The “ancient” Spoleto – Part #2

Second and last part of Spoleto photo gallery.
One of the most fascinating monuments of the city is the Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria dell’Assunta): at sunset, the colors are stunning and it is the best place for a romantic evening and dinner. This site is the location of the Festival dei due Mondi (Festival of the two worlds): since 1958, in June, is held this important event, dedicated to arts and music. It is famous worldwide, in the US the Spoleto Festival USA is scheduled every year as well.
Ponte delle Torri, a 13th-century aqueduct, possibly on Roman foundations.with its 230 ms. lenght, it is the real symbol of the city.
The magnificient Rocca Albornoziana fortress, it was built in the middle of the 14th-century for the Cardinal ALbornoz. The “Rocca” is made of 6 towers, dividing the fortress in two buildings: the Cortile delle Armi, for the troops, and the Cortile d’onore for the use of the governor. The latter courtyard is surrounded by a two-floor porch. Not to be miss: the Camera Pinta (“Painted Room”) with 15thcentury frescoes.

 

Gear: Canon EOS 6DCanon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM and Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS USM

The “ancient” Spoleto – Part #1

Spoleto is a beautiful village in the Umbria Region, a country famous for its landscapes, the upper quality food (first of all the truffles, the most precious selctions are growing in these lands) and the magnificient monuments and architecture.
The town is a ancient city in the province of Perugia, a great example of the Roman civilization, still tangible in the many monuments for which the city is famous. Spoleto is the location of a record audience tv movie: “Don Matteo”, the story of a priest with the passion for investigation, which with his bicicle, runs all the city helping the local police fightining the crime. The fiction has a great success worldwide.
Not only arts and music, the city is a very popular destination for the tourists.
The Roman age is still present in the architecture of the city: the Roman theater has been mainly rebuilt, but it is still a spectacural seen. It is linked with the National Archaeological Museum, housed in the former monastery of Sant’Agata.

 

Gear: Canon EOS 6DCanon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM and Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS USM

The wonderful Copenaghen

Copenaghen is one of the most liveable capitals in Europe, because of the danish people, that are really friendly, because of the food (in Copenaghen are based some restaurants worldwide famous: the danish cuisine is mainly organic and effectively innovative), because it is a sustainable cycle-friendly city and its architecture and design are modern and unique.

 

In these photo galleries you can have a look at some of the must see attractions of the city.

Nyhavn is a picturesque canal, where the ferries leave to sail the city; it is the best place where to have dinner or a drink at the sunset hour.

 

Amalienborg is the winter residence of the Danish Royal Family, where you can see the the Royal Guard, an elite force of the Danish Army for the security of the Queen.Royal Guards are in their everyday uniform, with the dark blue jacket and dark blue trousers with the Bear – the bear skin head garment. The red jackets and bright blue trousers is the gala uniform for few specific times.

 

The Royal Danish Naval Museum and the Royal Yacht Dannebrog. The Royal Yacht serves as the official and private residence for the Royal Couple and other members of the Royal Family when they are on official visits overseas or on summer cruises in home waters.

 

The Rosemborg Castle.Royal hermitage set in the King’s Garden in the heart of Copenhagen, built by the most famous Scandinavian king, Christian IV.

 

In this gallery also a shot of the Øresund, the longest cable-stayed bridge of Europe.

Øresund - longest cable-stayed bridge of Europe
Øresund – longest cable-stayed bridge of Europe

 

Check them out!

 

Other galleries of Copenaghen: Freetown Christiania, the Little Marmaid and the Kastellet, Nyhavn and the beautiful old and moder buildings.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM II

London in 3 days – #day3

The 3rd and last day of London trip.

In this photo gallery: the House of Parliament with the Big Ben tower, the Tower of London, some cityscape views from the London Eye and some typical spots of London.

Curiosity. The Travel Book Co., original location of The Notting Hill film with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, is now a souvenirs shop (The Nottin’ Hill), but the original interior are now inside The Notting Hill Bookshop, in the same street.

The other galleries:

 

Gear: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM and  Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM II

London in 3 days – #day2

The second day of London trip. In this gallery some typical places and classic London’s icons.

 

GearCanon EOS 6DCanon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM and  Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM II

 

Spots of Spain in black and white

A small photo gallery of peculiar spot in Spain, in black and white.

