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

Hell’s gorge and hermatage of St. Leonardo

The Hell’s gorge, in italian “Gole dell’Infernaccio” in the Marche region (Italy) earned their name in the days when this was one of the few routes through the Apennine mountains between Adriatic coast and Rome.

With long steep-sided gorges and wild mountains around, it was famous for brigands waiting to ambush travellers.

Today it’s a beautiful, peaceful and easy walk through deep wooded ravines, alongside a stream with wildflowers and dragonflies, which opens finally into cattle pastures leading up to the Passo Cattivo (Evil Pass).

There is an optional pathway to a small church, the hermatage of St. Leonardo (eremo di San Leonardo).

The church was built almost single handed by a monk named Padre Pietro, well-known as “The bricklayer of God”, who began the work in 1971.

He lived up there in total solitude, and unfortunately, Padre Pietro is deceased on august the 9th of 2015, at 88 year old.

 

Gear: Canon EOS 6D and Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM

Achilleion – Princess Sissi’s Palace

Achilleion Palace was built in Gastouri, Corfu, in 1890 by Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Princess Sissi, and was her favourite vacation place.

The story of Achilles became an obsession of the Princess Elizabeth, so the palace was designed with the mythical hero Achilles as its central theme. There are many statues of Achilles around the grounds and paintings of him inside the house. The most impressive statue is the Dying of Achilles, a colossal bronze work that dominates the far end of the gardens.

During the First and Second World War the palace was abandoned and used as hospital and school. Today, after years of rebuilding, the palace is finally restored to its former beauty.

 

For the cinemaddicts: the Achilleion having been used as a location for the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

 

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

Frecce Tricolori (At Air show 2015)

Photo gallery of the Frecce Tricolori’s exhibition at Air Show del Fermano 2015 in september  13th 2015.

The Frecce Tricolori is the aerobatic demonstration team of the Italian Aeronautica Militare, best-known for their spectacular flying skill.

The team’s official name is: “313° Gruppo Addestramento Acrobatico, Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale (PAN) Frecce Tricolori” and in addition to representing Italy and the Armed Forces in national and international air shows, is also a fully operational unit of the Italian Air Force. Exactly like all the other flight units, its navigation crew are always appropriately trained to plan, and if necessary, carry out flight operations.

The team flies the Aermacchi MB-339-A/PAN, a two-seat fighter-trainer craft capable of 900 km/h at sea level.

 

Gear:  Canon EOS 6D and Canon EF 70-200mm F/2,8L IS II USM with Canon Extender 2x III

Flamenco in Sevilla

The Flamenco dance, at Museo del Baile Flamenco in Seville (Spain), is an impressive performance for a small number of spectators.

Under the direction of Cristina Hoyos, the museum shows of course attract some of the best talent in Seville and Spain.

 

Gear:  Canon Eos 1000D, Canon EF-S 18-55 and  Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

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

Sunset in Santorini

Santorini is a beautiful Greek island remnant of a volcanic caldera and renowned for its wonderful sunsets.

Here the first part of gallery of Santorini Island, with some shots taken at sunset hour.

 

Gear: Canon Eos 6D,  Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L 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

Old Fortress – Corfu (Kerkyra)

The Old Castle is the best known and most famous castle in Corfu. It dates back to the Byzantine period but the main fortification was built by the Venetians.

It is very well preserved, and so, great place to visit, but unfortunately none of the buildings constructed by the Venetians survived until today, and the buildings which you will see in the castle today were constructed by the British much later.

The church of St. George is one of the buildings constructed by the British in the style of a Doric temple.

The Fortress houses the Public library of Corfu and the Hellenic Music Research Lab of the Ionian University in the old British barracks.

 

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

Paleokastritsa Monastery

On a hill above the beach of Paleokastritsa in Corfù there is a Monastery, excellent example of Greek monastic architecture.

Inside has a small ecclesiastical museum with rare Byzantine icons, holy books and other relics. Very interesting to see, also the chapel and beautiful courtyards.

 

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

Kanoni – Pontikonissi and Vlacherna Monastery (Corfù)

A photo gallery of beautiful Kanoni hill area in Corfù, with Pontikonissi island, and Vlacherna Monastery.

Kanoni is located around three kilometres south of Kerkyra city in Corfù island, with a wonderful view on his main attractions: the Pontikonissi  island, and Vlacherna Monastery.

The Vlacherena monastery is a Corfù icon, and was founded many centuries ago on a little rocky island as women’s monastery. Today the rock of monastery is joined to the mainland by a footbridge.

Pontikonisi (means ‘Mouse Island’ in Greek, ’cause his shape) is an islet with the Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator.
According to the legend, Pontikonisi was the boat of Odysseus which was turned to this green rock by the God Poseidon during a storm.

Nearby the hill of Kanoni, the Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport, the only airport of Corfù.

 

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

 

 

Paleokastritsa – Corfù (Greece)

The bay of Paleokastritsa is in the North West of Corfu, with his amazing beaches and cristal clear sea.

Paleokastritsa is a small village where the epic poem the Odyssey,  tells that legendary Odysseus (Ulysses) disembarked and met Nausicaa for the first time.

A great view and a lovely place to visit and to have a coffee or a lunch, is the La Grotta (grotto) beach bar. This is situated in a tiny little cove with crystal clear, very deep and icy cold water.

There is maybe 100 stairs to go down and up, but a, highly recommended if you are on the island.

 

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

Canal d’Amour – Sidari (Corfù)

Nearby to the village of Sidari, in Corfù island (Greece) there is an idyllic area with unique rock formations that form a series of wonderful coves and canals, with beautiful crystalline waters.

The rocks run in different shades of yellow and lots of greenery at the top.  The famous beach Channel of Love (known as Canal d’ Amour).

The famous beach Channel of Love (known as Canal d’ Amour) is one of the most unique spots in Corfu. According to the tradition couples who swim through the narrow canal will get married soon. 

 

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