Below growth, below politics, below exhaustion; Italy seems to be sinking beneath itself, hit by a crisis far beyond sheer economics. There is all the diversity of a country of countries, tied together by a common plague – loneliness. A cultural blessing, a social curse, a ticket to empathy. Italiana is a descent through the unchartered, across irregular byways and small-sized characters; the secondary geography of an unglobalized country where modernity makes little sense. The pleasantry and the slums; the squallor and the sacred; desolation and poetry. Stylistically, Italiana aims to be a fundamentally classic photography book. In times of easy seduction, where audience and success have become synonyms, escaping the language of spectacularization becomes an act of revolt. There is a moving curiosity in these pictures and an affection towards a country so well known – so unknown. Italiana aims to make a step towards the European identity, not only the Italian one, and towards a kind of photography – humanistic photography – that derives from empathy for one another.