Various Gear.

In black and white – Gallery #2

The second photo gallery of pictures in black and white taken around in Europe.

Pictures taken in Bruges (Brugge) and Bruxells in Belgium and Amsterdam, Deen Hag (The Hague) and Rotterdam in Netherlands.

 

Various gear used.

Bologna

Wandering in Bologna, the medioeval capital of Emilia Romagna region in north of Italy.

In this photo gallery some shots taken around the old city with the distinctive lengthy porticoes: indeed, Bologna counts more than 53 kilometers of porticoes and worldwide there isn’t another city with this peculiarity.

Bologna is also famous for the oldest university, for its beautiful architecture and, of course, for the typical food.

The shots in this gallery represent some of the most important monuments of the city:

  • The fountain of Neptune in the Neptune square
  • The deconsacrated church of Santa Lucia, now the Great Hall of University
  • The famous Mercanzia Square, the old city market
  • The “finestrella”, a small window on the canal of the city
  • A player of saxophone outside the house of the italian singer Lucio Dalla
  • The courtyard of Archiginnasio Palace
  • The two towers, icons of the city of Bologna, Asinelli and Garisenda towers
  • Some cityscapes of Bologna taken from the top of the Asinelli tower
  • The church of St. Domenico by night.

 

 

Variuos gear.

In Black and white – Gallery #1

A photo gallery of pictures in black and white taken around in Europe.

 

In this gallery:

The Pont Du Gard in France, the highest (50 mt.) Roman aqueduct.

The statue of Marquis De Sade in the Château de Lacoste (France).

Two pictures of Jaume Plensa’s sculpture. The Nomade (the biggest one) in harbour of Antibes, and one of the seven Figures,  an installation in Place Massena in Nice (France), representing the seven continents.

Some shots in Netherlands and Bruges (Belgium).

A shot of a frozen day in Campitello di Fassa (Italy).

 

Various gear.

Pallotta Castle – Caldarola (Italy)

Caldarola is a small town in the Italian region Marche. The town includes the Castello Pallotta and the Pallotta Palace.

The castle is in remarkable condition both inside and out. It still contains the original paintings, furnishings, clothing, and early transportation vehicles, and also has a small private collection of medieval arms.

The castle is family owned and was lived in until comparatively recently so has warm feel.

 

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 7D with Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM and Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Gae Aulenti square and surroundings – Part #1

The modern and beautiful Gae Aulenti square, opened in December 2012, is located in front of Garibaldi station and next to Corso Como, famous place of Milan’s nightlife.

The square was designed by the Argentine architect Cesar Pelli for the AECOM, and is dedicated to the italian architect and designer Gae Aulenti, architect of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Nearby the Gae Aulenti square there are other beautiful modern buildings.

The Unicredit Tower, the ultramodern skyscraper occupied by the Italian bank Unicredit, wich dominates the square.

The towers named “Bosco Verticale” designed by italian architect Stefano Boeri, with a height of 110 meters and 76 meters, that will host more than 900 trees.

You can see also, in this photo gallery, the palace of the Lombardy Regional Council, the Diamond Tower, the Pirelli Tower and all the new buildings of the modern city of Milan.
All shots of this gallery have been converted in black and white with a simulation of Kodak TRI-X 400 35mm film grain.

Gear:  Canon EOS 6D,  Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm F/2,8L IS II USM

Wandering in Brussels

Wander the city of Brussels it’s really an experience.

Brussels is the capital of Belgium, but playing an important role in Europe, may be considered as the capital of the European Union: Brussels fits the definition of “melting pot”, but still retains its own unique character.

In this gallery I’ve report some of the most interesting attractives of Brussels.

The beautiful Grand Place (Grote Markt in Flemish) with its main buildings, the Mason du Roi and the Gotic Hotel de Ville, with the Tour Inimitable.

Some shots of the Atomium, one of the most popular building in Brussels, with the shape of a cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. In one of this shots you can see an tightrope walker on the top of Atomium at 102 mt!

If you like beer I still recommend the well-known Delirium cafè: it is recorded in the The Guinness Book of Records for standing at 2000 different brands of beer.

Brussels is also the paradise for the chocolate lovers, so, you can found chocolate shops throughout the city.

