I started shooting film a while ago. This winter, during Christmas break, my boyfriend and I went to Italy for a two week road trip. We spent a few days in Rome, and then rented a car to travel along the Amalfi Coast. It was the first time I was shooting this much film, almost one roll of film a day.
Every picture just seems more precious to take with a film camera, and I enjoyed it so much. It was also the occasion to try out different films, I shot warm Kodak films, Fujifilm, and black and white Lomography film.
My boyfriend, on his side, shot some expired rolls. I had my precious Minolta X-700 I stole from my father. It has some light leaks, so a few pictures have a red or white strip, always at the same place.
During our trip, we really preferred the less touristic areas of Italy. For example, in Rome, we visited a neighborhood called Garbatella, where we saw more cats than humans, hanging out in the public back yards.
I was surprised to see Rome is still very touristy even in January. As for the temperature, it can get really hot during the day, but when the sun goes down, you need a hat and gloves.
When we left Rome, we headed to Napoli. It was the worst experience ever with the car. Napoli has such a chaotic atmosphere, and the drivers are crazy. But we got out of it alive.
We were only staying in Napoli for one day, so we didn’t see much of the city, but then again we avoided the crowded places. The main thing we ended up doing was going to the marina, a very cute and calm place with old Italian men working on their boats, and we could see the famous Vesuvio from there.
After Napoli, that’s when the road trip really began. Our desire to escape from the big cities full of tourists was fulfilled. We did Salerno, Amalfi, Sorrento, and some other smaller towns. Even in those cities, it was very difficult to travel by car, so we just parked the car somewhere and didn’t touch it until we were moving to the next city.
We walked a lot, sometimes downtown, near the beaches or the marinas, or small paths in the mountains. In Salerno, we saw a mountain down from the port with a cross on top of it and just decided to climb it.
We were staying in a hostel close to the sea, so we had to climb all the small and narrow streets until we reached the mountain. Finally, we climbed another mountain that was just beside the one with the cross on top.
However, we made a surprising encounter: as we were climbing, we heard distant bells. My boyfriend told me about yaks in the Himalaya who have bells. In the end, he wasn’t far from the truth. We crossed path with a herd of goats led by a sheepdog. I can still hear the sound of about twenty goats bleating and rummaging through the vegetation with their bells ringing.
We also did a hike called Path of the Gods, which we didn’t know about when planning our trip, but it was just a few minutes from our hotel in Agerola. Agerola is a small town higher in the mountains, about a 30 minute drive from Amalfi. Again, we enjoyed Agerola more than Amalfi.
We also did a very easy but beautiful hike/walk in between lemon plantations that crossed a few towns, such as one called Atrani that was also a favorite.
Long story short, this trip was mostly a reason to do photography, shoot film, and I think we both got to discover what we love about travelling: nature, small, far-away towns – and cats!