Welcome to EyeNiccolo: Travel-Inspired Writing With An Environmental Edge.

In writing these essays, I’ve drawn inspiration from these words:

“Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.”

Walter Benjamin, One Way Street and Other Writings

Essays posted so far on EyeNiccolo: Travel Writing With An Edge:

Under the category Peru,  I have posted There Will Be Dead, an eyewitness account of the deadly strikes and demonstrations in Cajamarca, the heart of Peru’s Northern Highlands.

After reading There Will Be Dead, Ryan Thomas posted the following comment:

Nick beautifully captures the conflict between industrial expansion and potable water and sustainable life in Cajamarca, Peru. The intimate view that he provides of the struggle of the locals to preserve their water and their future is a telling echo of the international crisis in water that almost always disproportionately impacts the poor. Very well written and deeply moving.

Haga clic aquí para la versión española de la crónica periodística “There Will Be Dead”.

Listed under The Bahamas  are four pieces depicting life in Nassau for a stranger in a strange land.

Under Italy, there is a short essay on Bologna and World Cup fever.

Oaxaca, written during the height of the teachers’ strike in Oaxaca, Mexico, is posted under Mexico.

Commenting on Oaxaca, Pamela Lyons-Nelson wrote:

What an excellent read! Nick, I invariably find myself joined with you in the midst of the fray in ways that move me and deepen my appreciation for your keen eye, whether it be expressed in word or image. Your deep sense of humanity, your attention to detail and most especially, your solid scholarship in setting the context for the piece allows me to be entertained and informed simultaneously.

The first part of a four-part essay on Guanajuato in Mexico’s central highlands has been published. Click here to read Guanajuato: A Walk in Time and Solitude.


Niccolo Famiglietti, PhD

Contact information: n.famiglietti@gmail.com




22 thoughts on “EyeNiccolo

  1. Ryan Thomas

    Nick is a gifted writer, photographer and linguist. I was deeply moved by his essay on Oaxaca. It is a region that I know well and Nick has distilled a feeling for the place and people that transported me back forty years to the time that I walked where he walked.

  2. C.L. Moss

    I’m really happy to have stumbled across Niccolo Famiglietti’s website. I’ve always appreciated good ‘travel writing’–i.e., reading someone whose writing and stories allow you to look through their unique window on the world and learn something new. Niccolo Famiglietti is a born storyteller and writer! “Life on the Island” is a great little essay–replete with humor, interesting cultural information (never heard about Junkanoo until reading his piece), and good characterization….Abragam is quite the fellow! Niccolo’s essay wove cultural information back and forth with the story he was telling. I’m very much looking forward to visiting Niccolo’s website in the coming months and reading more of his travel essays.

  3. Cliff

    I’ve been along for the ride with Nick since he began his tour of the world and its cultures. Whether the observation is of the Middle East, Spain, the Islands, or the Americas–he combines the informed mind of a linguist, the eye of the artist, and the wisdom of a culturally informed traveller in his impressions of peoples, places, movements, and events that leave one with an understanding of the “big” picture. Enjoy his fascinating images and informed commentary. It’s well worth the trip.

  4. Brad King

    Nick’s writing is honest, heart-felt and compelling. If you don’t want to be moved, if you don’t want to care, don’t read it. His photography says at least as much as his writing. I can’t wait for more!

  5. Pam Shaheen

    I agree with all the above comments. I read the essay on Peru. These multinationals have to be named and shamed. Unfortunately, they’re very powerful but it’s good to see that people are trying to defend themselves. Nick’s writing deserves to be very widely read, not least by the people who cause these problems.

  6. umbriascribe

    And I just found out how to “follow you” via email posts instead of “Follow blog” button somewhere. I am particularly touched by your Guanajuato photos as my mother lived in San Miguel de Allende for her last 25 years. I loved traveling there and miss it terribly since she passed away 3 years ago. Thank you for such vibrant photos. Nina.

  7. LisaS

    The essays leave you wanting more. The photographs are exquisite reflections of color that permeate life and beautifully reflect the subjects’ distinctive cultures. The images artfully and gracefully carry the mind’s eye on a journey.

  8. Jim Heinrich

    Niccolo Famiglietti could well represent the epitome of the modern-day Renaissance man: formally educated in multiple disciplines, learned and knowledgeable in a wide variety of topics, multilingual and with personal experiences covering varied geographical areas, cultures and social strata. He has lived and worked for extended periods of time in Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Caribbean, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Colombia, and Peru, as well as throughout the United States. Dr. Famiglietti’s native fluency in six languages and literary competency in several others has served to allow him uninhibited freedom of travel and the ability to experience different cultures at an intimate level unobtainable by the casual tourist, while his wide breadth of knowledge and many experiences serve to infuse his writings with compassion, humor, interest, reality and factual background combined into exciting essays.

    Niccolo Famiglietti presents the reader first-person accounts that, while entertaining in and of themselves, also provide both common and esoteric facts about flora and fauna, indigenous cultures and customs, history and geography, social interactions, local cuisine and libations, all described through the experienced eye of a master writer and enhanced with outstanding, world-class photographs. Each essay is unique in subject, tone, purpose, depth of description and individuality, while the author’s personal experience, analysis and commentary maintain an underlying connection.

    I could hardly be more enthusiastic about Niccolo Famiglietti’s work, both photographs and essays, and eagerly await their publication in book form, which I easily envision as a wonderful didactic tool in classes of language, literature, social and foreign studies; one serving not only to impart knowledge and facts, but also humanism and empathy for “the other”, and a vibrant illustration of a true world traveler.