Another great attraction of Brussels is the Comic Strip Center Museum: the city is known as the Capital of comics. You can found here other two galleries:

Comic Strip Center Museum and  Brussels Capital of comics of Brussels.

 

Gear:  Canon EOS 6D,  Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS USM and Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM

Arquà Petrarca (House of poet Petrarch)

Arquà Petrarca is a small medieval town in Veneto region (Italy). The name derives as an homage to the poet Francesco Petrarca who spent there the last five years of his life, until 1374.

The town is part of the club “The most beautiful villages in Italy” and you can enjoy this small village, especially his beautiful church, the medioeval buildings and, of course, the house of poet Francesco Petrarca.

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 7D with Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM and Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM

Positano – Part #1

Positano is a small picturesque village on the famous Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy.

Seen from the sea, Positano is set in a vertical panorama of colors in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 1000D with Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM, Canon EOS 6D with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM and Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM

Torre di Palme

The medieval village of Torre di Palme is one of the most interesting of the Marche region, in Italy.

It’s well preserved and distinguished by the uniformity of the buildings and the attention to detail.

You can enjoy also a beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea from the large terrace of Belvedere.

 

GearCanon EOS 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm F/2,8L IS II USM

Sanctuary of San Luca – Bologna

The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca in Bologna is a Basilica church sited atop of Monte della Guardia, in a forested hill some 300 meters above the plain, just south-west of the historical center of Bologna.

It is easily spotted from afar as one nears Bologna.

Sanctuary is connected to the city walls by the world’s longest monumental portico (the Portico of San Luca), held aloft by 666 arches, beginning at Piazza di Porta Saragozza.

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 1000D and Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM

Freetown Christiania – Copenaghen

Christiania is a unique place to visit in the borough of Christianshavn in Copenaghen (Denmark),  known for its autonomous inhabitants’ different way of life.

It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government.

They claimed the area as a free city, free of taxes and run by their own laws. It is still a society within a society, for an example you cannot buy a house in Christiania.

Around 1000 people permanently living in Christiania, and its constructions exemplifying modern “architecture without architects”.

Visitors are welcome in Christiania and to eat and drink in the area’s cafés, restaurants and bars, but it’ no safety take photographs in Christiania, especially in the area around Pusher Street, so, this is the reason because there are not people in this photo gallery.

In Pusher Street hash and skunk weed were sold openly from permanent stands until 2004. The hash commerce is controversial, but legalization of cannabis is one of the ideas of many of the citizens in Christiania.

 

GearCanon EOS 6D and Canon EF 16-35mm F/4L IS USM

Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Rotterdam is a very interesting city to visit in Netherlands for several reasons: architecture, history, museums, culture.

Rotterdam has the largest cargo port in Europe, is the city of the famous  Erasmus of Rotterdam, and was voted 2015 European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism.

At difference of the others cities in Netherlands nowadays preserving the old typical houses and architecture, the heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II (the Rotterdam Blitz), so, the city was gradually rebuilt between the 1950s to the 1970s developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more ‘livable’ city centre with a new and modern skyline. 

Another photo gallery is about one of the most fascinating example of Rotterdam’s modern architecture is the Kubuswoningen: Cube Houses.

Wandering into the city is very interesting to admire the skyline of Rotterdam, but also interesting are the open-air Maritime Museum along the banks, and the old harbour, nice piece of history of Rotterdam.

Other remarkable attractions in Rotterdam are the Erasmusbrug (also called ‘The Swan”) and, of course, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. This is one of the best art museums I’ve visited, and not because it has one of the mine favourites paint, the “Little” Tower of Babel, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but it has a comprehensive collection of Flemish art and also classical and modern art: Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, Monet, Kandinsky, van Gogh, Cattelan, Cézanne, Magritte, Dalí, Edvard Munch.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM.

Corte – Corsica

Corte is a beautiful old town in the middle of the island of Corsica (France), built at confluence of the Restonica and Tavignana rivers, and enhanced by the mountain scenery that surrounds it.

Corte was once the capital of Corsica, and the city does still hold quite a grandiose air about it. In recent years Corte was in decline, but since the reopening of the city’s university in the ’80s it has gained hundreds of foreign students (lured in by its growing academic reputation) in a total population of less than 7,000, and helps ensure the town is lively for most of the year, with a cosmopolitan air, cafés and bars.

