Ermal Alibali



Event Photography

A spectacular firework event is held annually in Rome on June 29th to celebrate the local patrons, St. Peter and Paul. This event, known as The Girandola, was conceptualized by none other than Michelangelo Buonarroti himself. For a number of years now, the event has been held at the Pincio in Villa Borghese.

In 2015, I had the opportunity to attend and photograph my first-ever pyrotechnic display. I remember the event drew an impressive crowd of people and I knew I had to find a good vantage point. I arrived at the venue at around 4-5 PM, well before the show was scheduled to start at 9 PM. Despite the crowds, I managed to find a spot on the cornice overlooking the Tevere river. I had to make a choice between avoiding the crowds or capturing a reflection of the fireworks in the river. I decided to go for both.

As I waited for the show to begin, I set up my trusty old Canon EOS 600D and did some test shots. The display lasted quite a while, and while the air was thick with smoke from the fireworks, the overall effect was breathtaking. It turned out to be the last time the Girandola was held at Castel Sant’Angelo.