An off grid art laboratory in the Secret Forest


NUVA represents the activity of an off-grid art laboratory immersed in an Italian mountain oak forest. Its mission is to protect the valley around the lab and disseminate the culture of wildlife conservation along with the creation of art.

This complex, yet extremely rewarding initiative, has been developed by Riccardo, who will be working in collaboration with a variety of reputed Visual Arts professionals on a regular basis.
Riccardo has already done a considerable amount of work to bring this fascinating area back into life. He leads a down-to-earth lifestyle with his inseparable dog and the local wildlife. The lab is indeed part of an isolated ghost mountain town (Mannarolo*) with around 16 buildings in ruins and Riccardo is the only inhabitant. The precise location remains unspecified unless you want to be a guest of the seasonal full immersion workshops and lectures held here. Very few people at a time are allowed at NUVA only in spring and summer.  Since winters can be cold, rainy or snowy, access to the lab is even more restricted.

The lab itself is inside an unaltered 400 years old stone and wood building with essential comfort and a magic beauty. Everything here is maintained is as it was as much it is possible.
The woods around the lab have been saved from logging and a brighter, more sustainable future awaits. A series of artist residencies will be available in this wonderful, unique setting for sculpture, photography, painting, installations and live music playing without amplification. It will not be unusual to see a wolf, a fox or a deer strolling between the works of art. To make this open-air venue available and virtually accessible to everyone it will be mirrored in a web page regularly.

*Don’t google it, Mannarolo is so far from known society that isn’t marked on any map other than ours

It could take a long trip in the woods to get here but you once arrive you’ll be rewarded
The road to Mannarolo isn’t always obvious and quick


Riccardo Budini, graduated with full honors in architecture and worked for 8 years as an architect before turning to documentary photography full time. He is finalist of the Sony World Photography Awards (World Photography Organisation) 2012 and published on international newspapers and magazines.


– Venice Art Biennale 2017 (Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo – official collateral events)

– Tribeca at Soho Gallery. A venue run by retired NYtimes photojournalists (New York City)

– Rome, Italy – at Ex Cartiera Latina (an old paper mill converted into a museum space)

Books (published): Lives of the Bolognese Painters, Harvey Miller Publishers, London 2014 – 22 Photos on assignment for NGA-CASVA

Books (underway):
– Les Eglises Oubliée de Corse -2022
– Beirut / Lebanon – 30 years of reconstruction  -2022-’23

Riccardo worked for governmental cultural bodies like the US National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), Washington D.C., the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage in Rome, the Senate of the Italian Republic, the Spanish San Martin Pinario Museum and U.S.C. University of Santiago de Compostela,  the Italian ROMA TRE university. Amongst its private clients Riccardo counts on Bulgari Image dept., Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Rimowa GmbH., Solaria Corporation, iGuzzini lighting s.p.a. He’s also listed as a General Electric Lighting photography supplier and has been a contract photographer for other international companies.

Member of National Union of Journalists (NUJ) of London / Dublin and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Riccardo is currently based in Central Italy.