The Po Valley, a geographical area of northern Italy which coincides with the Po river basin, is one of the most polluted areas on the planet.
Due to poor ventilation, strong industrialisation and high population density (about 20 million inhabitants), smog and air pollution have increased significantly since the 1960s, pollution that not only affects the large cities or industrial areas but which is distributed to affect the entire area. The Po Valley is almost entirely cultivated, leaving minimal space for woods and other natural environments.
With low winds –closed on three sides by the Alps and the Apennines– fine particles, nitrogen oxides, benzene, carbon monoxide and other toxic compounds accumulate day after day.
An illusory stillness (deceptive stillness) covers all of this.
Photographs: Marco Rigamonti
Essay: Alessandro Varacca