Eat, Pray, Love: Photographs by Juan Galán that remind us of our love of southern Italy

All images courtesy of Juan Galán

After six weeks of staying home, many of us are dreaming of escape. Newspapers and magazines are full of ideas for travel with "plan now, book later" articles on our next holiday destinations. But for me, I'm fantasising about a simple break – one in France or Italy where life is pretty straightforward.

For Juan Galán, a Spanish photographer currently based in southern Italy, he shares my sentiment – something he has captured in a new series: Eat, Pray, Love. "There is something about the Mediterranean cultures that has always fascinated me, whether it is Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, or Italy. There is a simplicity in the lifestyle, the enormous cultural diversity in their history, the optimism of their people, the enjoyment of contemplation, the family values and the closeness, the philosophical and humanistic approach of their societies," he says.

The Psychology graduate lives in the Puglia region which he believes to be "emblematic of its cultural identity". Inspired by the book and film, the title is based around the area's simple lifestyle: "Eat a good plate of local cuisine, pray on Sundays, and enjoy love surrounded by romantic spots," Juan adds.

"One might say that the Italians keep this territory a secret because of its authenticity. It ranges from the countryside to the sea, from the sandy beaches of the Ionian sea to the rugged coast of the Adriatic, where the octopus is enjoyed raw and fresh fish is served without dressing."

The black and white photographs, full of rich textures and shapes, reveal a life full of traditions, family and close-knit community. "A set of values that shake your spirit to make you live in a passionate and human way, very distinguishable within Mediterranean cultures, where luxury is the simplicity of everyday life."

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán

© Juan Galán