This photo essay covers the second half of our 2009 adventure in Italy.The images are organized in these categories:
- A few of my personal favorites
|A special note about viewing the images in this article:|
Because there are so many images, I have only posted thumbnails in the article, but you can view an enlargement of any of these images by clicking on the image. This will open an enlargement in a separate browser window. If you open an enlargement window, be sure to close that window before click on another thumbnail. Also, you can click on the image in the enlargement window to view it at maximum scale, then a second click will restore it to fit within the enlargement window. So let me repeat this...
Click on any image below to see an enlargement.
The passageways, alleys and corridors
of Siena beckon for exploration.
I tried to capture the character
and variety of the architecture
in these charming old towns.
San Gimigano is famous for its towers. Apparently there was sort of a "keeping up with the Joneses" thing happening and everybody just had to have one of these towers. The architecture is much like Voltera, Piensa, and Siena, but add 50 or so towers. It's also a tourist trap, so if you go to San Gimigano, you may find the edges of the town more appealing than the
If you look closely you can see that
this doorway was once much bigger.
Tuscan countryside seen through a doorway in the wall of San Gimigano.
I love the way this
image fades to white.
It makes it look like
the doorway goes
right into the screen.
I couldn't resist
this image. The colors
are so clean and vibrant.
It reminds me of Portugal.
Looking up through a portal
in a calstello (castle) at
the city of Montelcino.
We saw this
pretty little farm on
a dirt road between
Montelcino and Piensa.
I saved this spiral staircase image for the end of the architecture section because it is the only photo from Vernazza I am posting in this article. Vernazza is a little cliff side town in a famous area called the Cinque Terre on the northwest coast of Italy. The whole area is quite lovely with amazing cliff side trails everywhere and the some of the best seafood you will find anywhere. It would be a fantastic place to visit except for one thing... It has been given the Rick Steves "kiss of death." I don't want to knock Rick Steves, he is a very nice guy and he provides some fantastic info about tourism in Europe. But he has gotten just a little bit too well known. Almost everything he recommends is absolutely overrun with tourists. When we arrived in Vernazza it was so jam packed with tourists we could barely make our way to our hotel. I am not exaggerating... IT WAS PACKED. After two days we moved to Levanto, a little town just outside the Cinque Terre, but only a 10 minute train ride from Vernazza. So my suggestion is this... If you want to see the Cinque Terre, stay in Levanto. You get to have all of the beauty and fun of hiking on amazing cliff side trails, but you don't have to put up with being swamped with other tourists.
Is your mouth watering yet???
Just checking... ;-)
We found lots of this sort of
wrought iron in Piensa.
This great door knocker
is in Siena.
This hardware helps to
hold the central tower
in Siena together.
A fresco in the Milan Duomo.
Mosaic from the floor of the Milan Duomo.
Stained glass from the Milan Duomo. All of the stained glass images plus the mosaic image were adjusted in Photoshop to correct forthe skew effect introduced by taking these photos at an angle (in this case, an extreme angle).
Voltera has a fantastic museum for Etruscan art. While photos were allowed, flash photography was banned (this was also the case in all the churches). This piece was nicely lit and not encased in glass or Plexiglas, making this photo possible.
These are images of sidewalk chalk art we saw in Siena. The perspective caused by the photographic angle causes the woman's head to look too small for her body, but it still makes for a nice image.
I blacked out the unpainted sidewalk in the image on the left to increase the drama of the image. You can see just a small bit of unpainted sidewalk in the upper left corner of the image on the right.
Make way for the dog!
Bet you can't guess why this is one of my favs. This is cropped from a photo of a painting in the Siena Duomo.
These are the spiral stairs from the tower in Vernazza again, except this is
lower down in the tower where the lighting was so bad that I couldn't do
much except Photoshop the image into art.
Windows in a Tuscan Tower
These two images are windows in the central tower of Siena. I like them because they are visually interesting to me... the way the light fades into blackness... I feel as though I am in a dungeon...
A Park in Piensa
This image is a favorite because I like the idea of a society where the town's people meet face to face every day. As much as I like the Vine, I think some of this would be good for our society and me personally.
These last two are just before (right) and just after (left) sunset in Piensa.