Guns, Fast Food, and 'Best Butt' Contests: Photos of a Decadent Italy

Guns, Fast Food, and 'Best Butt' Contests: Photos of a Decadent Italy

Pasquale Bove documented a lifestyle in Rimini, Italy, during the 80s, 90s, and 2000s that felt completely new at the time and has mostly died out.
Vincenzo Ligresti
Milan, IT
January 18, 2017, 3:21pm

Photo above: Former TV personality Paolo Brosio by Pasquale Bove

This article originally appeared on VICE Italy.

Every summer during the 1980s, 90s, and early 2000s, the tourist resort of Rimini was the most decadently Italian place in the world. There was no banking crisis or euro yet. Silvio Berlusconi and his bikini-clad TV hostesses had free reign of his commercial TV stations. Club kids populated the legendary Cocoricò nightclub. And Federico Fellini's burial was a national affair.


In 1983, the first outlet of Italy's first fast-food chain, Italy&Italy, opened in the city, becoming emblematic of the cultural changes the country had gone through in a relatively short time. The success of the chain didn't go unnoticed—some years later, McDonald's bought Italy&Italy and turned every branch into a Mickey D's.

Rimini-based photojournalist Pasquale Bove spent years documenting all the craziness of summers in the resort between the 1980s and the early 2000s. Photographer Luca Santese went through Bove's archive of more than 200,000 photos and selected a number to include in the 2016 book Italy&Italy. It's a collection of euphoric photos of town fairs, partying TV starlets turned politicians, and (partially) naked people making the most of their summer. See a few of the images below:

The 150th anniversary of the opening of Rimini's first beach resort

A woman posing in front of a police van

Diners at Italy&Italy, Italy's first fast-food restaurant

The result of a police bust

The best butt contest in a club

Football fans

Actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta having some gelato

Federico Fellini's funeral in 1993

A club kid in Rimini

A town fair