Embrace the slow life with Silvia Noviello
3 october '22
Reading time: 6 minutes
Silvia Noviello is an influencer from Tuscany, Italy. She wants to use her platform to share the beauty of Mediterranean nature and slow living with her followers from all over the world, but she has a word of caution for those who would turn her page into inspiration for social media-fueled mass tourism.
Words by Alice Constantino
Silvia Noviello is a young influencer from Tuscany, Italy, who uses her platform to share her love for the beauty and mystique of Mediterranean nature and old-fashioned Italian aesthetics. With over 60 thousand followers on Instagram, her audience is constantly growing, but Silvia won’t let her aspirations to social media fame take precedence over her Mediterranean sensibilities, and she is determined to share her message of slowing down and appreciating the beauty of the moment with the whole world.
Silvia’s connection to nature began when she was a small child in the Tuscanian countryside, where she learned to appreciate the beauty of natural life in the way very few people are nowadays. “Those are the most beautiful and intense memories I have”, she says of the days she spent playing outdoors with her sister and friends as a small child. The impact of this aesthetic education of sorts is immediately visible in her work, and indeed she is adamant that the inspiration behind all of her posts is the warmth and happiness of spending valuable moments with her loved ones surrounded by beautiful nature. “There is no falsehood, no artificiality in my photos”, she states. As she grew older, Silvia sought out art that resonated with her aesthetic sensibilities, and she became a fan of old Italian cinema, citing Federico Fellini as one of her biggest visual inspirations.
Of course, Silvia recognizes that her being Italian has given her a running start in learning to appreciate slow living and nature. “Us Italians are very lucky, we can find beauty lurking around every corner,” she says. “Drinking a bottle of wine and eating good food with friends accompanied by the sound of singing cicadas, or reading a good book while admiring a sunset, or contemplating a unique and beautiful landscape” - these are some of what Silvia notes as her favorite aesthetic experiences, and the influence of the Italian lifestyle is not lost on her. She admits that Italy is a uniquely blessed country, made beautiful by the incredible variety of cuisines, landscapes, languages, and traditions, and she has made it her mission to share this beauty with the world through social media.
Still, Silvia is aware that the appeal of the ‘Mediterranean aesthetic’ can, ironically, draw in the type of mass tourism that is detrimental to the survival of the small local communities where such nature and culture is preserved. This phenomenon, she states, has only been accentuated by social media: “tourists are becoming lazier and more passive and they want everything to be handed to them, ready-made.” To this fast-food model of tourism, Silvia responds with her praxis of slow traveling. Every place she visits is found after many hours of searching and wandering, never stopping until she finds the perfect spot. She believes that the best places are often hidden, and she takes care not to expose them to her large audience by tagging exact locations in posts. “I like some places to stay secret,” she confesses - though of course, the very fact that she visits them proves that they are not actually secret, merely available only to those who will take the time and effort to look. And once she gets there, Silvia makes sure to make the most out of her find by spending a long time there, simply sitting quietly and observing life and nature around her from her newly earned vantage point. “Slow traveling to me means the luxury of finding yourself bored, in a positive sense, so you can spend the day listening to your mind and body.”
Painstakingly searching for a beautiful spot, spending hours in the same location merely enjoying the view, not revealing her best finds to her audience: all practices that seem like the exact opposite of what a ‘travel influencer’ should do. She says, “beauty is not simply visual, it is a feeling. It’s a specific and brief moment when time seems to stop and you are simultaneously appreciating the perfection of the moment and already feeling nostalgic over it, because you know it will never come back again.” A truly complex and profound understanding of beauty and life, entirely antithetical to the doctrine of the digital age that demands everything, immediately, all at once. Yet, Silvia Noviello is determined to make it work, share her aesthetics with the world without compromising her values, and possibly influence others to slow their life down as well.