Shoot The Guest

It’s that time of the year again: planning trips for the summer. I have taken up a side-project of photographing archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. But where to stay? This must be one of the most powerful hotel websites ever, almost a kind of existentialist opera: Le Grotte Della Civita. Then there are more quiet glimpses into the condition of the modern nomad. Southern Italy strikes me as still harboring some of the forlorn places that I love. It also strikes me as a land of passionate hotel owners. When some traveler posts a truly bad review, owners sometimes talk back at length. I tend to find myself siding with the owner, and wonder whether some encounters should rather be resolved before the guest’s departure, in the parking lot? Finally there is the sort of painstaking travel journal that lists every instant of an utterly unremarkable stay and culminates in gems that would have made Beckett proud: “We decided to go to the beach but when we got there it appeared to be quite dirty. We found a dead rat.” Buon viaggio!