To me, autumnal England is gray and miserable. Italian summer, on the other hand, is hot, colorful, tattooed, tanned, dangerous, feral, and furious. Ultimately, Italian summer is the season when Italians can express their lightness of being and their love for life.

I took these pictures in different places around Italy—like the island of Salina in Sicily, Salento in Puglia, and Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany. I looked at people of all ages and social stations hoping to find that one common thread of surreal irony.

I think I did. As an Italian expat who has lived in London for ten years, I can finally see my cultural traits spread on the beaches of Italy and that evokes strong childhood memories of the long summers I spent there. I now love my country more than ever.

—Lorenzo Grifantini