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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Afterwork Shooting at San Maurizio

Milan (Italy). In the past days I had the opportunity to read a lot about San Maurizio (the full name is San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore). This place just went through a long period (30 years!) of restorative measures, and its opening was one of the major cultural events of the past months.

One of the things that was stimulating my curiosity is the parallel made by someone with the Sistina Chapel in Rome, and to be honest I was a bit skeptic. But today I decided to check with my eyes (and my camera, of course!). I’m lucky because this place is very close to my office (it’s in Corso Magenta) and on Thursdays it remains open till late (10:30 PM).

When I entered, I really could not believe my eyes: if the external façade is quite simple and – let me say – “poor”, the interior is really stunningly decorated. I was truly enthralled by all those images (perfectly renovated) describing scenes from the Holy Bible and dating back to almost 500 years ago (Bernardino Luini decorated this place between 1520 and 1530). But what made my visit even more special and memorable, was the second part of the hall – the so called “Hall of Nuns” – where four young musicians were playing music with three violins and a cello.

I took several photos, and I merged some of them to compose this “pano” view and to give an idea (although a very limited one) of this place. I can now join those who were saying that this is the “Sistina Chapel” of Milan: it was a great afterwork shooting!

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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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The Ceiling of Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Italy). I must admit: have a sort of obsession for ceilings (here there are some samples from this blog) and I consider  myself a lucky person because sometimes I find great ones during my trips! Those who have seen me taking photos, can witness that I stay long time curved to find the perfect symmetry above my head: indeed photography is a great passion, and for a passion you can do everything, including painful things 🙂

Anyhow, let me stick on this photo, just to provide some information (well, I don’t have too much to say… just look at it!). This is the ceiling of Nostra Donna Church in Pontremoli: I visited it some weeks ago, and although it was not my first time there, still I noticed that it’s impossible not to remain amazed by this place! It totally captures your eyes, not only with its unusual shape, but also for its decorations on the walls and – of course – on the ceiling.

When I took this photo, the light was quite uniformly illuminating it, so the conditions were perfect for capturing this triumph of colors and scenes. If you have the opportunity to come to Pontremoli and visit the Church of Nostra Donna, do not forget to watch above your head: you will be truly amazed and you will understand my “obsession”! You can trust me…

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Landscape of Kotor, Montenegro (Just After a Rain Storm)

Kotor (Montenegro). It’s always a nice achievement when I can add a new country to my list of visited places. I went to Montenegro for the first time this summer, and of course I could not miss the possibility of visiting the old town of Kotor (Cattaro). If you google “Montenegro”, one of the first and most popular results is more or less the same photo posted here. This does not mean that Montenegro does not have anything else to offer to tourists, of course! Simply, this is one of the most iconic landmark in the Country.

I arrived to Kotor during a very heavy rainstorm: it was not the best possible welcome, let me say. However, when the rain stopped and clouds moved away, I immediately took my camera, wore good trekking shoes and went along the 4.5 km track (it’s along the upper town walls, and has stairs on its side) which starts from the town and climbs up to the top of the mountain, where – from the abandoned St. John Fortress – it is possible to enjoy the amazing landscape of the town and of the fjord.

However, in my opinion the best landscape was more or less at half of the walk, with the Our Lady of Health church, with its bell tower, dominating the view of the town and the fjord. In my case, moreover, the thick clouds were moving toward the open sea making the scenery even more intense. I decided to climb the rest of the path: it was quite tough – let me say – but it was a very enjoyable walk…

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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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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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