed and merged cosmopolitan cultures.

During the workshop we will discover and explore, unique and secluded places and a lifestyle that fascinated and charmed poets, painters, architects, writers, photographers and sculptors coming from all over the world.

Let yourself be inspired by instinct for a week and discover the “sicilianity” hidden in everyday’s life and in simple things.

We will meet the “Sicelioti” – nothing to do with the Sicilian cliché – who before Archimede, sailed and still surf beyond the superfluous dimension, undertaking the fruitless yet wonderful mission of trying to reach the perfection.


VENUE – Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily, Italy

LODGING & MEALS  see  info on Summer workshops



© Giovanni Gastel


Born in Brescia, Italy, after law school I moved abroad, working in the hospitality industry.
Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and West Indies, mostly Islands.
I’m attracted by them, I’m curious about the link between islanders, the enclosed space and the mainland Isolation.
I started to document it through reportages and In parallel I realize shooting for hotel, restaurants, tourism promotion and small realities synergistically with nature.

My Collaborations include:

Costa Family Foundation – Italy

Healing Hotels of the World – Germany

Leading Hotel of the World La Perla – Corvara – Alta Badia
Bvlgari Hotel – Milano
Relais & Chateaux Villa Crespi – Lago d’Orta
Albergo Posta Marcucci – Bagno Vignoni – Siena
Boutique Hotel Restaurant Signum – Salina – Isole Eolie
Ristorante Antonino Cannavacciuolo – Lago d’Orta
Miramonti l’Altro – Brescia
La Stüa de Michil – Corvara – Alta Badia
Ai Due Ghiottoni – Bari/Polignano
21 Bistrot – Firenze
Balice – Milazzo

Historic Kunst Hotel Hirschen Schwarzenberg – Austria

Emerald Cove Project – Republic of Antigua & Barbuda

Celeste Prize Invisible Dog Art Center – Brooklyn – New York 2011
Donkey Art Prize – Milano 2012
Biennale di Filicudi – Aeolian Islands 2010 – 2012 – 2014 – 2016 – 2018 – 2020

Publications on:

Terre di Mezzo – Italy

Antigua&Barbuda Treasure Islands Guides – West Indies
OTIE Observatory on Tourism for Islands Economy – Aeolian Islands

The Gipset Travel – Julia Chaplin – Assouline Ed – Usa

Paper Magazines:
D Repubblica
7 Corriere della Sera


WHERE Aeolian Islands,  Sicily, Italy