The winners of a photography competition run by Italian coffee giant Lavazza have been announced. The winning photographers are Gloria Emili, Serena Fabrizio and Michele Michelsanti who are all from Italy.

Michele Michelsanti

The competition was launched to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Lavazza calendar. Among the judges was world-renowned photographer Steve McCurry. ?I was very impressed with the high quality of entries,? says Steve, speaking to AP at the official 2012 calendar launch in Milan. ?I thought there were a lot of creative, inventive photographs. I was looking for original images that had a good composition, an emotional content and that I felt spoke to the viewer.?

Gloria Emili

Entrants were invited to upload their images between 1 August and 25 September to a dedicated website or through a special Lavazza App available on the iPhone and iPad. Users could enter as many as twenty photos each, on the theme of ?Travel and Seduction.? The initiative saw 1300 participants upload a total of 8000 photos to the site in just two months.

Serena Fabrizio

?It was a challenge choosing the winning images as the quality was so high,? says Steve. ?I tend to go for simple images. I loved the image of a female nude lying in bed with a coffee cup beside her. I thought it had a wonderful composition and sensuality.?

The images are on display at the Triennale di Milano Teatro dell?Arte in Milan until 9 November. Also on display are selected images from previous Lavazza calendars and the twelve images from this year?s special 20th anniversary calendar. The winning images have also been published on the official Lavazza website.

The first Lavazza calendar was created in 1993 and featured images taken by Helmut Newton. Championing creativity, passion and photographic experimentation, the Lavazza calendar has featured some of the biggest names in photography from Elliott Erwitt to Albert Watson, Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Mark Seliger, who took the images for the 2011 calendar.

Look out for a longer interview with Steve McCurry in a forthcoming issue of AP in which he talks about his involvement with Lavazza?s Project Tierra, an initiative to improve the working and living conditions for coffee growers across the world.

Photo credit: Lavazza

Backstage at the Lavazza con te partirò exhibition (above and below)

Photo credit: Lavazza

The team behind the Lavazza calendar twentieth birthday celebrations including photographers Steve McCurry (centre left) and Elliott Erwitt (centre right)

Photo credit: Lavazza