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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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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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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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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Castellabate, Outside the Basilica

Castellabate (Salerno, Italy). A minister (or maybe the parish priest?) photographed when he’s reading the newspaper on the parvise of the ancient Pontifical Basilica of Santa Maria de Gulia at Castellabate, a lovely town located on the uplands of the Cilento National Park (UNESCO site) in the Salerno province. This Romanesque style church, which dates back to the first half of the 12th Century, represents one of the beauties of Castellabate. The village is mostly known because it hosted the set of a pretty successful Italian movie (“Benvenuti al Sud” with Claudio Bisio and Alessandro Siani, the Italian remake of the original French movie “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis“), but I think it should be visited especially for its position and its peculiar narrow streets.

Castellabate (Salerno). Un sacerdote (forse il parroco?) fotografato mentre legge il giornale sul sagrato della antica Basilica Pontificia di Santa Maria de Gulia a Castellabate, un delizioso paese in provincia di Salerno, posizionato sulle alture del Parco del Cilento (sito patrimonio UNESCO). La chiesa risalente alla prima metà del XII secolo e in perfetto stile romanico, è una delle bellezze di Castellabate. Il paese è conosciuto per essere stato utilizzato come set di un film abbastanza di successo (“Benvenuti al Sud” con Claudio Bisio e Alessandro Siani, il remake italiano dell’originale francese “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis“), ma merita di essere visitato più che altro per la sua posizione e le sue caratteristiche stradine.

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