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Lunigiana

The Hay Bale Field Under the Piagnaro Castle in Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Italy). I’m spending my weekend in Pontremoli: it’s always a “back to my roots” experience and I enjoy walking around the town shooting photographs. On Friday, I went along a field: there were some round hay bales and the sun was going down creating the perfect light conditions. The gold of the field was perfectly contrasting with the green of the wood in the back and the blue of the sky. On the top, the Medieval castle (Castello del Piagnaro) dominates the city with its massive presence.

For this photo I have chosen an old – but legendary – Nikon 55 mm f/1.2 lens: I love its manual focus and I think it’s a perfect companion for this type of situations, thanks to its versatility and quality.

I’m sure those who know Pontremoli will understand the point where I captured this image. To all the others: why don’t you come here and discover this place with your own eyes?

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The Old Bridge of Pontremoli by Night

Pontremoli (Italy). Another photo of Pontremoli, and another photo with my new Leica Q camera. Last Saturday I went out for a night photo-walk with the double aim of photographing Pontremoli with few people around, but also to test this camera with low light conditions and therefore at high ISO values.

This is the result… The photo shows the very old bridge “Ponte della Crësa”, which initially was built with wood (1300s) and it was reinforced – as it is today – during the 15th century. In the background, the “Campanone” (Bell Tower) and the Cathedral’s Dome.

What else can I say? The Leica Q performs excellently at full aperture (f/1.7) and high ISO. A great “travel companion” for my next destinations!

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Filetto in Lunigiana

Filetto (Massa Carrara, Italy). Filetto is a lovely small town in Lunigiana, in the northern part of Tuscany. Filetto is one of the many places with a long history, and today it is also very popular for medieval markets and historical commemorations. The whole Lunigiana is worth a visit, I strongly recommend to base the tour in Pontremoli and to drive around these places.

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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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Landscape of Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Massa Carrara, Italy). This landscape photo has been taken from a privileged position: the top of the bell tower in the center of Pontremoli, in the Lunigiana territory (more or less the part of Tuscany adjacent to Parma province and Liguria, extended in correspondence of the Magra river’s basin).

Pontremoli is a small, enchanting town with a long and surprising history. Although it’s small and not particularly famous (especially when compared with much more popular destinations in Tuscany, as the towns around Florence or Siena), it is worth a deep and accurate visit, better with a local guide that can help you to discover and better appreciate its artistic heritage.

I have part of my family’s origins here, and probably for this reason I’m always happy when I return to Pontremoli – and I do it whenever I can. Coming here is like finding part of myself, of my ancestors, and feeling the responsibility of keeping a sort of tradition handed down from father to son. Probably I feel the “sense of having roots” particularly important because I’m travelling frequently and I lived in different cities; and maybe one day I will come to live here… who knows?

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Street Decoration (via Ricci Armani)

Pontremoli (Italy). Just another image from a night photo-walk around Pontremoli with a Leica Q camera, shooting at f/1.7 and high ISO values (I must say that this is a wonderful camera with a great lens!).

Well, honestly I don’t have too much to write this time… except that I liked to see how even a simple small plant hung on a wall along a street, can be a nice way to decorate it. So the minute(s) you are saving with a short post to read, can be used to watch the photo longer and maybe to surf more my photo-blog 🙂

Ok, I need a holiday… (few days more!)

 

 

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Ponte Stemma in Pontremoli, Lunigiana

Pontremoli (Massa Carrara, Italy). An after-dinner night walk around Pontremoli can become an excellent opportunity for shooting some unusual photographs. This massive bridge is called Ponte del Casotto and is placed at the confluence between the two rivers, Magra and Verde. It’s a very old stone bridge: the original structure dates back to the end of the 14th century and it was reinforced in 1568. This is the same bridge that appears in the city’s insignia (in italian: “stemma”) and for this reason it’s usually known locally as “Ponte Stemma”.

There’s a nice garden under it, and it’s a peaceful place except during Medievalis – a local exhibition held in August – when the garden is packed with several gastronomic stands and people come here for eating delicious local products.

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Pontremoli, Sunday Afternoon Landscape

Pontremoli (Italy). Sunday afternoon of an end of July’s weekend: I have a train to catch, the train that brings me back home after a short but exciting weekend. The car that accompanies me to the station is parked on the bridge, from which it’s possible to capture probably the best landscape of Pontremoli – or at least one of the most characteristic.

It’s difficult to explain what Pontremoli represents for me. The first answer – the most rational one – considers my family origins and my ancestors, but to be honest this is not the reason why I love this place. So, I prefer to make my heart talk and to dig back into my childhood, when I was used to spend here almost all my summer holiday period. At that time – I’m writing as an old man – there weren’t smartphones or tablets, and the streets were not populated by Pokemons as of today. I perfectly remember that a bicycle, a ball and a swimming suit were enough. Spending an entire afternoon at one of the rivers flowing from the surrounding mountains dipped in a natural pool with freezing water for hours, or competing with my friends to rear up the BMX and cover the longest distance on the back wheel only, was making my summer holidays. And still today, I have so many memories and positive emotions, that I wish for the youngest generations to drain the batteries of their devices as soon as possible and to learn to have fun with very simple things.

And today? Well, returning to Pontremoli today is different, and it’s still an emotion. I’m not a baby anymore, so I developed a new intimate relationship with this place, of which photography is the pillar. I love to look at this small, historical and characteristic town through my camera viewfinder: I love to take it as a sort of challenge, given by photographing something I’ve been watching for years and years, trying to capture as if I were a tourist. For those who know my passion for photography, this shouldn’t be a surprise. For all the others, I hope you can understand what I try to mean.

It should be clear now the reason why even last Sunday afternoon, before going to the train station to return back home after an exciting weekend, I took my camera and captured another landscape of Pontremoli.

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