I do have some photos of when he was a little piddley-pop (1-5 years old), but they are just film and need to be scanned. Eventually, I will get to all that as well. So for now, let me share with you a personal post in which I introduce you to my one and only nephew (given that his sister is my one and only niece) Massimo, or Max as we have always called him.
Like the rest of my family, Max lives in Italy. He is 23-years-old and attending university in Varese, while doing odd jobs on the side. Massimo is also a trained athlete and was a champion rower in the Italian team for several years, until an alleged glitch in his heart had the doctor stop him from racing. I say alleged because after second and third opinions and further tests, it all turned out to be a “oops, maybe the first doctor did not see very well”, or possibly a growth spurt.
He continued to train, though not as hard, and still coaches the younger kids, including his sister Greta, whose story will be for another time, when I have a chance to photograph her as well.
These are a series of images I captured quickly around the garden while I was there last June. What he needed where images where you actually see his eyes, so that is what I focused on. He is indeed a pro at the broody look, but he does smile occasionally. 😉
The four square images below are my favorite ones from his Instagram stream (you can follow him at @massimo_schwartz if you like), and taken by his sister, aka my niece Greta (her IG stream is @gretaschwartz01 and is all about rowing).
The two images that follow are from a shoot I did of him and Greta a few years ago (not that many, I must say), way before he sprouted. Massimo looks a little like his mother, and A LOT like his father, my brother Paolo, whom you can see in this post. He sounds a lot like his dad, too, and sometimes, when I am FaceTiming with my Mum and he happens to be there and I hear his voice, I mistake him for my brother. Massimo also looks a lot like my Dad’s father, though with a more beautiful imprint. I never met my grandfather, but I do have a photo of him.
When he was just a little younger than these two images above show, and I was still living in Italy, I introduced him to Harry Potter and we went to see the first couple of movies together – followed by either pizza or (sigh!) McDonalds (for him). The way I got hooked into HP was: I saw the first four books in Italian at a bookshop and thought I would buy them for him. I took the books home and became curious to find out what all the hype was about. I picked up the first book, opened it and was hooked within the first couple of pages, at the first mention of Muggles (Babbani in Italian). I ended up reading all four books before handing them to Max, which did not take too long given that I could not put them down and was up reading till 4am almost every night.
I close this series with one of my favorite images of Massimo on his canoe at sunrise on Lake Varese. This is an image from a video he shot himself during a training session using his GoPro. You can watch the video on YouTube here.