Palazzo Dal Verme in Milan

Milan (Italy). Imagine a coffee break: you decide to walk to a usual place few meters from your office, and you pass in front a building that every time captures your attention. But this time – don’t know why – you decide to follow your instinct and to enter. And suddenly, you find yourself in one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Milan! Isn’t it magic? For me it is.

Palazzo Dal Verme in Milan was built at the end of the XIV century, and its marvellous courtyard still keeps the original architecture and paintings. I was lucky that nobody was there, so I could take this photograph undisturbed. When the guardian arrived, he told me that photographing was forbidden. I’m sorry sir, you came too late…

I had my coffee apparently as a normal break. But my eyes were still full of this hidden place’s beauty, and the coffee was not the same anymore.

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Casa degli Atellani and Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan

Milan (Italy). This is one of those situations in which I have to say “thanks God there’s the Ricoh GR camera“! Last night I went to a very nice cocktail, organised by the Italian desk of a prestigious international law firm. The venue was a wonderful and very prestigious location: its name is Casa degli Atellani (Atellani’s House), which is just in front of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the famous church where Leonardo da Vinci painted his masterpiece “The Last Supper”. I went there directly from office, and I had with me in my raincoat pocket only the small but powerful GR.

This photo has been taken from a window at the upper floor: it was already dark, and I loved this view of the house courtyard with – in the background – the stunning dome of Santa Maria delle Grazie church.

I will come here again during the day: in the backyard there is a lovely garden, the so called “Leonardo’s vineyard” (there is a fantastic story behind it, and you can read about it here) and I want to take more photos.

I love my job (especially when it gives me opportunities like this)!

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The Central Courtyard at the Palacio da Bolsa in Porto

Porto (Portugal). Yesterday I posted a photo of a nice courtyard in Milan; here today I’m posting the same subject – but this time it is from my recent trip to Porto, the second city of Portugal and one of the most beautiful one.

This sumptuous and elegant neoclassic building is the old Palacio da Bolsa (in English, the Stock Exchange Palace). It’s not used for its original scope anymore: for example, the courtyard photographed here in the past was the negotiations room, and the ceiling is decorated with the emblem of the countries with which Portugal was having commercial relationships.

However, today the Palacio da Bolsa it is still used for the meetings of the local commercial association.and for some special events. During the day, the Palacio da Bolsa opens its doors to visitors, and it is possible to walk along its corridors, as well as to visit its rooms, following a 45 minutes guided tour. I particularly appreciated the fact that during the tour I could shoot photos, and this one is one of my favorite from that visit.

The Palacio da Bolsa is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square in the historical center of Porto, and is designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

To capture this image I used a Leica Q camera: I think its 28 mm lens is very versatile and is very suitable for architecture photography (with a touch of creativity).

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