Simone Donati – Valley of Angels

Angelo and Angela have lived together in South Eastern Sicily with their daughters Hybla, Lua and Siria, since 2005.


A view of the new house at sunset.


They chose this place to build their home and their life. A simple life. They chose to be careful about the food they eat and the education they give their children who were all born at home.
With the same convictions, they use alternative energy sources (such as wind turbines and solar panels) that allow them to live independently of a mains electricity supply. They only buy organic and locally grown food. Getting to know them on a daily basis turned into a genuine co-existence, and I was immersed in their strong dedication to this life project and their daily commitment to it. The awareness of living a revolution is transformed into deeds and actions of hard work.


Angela, Angelo and their 3 daughters having breakfast in the kitchen-living room made from an old stall.
This is a temporary place before their new house will be ready.




Angelo takes care of the newborn Siria in the kitchen of the old house.




Hybla playing in Angelo’s old car.




Lua having a bath while Angela takes care of Siria.




Siria, born at home just few days earlier, in the bedroom of the old house.




The three sisters, Hybla, Lua and Siria, outside the new house.




Angelo and Angela’s new house seen from the top of a nearby hill.



terraMore images and a beautiful video about the project on Simone Donati’s website. He is one of the founding members of the collective TerraProject, since 2006 working on social, political and environmental issues in Italy and abroad.


Simone Donati (1977) was born in Florence, Italy, where he lives and works. In 2005 he completed the three-year course in photography at the Studio Marangoni in Florence. After an internship at the Magnum Photos agency in NYC, in 2006 he started working in the field of documentary photography. During the past years his attention has focused on the political and social situation of Italy. Simone was awarded the honorable mention at the Yann Geffroy Award in 2007 and was selected as one of the three finalists in the portrait category of the 2008 Sony World Photography Awards. He received the 3rd place at the Ponchielli prize in 2010 with his long term project “Welcome to Berlusconistan”. His photographs have been part of solo and group shows in Italy and abroad and have been published in the main Italian and international magazines, among which Le Monde Magazine, Newsweek and Newsweek Japan, L’Espresso, Internazionale, Vanity Fair Italy, GEO Italy and Monocle.