Back in the United Kingdom, aside from kiosks which lurk beside tube station entrances in London, the newsstand has all but died out.
Here in Italy though, the ‘edicola’ which is the Italian for newsstand is still very much in evidence. They often sit on corners, and we have three near us in Milan. Generally they are run by families, and open pretty early in the morning with them closing around 7 to 7.30 pm in the evenings. Some are open 24 hours, and other newsstands occupy small shop units, but visitors are not encouraged to browse through the magazines as they are in shops such as WH Smiths in England.
Aside from a selection of newspapers and magazines, these places are also honey traps for children who cajole their doting parents into buying the likes of the latest picture cards, plastic figures or small buckets of mult-coloured slime.
Some but not all of these colourful vendors sell bus and parking tickets, and then, sometimes hidden away in an adults-only area, there is a wide selection of adult films and publications catering for an equally wide rage of sexual preferences.
Although the Internet effect is starting to bite in Italy, and flashy handsets such as the iPhone allow people to read the news on the move, and without having to wrestle with clumsy broadsheets, Italy’s newsstands are hanging on in there, even if their days must be numbered. Right, to the photo.
The Italian Newsstand or Edicola
I tend to use my BlackBerry Bold mobile to keep up with what’s going on in Italy and the world, as well as picking up freebie newspapers in local bars. I do buy newspapers from time to time, and go for La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, and Il Sole 24 ORE, but never manage to find the time to finish reading the things!
Italians are, or so I understand, not great newspaper readers, and there is no ‘Sunday newspaper’ culture as there is in the UK. Shame really, I miss the ‘Sundays’.
With thanks for this lovely shot to wdimondi, a graphic interactive communications student at Ringling College of Art and Design who is minoring in photography.
More of wdmondi’s work can been seen via his selection on Flickr: wdimondi on Flickr