Tag:

Sea

Postcard from Italy: At The Foot of the Capri’s Faraglioni

Capri (Italy). I guess this image has been taken so many times by so many people! More or less, everyone descending the steep staircase that goes from the narrow streets of Capri to the sea – at the foot of the Faraglioni – must have captured this scene… Especially in summer, when the platform is covered by open sun umbrellas and people are lying down for a hard session of sunbathing.

Anyway, now it’s my turn!

This place photographed here is a very popular beach resort: it’s name is “da Luigi ai Faraglioni” and – indeed – its position is exactly at the foot of Faraglioni, the famous rocks characterizing this small but very popular Italian island, less-than-an-hour by boat far from Naples. Experts say that this is “the place to be” in Summer, when it’s very hot, because it’s oriented toward East, therefore in the afternoon there’s shadow and it’s a bit less scorching (after all, we are in the South of Italy). The neighbor opposite resort (named “Fontellina“) is much better in Spring and Autumn because it’s oriented toward West and captures every sun ray till sunset (again, this is what Capri’s habitue say).

Diego Della Valle, a popular Italian entrepreneur (he’s President and CEO of the Italian leather goods company, Tod’s) well known for his love for Capri, once said this sentence:

“Put a compass to paper and trace a circle. Then tell me which other country [in the world] has such a concentration of places like Amalfi, Naples, Ischia, Procida, Sorrento, Positano, Pompeii, and Capri”

Although he uses to enjoy Capri from his very large motor-yacht Altair III (google it and you will understand what I mean), to be honest I think he’s absolutely right (and not because I’m Italian, of course!).

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Landscape Of Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). This is a landscape of the popular Ha Long Bay, in the northern part of Vietnam. Visiting this group of islands – which is considered one of the most beautiful places on earth – is a “must-do” for travelers. Unfortunately, it seems there’s a sort of “ships’ lobby”, which forces visitors to come here with two or three days cruises on expensive boats. What is frustrating – at least, to me and to my way of travelling – is the fact that every single action is determined by a rigid time schedule, which does not leave too much freedom for “doing something different” from what has been planned by organizers, like for example changing the itinerary, or staying some more minutes in a specific place.

To better explain, I took this photo of Ha Long Bay from the entrance of a very large cave (I will post some photos of it in the next days). I could spend several hours here, watching this landscape, the activities of small boats all around, or even simply the clouds moving on the sea. There was something of magic for me here, probably because I had dreamed this view for a very long time before – finally! – capturing it. And leaving this place without the feeling of having taken the image I had in my mind, was making me getting nervous, to be honest. Luckily, the final result is not so bad. But still I feel a sense of dissatisfaction watching this picture. It’s hard to explain, but “photographing around me” is not just clicking: it’s also taking my time to do it in the way I want.


Baia di Ha Long (Vietnam). Questo è il famoso panorama della Baia di Ha Long, nel nord del Vietnam. Un’escursione per vedere questo gruppo di isole – considerato da alcuni come il posto più bello del mondo – è doveroso per chi fa un viaggio in Vieetnam. Purtroppo, una specie di “lobby” delle barche costringe i visitatori a venire qui tramite costose crociere di due o tre giorni. Ciò che maggiormente mi ha infastidito, per quello che è il mio modo di viaggiare, è il fatto che ogni attività è rigidamente scadenziata, per cui non rimane molto tempo libero per fare “qualcosa di diverso” rispetto a quanto programmato dagli organizzatori (come ad esempio modificare l’itinerario o restare in un determinato posto un po’ più a lungo).

Ad esempio, ho scattato questa foto della baia di Ha Long dall’ingresso di un’enorme grotta (della quale posterò qualche foto appena possibile). Sarei stato ore a guardare questo panorama, le attività delle varie barchette, o anche solo a osservare le nuvole nel cielo. C’era qualcosa di magico qui per me, forse perchè ho veramente sognato a lungo di vedere questo posto prima di poterlo fotografare!. E andar via da qui senza la senzazione di aver scattato la foto che avevo in mente di fare, mi ha sinceramente un po’ innervosito. Per fortuna il risultato finale non è così male, ma ho ancora un senso di insoddisfazione guardando questa foto. E’ difficile da spiegare, ma “photographing around me” non è solo “cliccare”, ma anche prendersi il tempo per farlo nel modo in cui voglio.

 

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Gulf of Naples (See Naples and Die)

Naples (Italy). The last weekend I was in Naples for a very special (personal) event. I arrived on Friday, and few minutes after the check-in at the hotel, I went immediately upstairs to the terrace to see the view and enjoy the sunset.

I knew that the landscape was “nice”, but I was not expecting such an amazing view! I spent there a lot of time, shooting photographs (of course!) and contemplating the Gulf of Naples, with the Vesuvio volcano and the Castel Nuovo, also known as Maschio Angioino.

