Adolfo Porry Pastorel. L’altro sguardo / The Other Gaze Nascita del fotogiornalismo in Italia / Birth of Photojournalism in Italy


This volume accompanies the exhibition (Museo di Roma, 1 July – 24 October 2021) dedicated to Porry Pastorel, the first Italian photojournalist. This is the first monograph devoted to him, more than fifty years after his death, even through he is seen as the undisputed father of Italian photojournalism. Adolfo Porry Pastorel (1888-1959) was the most fashionable photojournalist and the most in demand in the capital when he was only twenty. His flair and insatiable curiosity enabled him to scoop his colleagues on other newspapers, to use varied ruses to enter the palaces of power, to blend into protest marches and to conduct exclusive interviews of politicians and cultural figures.

In 1908 he founded his glorious agency VEDO (Visioni Editoriali Diffuse Ovunque), later transformed into one of the first historical photographic archives in Europe thanks to the precious archival work of his wife Franca Cerruti.

The relentless lens of his camera and the keys of his typewriter recorded the arrest in 1915 of a young Benito Mussolini during an interventionist rally supporting Italy’s entry into the war, the march on Rome, the investigation into the murder of Matteotti, as well as various fascist propaganda campaigns, together with the family life of the Duce, who also drew on Porry Pastorel’s talent for private and family photos.
A friend of great directors and actors of the day, in 1953 he advised Luigi Comencini and Vittorio De Sica to use the town of Castel San Pietro Romano, of which he was mayor, as the setting for the film Pane, amore e fantasia. In this way he transformed the picturesque little town into a lively film set and gave it a strong and lasting cultural impulse that still distinguishes it.

The English translation is by Adrian Bedford.

paperback with flaps
Year of publication
Bilingual Italian/English