    James R. Heinrich
    San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

  9. Mary Hammer

    … the threads sewn into the core being of a sensitive man who is able to paint through words and photography the joys and pains of mankind….the injustices of man towards fellow beings….in the way he is able to, is rare. Celebrate his talent for this is special stuff, folks.

    I, like others, look to the day when Nicolo Famiglietti will be published. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Colombia this winter and knew he was on a mission which he is working on daily; with fervor; with honesty.

    It is difficult for me, since I am not a writer to portray my respect for the level at which he is working. I am in awe and am thankful he walks with the curiosity and the passion that he has…and that he has the incredible talent and drive to put it out there for others to absorb.

  10. Lars-Olof Nilsson/Sweden

    Niccolo Famiglietti is clearly a gifted writer. I like the way he mixes history with the present and how he weaves together clashes and everyday life, especially in his essays about Latin America.

    Niccolo’s essays are full of images – in words. That is not surprising, since he is also a photographer and naturally sees the world with the eyes of a photographer. I would love to see his texts illustrated by his photographs.

    His essays are also full of sounds and smells. He has a very expressive language. I’m looking forward to his next essay.

  11. Richard Fink

    Magnificently written reportage of a kind which sadly seems to be less encountered at a time when it is sorely needed. What’s one to say; just another case of callous disregard for (of) human rights, dignity and self sovereignty in search of capital gain. The lack of empathy is staggering. I will be sending this off to some friends.

    1. Nicolo Famiglietti Post author

      Thank you, Richard, for reading and commenting on “There Will Be Dead.”

      I agree that Newmont’s proposal to extend the Yanacocha mine in the face of fierce popular opposition represents yet another case of “callous disregard for (of) human rights, dignity and self sovereignty.” What’s new about Cajamarca is that the people there are organized and they’re fighting back. They won once in 2004 at Cerro Quilish and they intend to win again at Conga.

      Thank you very much for forwarding the link to my essay. The more people know about Cajamarca and the struggle to stop the Conga extension to Yanacocha, the greater the chance the people of northern Peru will triumph.

  12. david stea

    I’ve now seen your presentation on Peruvian gold mining twice (actually 1-2/3 times, having been inexcusably late for this week’s event), and found it unreservedly excellent. You have demonstrated a sensitivity to both the environmental and human dimensions of this extractive industry (social, cultural, health). Water is our most critical resource worldwide (some predict that the “next world war” will be over water) and you have amply demonstrated the catastrophic impact that mining can have on what no one can live without, in terms both of quantity and of quality. The crowds of demonstrators in and around Cajamarca, carrying coffins, also tell the story of repression quite eloquently.

    My social science bias is in the direction of quantification, and the statistics you present are truly mind-boggling–the illustrations as well, particularly that of a diminutive car next to a monstrous mining truck, and the tiny size of the latter compared with the depth of a mining crater in Indonesia. I’ve seen the terrible things that mining can do to Native American nations from Montana south to New Mexico, and the effects you show are even worse!

    Please…keep up this good work!

  13. Martín

    El artículo (“Habrá Muertos”) que usted escribió es la voz de las personas que no pueden hablar libremente en su país. Es un trabajo muy loable y agradezco la confianza que ha tenido conmigo. Existen muy pocas personas que invierten su tiempo y recursos en mostrar a la humanidad los daños a la ecología y también denunciar los actos de corrupción de los políticos peruanos. Yo quisiera escribir algo parecido a lo que usted escribió, pero en mi país un artículo similar al de usted puede causarme muchos problemas. Considero que su artículo es muy interesante, porque pone en evidencia el daño causado por las compañías mineras al medio ambiente. Es una radiografía de la situación que se vive en toda Latinoamérica, en todas las ciudades.

  14. Patrick O'Reilly

    Hi Nick,
    Guanajuato is really an exceptional essay and I enjoyed every bit of it. Have you considered submitting these essays to an academic journal? I hope so as I think they would find a wide audience. You brought the spirituality and faith of the people vividly to life and the stories about Cihuapilli, The Beloved Princess, in particular, were especially compelling. Your essay gave me a real feel for the people of this region and the ways they integrate what must be a difficult life with their religious beliefs were genuinely touching and heart-felt. I look forward to reading Part Two. Incidentally, I envy your gift for language and the nuance of the people you meet is threaded flawlessly into the narrative.

  15. Alvaro Quinonez


    encuentro este articulo con un muy importante y sensible tema, por dos aspectos;

    1. especialmente porque hoy día, los medios informativos a nivel mundial, todos, diariamente lo manejan y gracias a ello segmentos de población están tomando conciencia de la grave situación en que esta nuestro planeta por culpa de la contaminación ambiental.

    2. Pone de presente la continuidad por parte de algunas multinacionales empecinadas en el negocio de comercializar los recursos naturales, sin importarles, que dicha actividad deja a nuestros países solo contaminación y disminución en la calidad de vida de sus habitantes. Es una situación, que como lo describe el autor de este articulo, sigue vigente desafortunada mente, por el afán de seguir con el comercio de los recursos no renovables y como lo dice el nombre del autor de este articulo, seguirá habiendo muertos.

  16. Karen Hodgson

    Refreshing on-point writing on this site and the photography is professional level. Thank you for taking the time to report on important issues.


Comments always welcome