Gabriele Tartoni


They call themselves “the elves.” They first arrived almost 50 years ago with an idea: to live together in an area that’s isolated from the world from which they came, 1,000 meters above sea level, sharing basic necessities. Some of them have formed families. They have many children and live using the available resources in a way that’s limited to their own needs. The images in this portfolio are from the "Il popolo dei boschi" (“the people of the woods”) project, which began in 2020 and is still ongoing. It chronicles the community of Sambuca Pistoiese, whose members decided to live in the woods of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.


Gabriele Tartoni is an agronomist and teaches at a Professional Agricultural Institute in Pistoia. He began working as a photographer in 2017. In 2018 he published his work on the flora of Lake Bilancino near Barberino di Mugello and then exhibited it at Fotoconfronti OFF in Bibbiena, at the Circuito Off in Lucca 2018 and at Mostre Diffuse in Magliano Sabina. In 2019 he published “Metato" and produced a photographic book in collaboration with the Municipality of San Marcello Piteglio (near Pistoia). He then took part in a group exhibition called "Leonardo 500" which was shown at Radicondoli (near Siena), at the Accademia dei Fisiocritici in Siena and in the Salone dei Bardi in the Municipality of Vernio (near Prato). His "Luci ed ombre" (“Lights and Shadows”) project received a special mention at Livorno Photo Day 2020, while the following year "Come in una bolla" (“As in a bubble”) won the "Man and Humanity" Award at "Penisola di luce" in Sestri Levante and exhibited at the Aranciaia della Reggia di Colorno at ColornoPhotoLife 2021. In 2022 "Il popolo dei boschi" (“The People of the Wood”) received an Honorable Mention at the Corigliano Calabro Book Award, won the first prize at the CIFA competition "We believe your eyes," was reported at the Penisola di luce (“The Peninsula of Light”) event in Sestri Levante, and won the first prize at the Ariosto Portfolio at Castelnuovo Garfagnana.
Gabriele Tartoni