Going for an Italian after work took on a new meaning for the diners of La Noria as the refined Santa Cruz quarter welcomed a stylish parade of male and female models for the 2012 Peroni calendar shoot. Heads turned and dinner partners could be forgiven for their distraction as the red carpet sizzled. It’s a good job the cold bottles of Peroni were on hand to cool down the admiring locals.

The scene was perfectly set, from the classic Vespa scooters at the top end of La Noria to the orchestra of mixed mandolins and timples in the shadow of the tower of the Iglesia de la Concepción. As the flashing cameras weren’t visible to the audience, the mainly older crowd were a little bemused to hear a continuous rendition of O Sole Mio, the stage being next door to the JC Murphy pub probably didn’t help the cultural confusion.

I was lucky enough to get an inside view of Peroni’s first photographic venture onto Tenerife soil for the 2011 calendar. That was closed to the public so I wondered how the bustling setting of La Noria would affect the artistic muse of the models and returning photographer Alfonso Bravo. The audience eating outside the bars were already onside after being made an offer they couldn’t refuse, a tasty aperitif and a bottle of Peroni for just 3 euros. The Italian beer’s promotion girls and the paparazzi (above) made a big impact too and allowed a little privacy for the first shoot in the unlikely setting of a dark alley.

Nestor Guijarro and Sonia Hernandez made a striking couple, with hands clasped and attentive glances they were the essence of an evening that neither wanted to end. Pull back a few paces and the bright spotlights and perfection-seeking crew make those relaxed poses all the more impressive. With the shots in the bag the party returned to the red carpet and strode with the other models up to the bridge for the next take. As the night wore on many of the late night crowd swept down the stone stairs from the main street above and found themselves greeted by a well heeled group of friends emerging from the archway sharing a few bottles of their favourite beer.

Of the main cast Nestor is from Gran Canaria and Sonia, Sarah Ainhoa, and Adriana Reveron are from Tenerife. Adriana, a former Miss Tenerife, is from Los Cristianos so I felt a little local pride but they were all impressive. Peroni bottles were welcome props in most of the photo poses and around the tables they were going down as fast as the Italian economy. It was time now for some more relaxed and impromptu poses, the Vespa’s and a neat little Fiat added a nice classic edge to compliment the elegant beauty of the models. La Noria was relaxed and vibrant and set to continue well into the early hours as always but for Alfonso Bravo there would be a lot more fine tuning before the photos were ready to take their place in the 500 limited editions of the 2012 calendar.

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