In January 2005, out of the blue and from far away Italy, I got a phone call with an unusual request: "Please come and put a Zen eye to classical civilization."

Author "Dado" Anson told me that he needed my kind of photographic eye to complete his verbal narration for his book about songlines in Italian landscapes. He said that I seemed to do very naturally with a lens, what he laboured to do with words.

It wasn't easy to fully understand what this was about but right from the beginning I felt that wasn't necessary. The energy that radiated from those telephone calls and emails from Dado and Amanda, his agent, from the other side of the Atlantic made me feel that all I had to do was go there and do it. I dropped everything and a few days later, I was standing in Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport.

There is a proverb which says that it takes someone from very far to understand something very near. Certainly, I live in California and I had never been to Europe. I don't know if I fulfilled that proverb. But, for sure, I can say that I have been involved in a most unusual, most innovative, and most wondrous project and life experience.

I am grateful to both Dado and Amanda (his agent) for such an irrational undertaking and for the privilege of "putting a Zen eye" to such old and complex tales.

Published by Semar, 2005
Carmen Via, by Bernard "Dado" Anson.

please click the cover to see many of the photos used to illustrate the novel