Growing up in Bologna, Italy, Michele was captivated by the city's beautiful buildings, and he went on to study architecture at the University of Ferrara. His passion for photography was ignited during a research period in Beirut, Lebanon. "I started developing an idea to study how post-conflict cities react to division," he explains. "I worked for a local NGO architecture firm and started seeing what photographers were doing, then I began using photography as a tool to illustrate what I was trying to say."
It was after returning to Italy to study photography and work freelance that Michele came up with the idea for his multimedia documentary project, Rising Water. A friend had told him that Turin still operates four communal baths to cope with the city's housing crisis, providing a basic service for those living in harsh conditions. "I'm always interested in the relationship between people and where they live, and the housing crisis in Turin was a very prominent topic," he says. "A good friend told me about the public showers, and I thought, 'Wow, this is a great story!' The need for a house, a personal space and the struggle behind that."