The most interesting monument in Corte is, of course, the fortress called The Citadel, built in 1419, with the Museum of Corsica.

Corte has two main squares. Place Gaffory, dedicated to protecteur de la Nation corse Jean-Pierre Gaffory, with the walls of nearby houses pock-marked with bullet holes, reputedly from Corsica’s war of independence, and Place Paoli, with the statue of Pascal Paoli, that is generally considered the founder of modern Corsica, having introduced democracy to the nation in the 18th century.

Corte was also the birthplace of Joseph Bonaparte, the eldest brother of the French Emperor Napoleon I, who made him King of Naples and Spain.

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 6D and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

Corfu old town – Kerkyra

A photogallery of shots taken wandering in Corfu old town (Kerkyra) on the Island of Corfu.

The city has become known as a Kastropolis (Castle City) because of its two castles: New castle and Old Fortress. Old city is also UNESCO World Heritage since 2007.

The layout of the old town resembles that of  Venice, with tall buildings and a maze of narrow streets and small piazzas around churches.

Wandering in this labyrinth of narrow streets paved with cobblestones, sometimes tortuous but mostly pleasant, colourful and sparkling clean, may be found some houses of the Venetian time, and British Neoclassical housing of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

These small streets are called “kantounia” and the older ones sometimes follow the gentle irregularities of the ground while many of them are too narrow for vehicular traffic.

Interesting the architecture of historic Liston street in old town that has been copied from the Rivoli Street in Paris.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D,  Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Rennes-le-Château – Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Here’s a little photo gallery of Rennes-le-Château in Languedoc region in southern France, and his incredible atmosphere full of mystery and history.

This small village is internationally known following the publication of a series of books dealing with a mystery concerning a nineteenth century priest who lived in the village and, of course, for being at the center of Dan Brown’s world bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

The region of Rennes-le-Château is known for beautiful scenery, but also for his very interesting history. The Languedoc were central to the battle between the Catholic church and the Cathar heretics at the beginning of the 13th century.

RennesLesChateau 21The modern reputation of Rennes-le-Château rises mainly from claims and stories concerning the local 19th-century Abbe Saunière, that had become rich by finding a royal treasure inside one of the pillars in his church in the late 19th century.

These stories influenced the authors of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in 80’s, and that work in turn influenced Dan Brown when he wrote the worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

The stories told about Rennes-le-Château and Bérenger Saunière consist of many theories, revolving around all matters of conspiracies involving the the Merovingians, the Knights Templar, the Cathars, and later, the Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene, and the remains of Jesus Christ.

The village church dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene, having been rebuilt several times until the 19th century, and was almost in ruins when Saunière arrived in Rennes-le-Château.The pillar

According to legend, by moving a heavy stone that served as the altar, Saunière found that one stone  (still preserved in the museum of the village) supporting the slab was hollow and contained four parchments.

Two of them detailed a genealogy, while the other two presented enigmatic writings that, once deciphered by experts in Paris, allowed Saunière to obtain some very strange messages.

Latin inscription Terribilis est locus iste above church entranceOne of the new features of the church after the Saunière rebuilt was the Latin inscription Terribilis est locus iste above the front doors, taken from the Common Dedication of a Church, which can be translated as: “This is a place of fear and amazement”.

Another feature Inside the church, is a devil holding up the holy water stoup, a rare, though not unheard of addition found in French churches in this particular style.

Abbé Bérenger Saunière also funded the construction of another structure dedicated to Mary Magdalene.Grave of Bérenger Saunière Named after his church, he built a nearby tower which he used as his library. The tower has a promenade linking it to the Villa Bethanie.

To this day, the secret of Saunière’s fortune remains a mystery. Many theories as to where he got the money have been developed, but none substantiated. We may never know the real story of Saunière and his fortune, the truth of which he most likely took to his grave when he passed away on 22 January 1917.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 40D, Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

 

 

Cycling in Amsterdam

Amsterdam have the best cycling infrastructure and is the most bicycle-friendly capital city in the world and cycling is a fundamental part of Dutch culture and that’s especially evident in Amsterdam.

Amsterdammers usually likes cycle with brake pedal, on a black, upright and they attach a big sturdy basket or old wooden crate to the front of their bike, and… they are faster… very faster! No matter what the weather, the Dutch suck it up and keep riding.

Gear: Canon Eos 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM.