So given the small world that it is, it only makes sense that both The Daily Post ‘s own Michelle and The Mexi Movie ‘s Manja both share in this weeks collage challenge – like, exactly share! Seems this spot in Trastevere had a way to lure in three lovely photographers 🙂
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: Collage
Lucca is the smallest portfolio of my photos, in having had only part of a day to visit. As anyone who’s been there could probably agree with, our brief stop left me stomping my feet out of frustration for wanting to see more. Alas, there’s always next time, this I am certain of!! And now, even looking back and sorting through photos, I see exactly why I left wanting more.
Lucca is a charmer – a Tuscan town, an ancient wall surrounding it’s loveliness. Present day, that same wall graces a delightful rampart, where heavenly Tiglio (Linden) trees beckoned us forth. If you’ve not been graced with the fragrance of a Linden tree in bloom, well, I surely can’t begin to describe it here. Perhaps like the blending of honey and lemon peel – and well, even though that sounds wonderful, it still leaves no room for actually strolling under them on a warm summer day – what a glorious experience. The Linden clearly defined Lucca for me, that day.
I will concede – Firenze is a way more cool word than the English plain old “Florence.” And furthermore, Florence was an unbelievably amazing city. I hadn’t anticipated anything other than love for it, given all that I knew about its history, architecture and art art art – many of my friends who had been to Italy told me it was their favorite Italy destination.
As expected, I took many photos. So, I’ll chunk it out in two or three posts perhaps. Though, some of what I shot is already in my Street Art and More Street Art (Clet Abraham art) posts. So pop over to those as well for some Firenze love 🙂
For this round, I’ll just dare you to not jump on the first plane out, with a look at my favorite highlights.
Michelangelo’s David – as much as it’s pretty much one of THE main tourist attractions – was truly just stunningly beautiful artwork. I was teary eyed upon first seeing him.
If there’s one thing that Italy does to a person who’s just visiting for the first time (most likely every time), it’s that She leaves you utterly salivating for more. Please, just a few more days to explore and enjoy and bask in that Italy glow.
Even something as simple – and charming – as French artist Clet Abraham’s hacked street signs, scattered across the streets in Florence… that sort of thing will do it to you. And while I saw many in my Firenze travels, I found after coming home and perusing the internet, that there were many, many more whimsical (and not-so whimsical) quirky artsy signs, not only in Florence, but all over the globe.
You can read a super interesting interview of Clet here. And, check out the ones I was able to capture in my travels, below.
When I first discovered we wouldn’t be staying in any of the five dreamy villages of the Italian Riveria region the Cinque Terre, I was a little disappointed. Levanto, a town just north of the “fifth” town, Monterosso al-Mare, isn’t technically part of the Cinque Terre. But, as our trip had gone, and how Italy had not disappointed even one iota, Levanto – I quickly discovered – was the place to stay while visiting this ever growing tourist attracting Italian coast.
Between lazily swimming in the Ligurian Sea, hiking the cliffside trail between Vernazza and Corneglia, and gazing upon cliffs of grapevines and olive trees – oh, and eating the out of this world local seafood/food – our two days in the Cinque Terre and Levanto were utterly magnificent.
As a side note, it’s incredibly difficult to discern which photos to post, as I took so many throughout Italy. Cinque Terre was no exception to this dilemna!
Our first stop, the northern-most of the 5 villages, Monterosso al Mare.
Monterosso al Mare
North of Monterosso al Mare was our town of Levanto. We arrived late in the afternoon, and for dinner had one of the best meals there, a delightful Tuscan feast of local seafoods (and rabbit, and pesto that the chef made for us as a demonstration beforehand!)
Fresh mussels, anchovies, calamari, crab, bruschetta, pasta with pesto, risotto with porcini mushrooms. Profiteroles and limoncello. A very memorable meal.
Cinque Terre: Vernazza
A few pretty pictures in Vernazza while walking to the trail head entrance (above).
Leaving early gave us the narrow trail mostly to ourselves. We were told it can get quite busy, and my hike mates Paulette and Charlie were early birds like me; we made for pretty decent hiking partners 🙂
Looking back at Vernazza as we ascend the beginning of the trail. Stunning!
Gorgeous Ligurian Sea
A section of train tracks thru the hills
Most of the trail was narrow like this, with lots of up!
Lots of interesting flora along the way.
Charlie checking out the Olive tree grove
Some highlights from our hike (above).
Olive tree nets, which sure looked like hammocks to me!
The olive tree nets (sprawled out when harvested) sure looked like hammocks to me!
Pretty Cinque Terre
Corniglia in sight! Fortunately it was mostly downhill from here 🙂
While it’s not easy – or even necessary – to choose a favorite place in Italy, I may have to put Volterra on the top of my list. Coming off of our first stop of Rome, and the city-esque crowds of tourists, Volterra was an incredible respite. And, an amazingly gorgeous hill town that left me teary-eyed from the overwhelming charm and history.
Volterra, historically, is a walled hill town dating back to at least the end of the 8th century BC. What’s amazing is, it’s believed to have been continuously inhabited since that time. AMAZING. This is a place where just being and sharing space with the beauty and history settled into my soul in a gentle, healing, humbling way.
Much of my pictography in this post is meant to convey Volterra in a simplistic way. The irony of simplistic is, here it is charming and beautiful, no matter where or how one ventures in this lovely classic Italy hill town.
One could spend days scouring Rome and Florence for street art; graffiti – I suppose it depends on ones definition of the two. But I sought out street art; defined by that which intrigues, interests and moves me in viewing it. And it was plentiful, uninhibited, and scattered all around me in my travels. Continue reading “Arte di Strada”→
…but just be sure to speak it in Italian, not American…
I had read about Trastevere before we left for our trip – so when Marco and Manja suggested it part of our day long trek around Rome, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint.
I should mention, all of the places we I visited had scrumptuous street art – including doors and windows, that qualify as art to me. I’ve decided to post most street art, door, and window captures separately. They each deserve their own.
However, a good bit of it speaks to the flair and verve of each of the neighborhoods, towns, and cities we visited. So I’ll include ones that were standouts.
Trastevere also has a spectacular church – you’d never know it by it’s relatively plain Jane exterior: The Basilica of Santa Maria, stunning. After seeing St Paul’s huge glorious-ness, we shifted gears to a more modest (well, not really) size. The basic floor plan and structure dates back to the 340’s. Yes. That’s the year three hundred forty.
We ate gelato. I should mention that. By the end of our trip, we had a ranking for our top five places.
Manja snuck in a picture of me doing my thing. It was a treat having a fellow photographer with us!