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Church

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milano

Milan (Italy). When you arrive at destination some minutes earlier, there’s nothing better to do than taking a camera from the pocket and shooting some photos…

Here I was going to attend an event at Santa Maria delle Grazie, one of the most beautiful churches in Milan (this is the same church, photographed from another angle and at another event – but do not think I’m a very socialite person). I arrived earlier than expected, and I decided to walk around it, just to give a look. It was very dark of course, so I was a bit discouraged by taking photos. But I could not resist, so pushing the ISO of my Ricoh GR at 6,400 I captured this image.

It’s not my best shot ever, of course (by the way, do I have one?). But still is a kind reminder for bringing this amazing camera with me every day (and night).


Milano. Quando uno arriva a destinazione alcuni minuti in anticipo, non c’è niente di meglio che tirare fuori la macchina fotografica dalla tasca e scattare alcune foto…

Qui stavo aspettando di partecipare a un evento a Santa Maria delle Grazie, una delle chiese più belle di Milano (qui c’è la stessa chiesa, fotografata da un angolo diverso e a un altro evento – ma non pensate che sia una persona molto mondana). Ero arrivato prima del previsto, e ho deciso di fare un giro intorno per dare un’occhiata. Era molto scuro ovviamente, per cui ero un po’ scoraggiato dal fare foto. Ma non potevo resistere, per cui ho spinto l’ISO della mia Ricoh GR fino a 6,400 e ho scattato questa immagine.

Non è la mia miglior foto di sempre, ovviamente (a proposito, mi domando se ne ho una). Ma è tuttavia un modo per ricordarmi di portare questa fantastica macchina fotografica con me ogni giorno (e ogni notte).

 

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Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

Milan (Italy). A night view of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, one of the most important, ancient and beautiful churches in Milan. I like photographing this Basilica by night: first of all because at that time, this corner of Milan becomes calm and silent; but also because the colors of its brickwork is warm, and its effect under the artificial lights is not disturbing my eyes and my camera. And when I shoot photos here, I like to imagine that when St. Ambrose built the Basilica out of Milan at the end of the 4th century, he knew this was going to become a city’s landmark – as it is today.

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At the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow

Moscow (Russia). Now that I created the new tag “Moscow”, I should feed it with more and more posts from my recent short-but-intense weekend there. Here there is a photo literally “captured” inside the Cathedral of the Annunciation, a wonderful Orthodox Church located inside the Kremlin and characterized by stunning but elegant paintings on the walls and on the ceiling.

To take this image I used the iPhone app for Leica Q – which works perfectly – so after connecting the camera with the phone, I was able to remotely control it, finding all the camera settings and adjustments directly in the phone’s screen. I think this is a great feature for street photographers (both authentic ones and wannabes like me) because it gives complete freedom to shot in some restricted environments, as well as to get closer to people without being noticed or without pointing the camera at their face. Considering that in these days people do not like being photographed – and some overreact – this feature and this app may save my life…

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Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli (Pano)

Pontremoli (Italy). Here I’m again with a photograph taken in Pontremoli. I’m happy that – post after post – this small town is finding its well deserved room in my blog.

Some weeks ago I was around Pontremoli with some guests, and I had the opportunity of visiting probably the most beautiful – albeit hidden and unknown – church of the entire city. Its name is Nostra Donna (the full name in Italian is “Chiesa di Nostra Donna” also known as “Oratorio della Madonna del Ponte”) and it’s a true magnificent example of the local baroque style.

To give an idea about the interior of Nostra Donna with its rich decorations, I took several photos and I composed them in a single panoramic view – with an evident unnatural distortion, sorry for that.

However, if you are planning a visit to Pontremoli or – just in case – you are around the Lunigiana region, I strongly recommend you to look for a visited tour contacting a professional guide. In case you might be interested, do not hesitate to write me and I will give you the right contact.

 

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The Altar and the Mihrab of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Istanbul (Turkey). This is probably the most “symbolic” and characteristic part of Hagia Sophia, which was built as an orthodox basilica, then converted into a mosque and today is a very popular museum in Istanbul.

But why this corner is so symbolic? The answer is simple but – in my opinion – extremely logic: it shows at the same time the apse (where there was the Hagia Sophia Basilica’s altar) and the mosque’s mihrab, the semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the “qibla”, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying. The mihrab was added when Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque in 1453, after the conquest of Istanbul with Mohammed II.

Visiting Hagia Sophia is like hopping on a time machine: there are so many testaments of the building’s history, that the visitor bears the risk that being mesmerised by the wonderful mosaics and the magnificence of the interior, will not notice them. When I accompany someone at Hagia Sophia, this is the first place where I go: here there is the essence of a place that is unique not only for its beauty, but also for its history.

 

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Piazza del Plebiscito

Naples (Italy). Considered as one of the most beautiful square in Italy, Piazza del Plebiscito with its 25,000 square meters is one of the largest one in the Country, and is it is today a very popular landmark in Naples. The current shape dates back to the XIX century (during the Napoleonic period) and the name itself comes from October 21st, 1860 when with a plebiscite the local Regno delle Due Sicilie became part of the Regno di Sardegna (Kingdom of Sardinia).

And the “Basilica Reale Pontificia di San Francesco di Paola” photographed here on an early Saturday morning photo-walk around Naples some weeks ago, is probably the most famous building in Piazza del Plebiscito. If you want to really enjoy this place, try to select a moment when it’s not too crowded, walk along the colonnade and visit the Basilica interior, which resembles – and it’s not a coincidence – the Pantheon in Rome.

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