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Pontremoli

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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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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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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A Bridge To The Past (Pontremoli)

Pontremoli (Italy). A night walking is always a source of inspiration, especially if you can rely on a highly performing camera such as the Leica Q. Even when the light is very low, this fantastic camera is still able to give me the possibility of photographing around me with a good level of confidence. This is another example (was it necessary?).

How mysterious can be a bridge! I took this photograph last summer during a night walk around Pontremoli. Pontremoli? What’s Pontremoli? If you follow my blog, you should know something more about Pontremoli. I have always loved this bridge (named “Ponte del Giubileo”, in English “Jubilee Bridge”): its shape is so curved that if you stand at its beginning, you cannot see what there’s at the other side. For this reason, I like to come here and shoot images from this perspective. And the post’s title is not fortuitous: this is really “a bridge to the past”, because Pontremoli is a very old town and its bridges – including this one – connects different neighborhoods since the Medieval period.

A proverb (I think it is Indian) says “Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it”. Maybe it’s a bit “drastic”, but sometimes I feel it could be mine. Anyway… this post was intended to show how the Leica Q is great at f/1.7, let’s not digress too much!

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Ponte della Cresa: Pontremoli by Night

Pontremoli (Italy). This is a self-promotional post: I hope I won’t seem narcissist, but in these days – until the 7th of August 2016 – I’m participating with three photos at an exhibition on Pontremoli and the Lunigiana region. One of these photos is this one posted here.

The photo (already posted in this blog one year ago, that time in black and white)  shows the very old bridge named “Ponte della Crësa”, which initially was built with wood in the 1300s, and it was reinforced – as it is today – during the 15th century. In the background, two landmarks of Pontremoli: the Bell Tower (popularly known as the “Campanone”) and the Cathedral’s Dome. The old town center of Pontremoli extends over a spit of land between the confluence of the Verde and Magra river, and this bridge is one of the city’s symbols. The name itself – Pontremoli – comes from the latin “Pons Tremulus“, where Pons is the latin word for bridge, whereas Tremulus is an old name for the poplar, the material used to build the bridge. According to another interpretation, “Tremulus” might stem from the fact that the bridge tended to shake. This is to say that Pontremoli has somehow built its history on bridges, and bridges themselves are the subjects of my photos selected for this exhibition.

For those who will be around Pontremoli – in the northern part of Tuscany – in these days, the exhibition will be held at the Galleria d’Arte Ex-Macelleria, Via Garibaldi 27 – 50027 Pontremoli (Massa Carrara). Opening hours: 10.30 / 13.00 and 16.30 / 19.30.

 

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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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Bagnone in Lunigiana

Bagnone (Italy). Let me start this post with a disclaimer: I’m always pretty skeptic when I read posts or articles titled with a ranking, such as “the 10 best places to go…” or “the top 5 destinations for…“. I know these titles are useful just for SEO rankings. However, an Italian on-line travel magazine has recently published a post with (translated to English) the “list of small towns that that seem to come from a fairy-tale“.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the lovely Bagnone (in Lunigiana, the northern part of Tuscany) mentioned in this list together with Bibury in England, Hallstat in Austria, Rothenburg in Germany and Gasadalur in Denmark. Of course, these kind of lists cannot be complete and thorough enough; furthermore, the decision to include or to exclude a location is normally left to the opinion of the writer (there isn’t an absolute criteria to compile these rankings). For this reason, I perfectly know that it’s a nonsense talking about Bagnone (and the others) only and simply referring to this list.

However, reading the article made me remember that I had somewhere in my archive a photograph of Bagnone, and I took the opportunity to write this post and to publish this photo because – as I always say – Italy is like a necklace. There are big gems such as its main cities (Florence, Venice, Rome etc.); but there are equally important “small stones” represented by towns like Bagnone, rich of history, culture and traditions.

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