The Magra River Crossing Pontremoli

Pontremoli (Italy). A partial view of Pontremoli, “comfortably” captured last summer from my terrace. Contemplating the Magra river “caressing” Pontremoli on a summer evening, gives me an uncommon sense of interior peace. I frequently come back to watch photos like this one, precisely because they are able to offer me some minutes of suspension from daily hectic activities. Moreover, adding the fact that outside it’s cold and rainy – as it is today – photos such as this one become an authentic refugee… Waiting for the next summer and another photo of Pontremoli and of its Magra river to capture.

Pontremoli. Uno scorcio del paese vecchio preso “comodamente” dal terrazzo di casa durante la scorsa estate. Ammirare il fiume Magra “accarezzare” Pontremoli durante le serate estive riesce a darmi un senso di pace non comune. Torno spesso a guardare foto come questa, proprio per la capacità che hanno nel regalarmi qualche minuto di sospensione dalle frenetiche attività quotidiane. Se poi si aggiunge il fatto – come oggi – che fuori piove e fa freddo, allora la foto diventa un vero e proprio rifugio, in attesa della prossima estate e di un’altra foto di Pontremoli e del suo fiume Magra.

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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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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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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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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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A Half-Hidden Bench (Una Panchina Appartata)

Pontremoli (Italy)

Walking along the steep way to the Piagnaro Castle in Pontremoli, people may notice this bench, nicely decorated with a quote from Italo Calvino’s masterpiece “Marcovaldo”:

“C’era, in un angolo della piazza, sotto una cupola d’ippocastani, una panchina appartata e seminascosta. E Marcovaldo l’aveva prescelta come sua. In quelle notti d’estate, quando nella camera in cui dormivano in cinque non riusciva a prendere sonno, sognava la panchina come un senza tetto può sognare il letto d’una reggia.”

The book is translated also in English, and this is the same quote:

“In one corner of the square, under a dome of horse-chestnuts, there was a remote, half-hidden bench. And Marcovaldo had picked it as his own. On those summer nights, in the room where five of them slept, when he couldn’t get to sleep, he would dream of the bench as a vagabond dreams of a bed in a palace.”

Marcovaldo is a poor rural man, unskilled worker, living with his family in a big industrial city in northern Italy during 1960s (the years of the economic boom). He seems having an affinity with nature, with an evident distaste for city life: in each story, he succumbs to something that appears natural and beautiful but actually disappoints him. Common themes in the stories include pollution, appearance vs. reality, failure, poverty and consumerism.

For this reasons, I found this quote (and this bench) perfectly contextualized with this corner: everyone can see in it the the beauty of small, rural villages; the calm of simple life; the pleasure of sitting here, reading a book and disconnect from the rest of the world. Probably, we all should be a bit more “Marcovaldo” sometimes: am I wrong?

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Pontremoly by Night (Vietata L’Affissione)

Pontremoli (Massa Carrara, Italy). Yesterday late afternoon I was flying from Rome to Milan: let me say, it is one of the best (or at least one of the most original) way to visit Italy, especially if you chose the right-window seat (normally the “F” one) and if the sky is clear, as it was yesterday. The plane flew along its normal route, which means it followed the coast of the Tirrenian Sea from Lazio to Tuscany, and then headed to Milan. If you know a bit the geography of Italy, it will be easy to recognize landmarks like Pisa, Livorno (Leghorn), Lucca and the Versilia coast.

Anyway, when the plane was over La Spezia, it pointed directly toward Milan and flew very close to a small town called Pontremoli, I recognized it because I have there some of my family roots. I have spent there most of my childhood’s summers,and still today a piece of my heart belongs to that place and to its neighborhoods. Here you can see some of the photos that I have been taking around Pontremoli for the past years.

During the few minutes during which I flew above Pontremoli and the mountains around, somehow I thought about this photo, which was taken some days ago (with my Ricoh GR) during a pleasant night walk along the old part of the town. When I was back home, although it was quite late, I decided to develop it and to post it here in my blog. It happens to me sometimes: a place brings me back a memory to which I associate a photo, and somehow to “complete” that moment I think that there’s nothing better than reconsider that photo and post it here in my blog. It’s a sort of “fixing” something for the future, since from now on, when I will watch this photo, I will indirectly go back to my yesterday’s flight: isn’t it weird fantastic? This is another one of those magic features about photography, in my opinion.

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