During the shooting, with this landscape in front of my eyes, I was thinking about the famous quote “vedi Napoli e poi muori”, which can be translated as “see Naples and (then you can) die”. The meaning is simple: after visiting such a wonderful city, you will never see anything of more beautiful in your whole life.

This is what the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote in his book “Italian Journey” [1786 – 1788] during his visit to Naples:

I won’t say another word about the beauties of the city and its situation, which have been described and praised often. As they say here, “Vedi Napoli e poi muori! — See Naples and die!” One can’t blame the Neapolitan for never wanting to leave his city, nor its poets singing its praises in lofty hyperboles: it would be wonderful even if a few more Vesuvius were to rise in the neighborhood.

To be honest, me too: I did not want to leave Naples, its beautiful landscapes and its people. And on the plane, flying above the city on my way back home, I promised to myself that I will come back soon (also because I feel I’m too young to die!)

 

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Fishermen Putting Out to Sea At Sunset

Dubrovnik (Croatia). Is there a word – in any language – that describes the sense of summer given by a winter day exceptionally warm? I’m thinking about a possible neologism able to summarize this feeling, which more or less has been experienced by everyone as soon as daylight becomes longer, winter moves closer to the end and, most important, temperatures become more acceptable, almost pleasantly mild. “Summarization”? Not yet; damn, it will be summer in so many months… Dewinterization? Neither, it sounds ugly… Animals have “to emerge from hibernation”, which could fit with what I want to mean: definitely they are one step ahead us!

However, I think it’s pretty clear this was my feeling yesterday: in fact, with a nice sun shining and a perfect temperature (considering it was the last day of January) I had in my mind and in my body the feeling it was finally time of “emerging from hibernation” And apparently I was not alone, since there were all around a lot of people walking, jogging or simply enjoying open-air time: so nice!

Once back home after a healthy run around the park, my positive mood brought me to surf and explore through my photographic archive, just to find an unpublished photo from the last summer and to prolong the nice feeling described above. As I always like to realize, watching my old photos is somehow like re-living the moments when I captured them. And I perfectly remember the situation behind this photo…

It was during last summer: I was going to Dubrovnik – a lovely town in Croatia and one of the top ranked places to see in 2016 according to many travel magazines – and a wonderful sunset was coloring the sky with a warm mix of orange and pink. As I was approaching the harbor, I crossed this fishing boat putting out to sea. I have always had a special interest for fishermen: even when I was a baby, one of my dreams was spending one night on a boat watching fishermen pulling the nets out of the sea. However, it remained a dream, but maybe one day it will become a nice reportage.

With this photo, I try not only to extend the nice mood I have been having since yesterday – although today it was foggy and cold, unfortunately – but also to spread out a bit of optimism saying to all my followers that, sooner or later, summer is definitely coming and this is one of the few certainties I can count on.

 

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Fishing Along The Shoreline (Lignano Riviera)

Lignano Riviera (Italy). This photograph dates back to almost one year ago: I took it at the end of last August, when I was in Lignano (Lignano Riviera, to be precise), a touristic spot in Friuli Venezia Giulia (in the North-East of Italy). I still remember that when I took this image, there was a fantastic warm and gentle light – it was around 7.30 PM, the so called “golden hour”, and the sun was going down just behind my – and my eyes were captured by this young boy fishing (or maybe playing as a fisherman) along the shoreline.

I don’t know why I did not consider this photograph immediately: maybe because initially I was much more intrigued by another image, captured and published that same day, and which was representing the concept of “end of summer”. However, in these days I was leafing through my portfolio and I noticed this scene: I looked at it with a different gaze since it was able to give me something like a “sense of calm”, the typical mood that accompanies the last days of summer – as they were when I captured this image. In a certain sense, I can say that this feeling is contrasting with the frenzy that precedes the summer holidays, as it is in these days; and maybe this is the reason why I thought it was a nice photo to be reconsidered (and shared).

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Trieste Upside Down

Trieste (Italy). I generally like seaside towns and frontier towns, and for this reason I really love Trieste, which includes these two aspects in the same city. Furthermore, here the Central European soul (Trieste was the main sea access of the Hapsburg Empire, a period of strong economic and demographic growth for the city) merges the Mediterranean one, in a melting pot of races, cultures, religions and lifestyles.

Sometimes I have the opportunity to spend some hours in Trieste, and I think it’s a wonderful city to visit and to photograph, both with its traditional landscapes, both with its hidden corners. In the image here above, I captured the facade of a building along the Canal Grande, taken from a different point of view, reflected on the sea surface. Indeed, the two spirits of Trieste: the Central European one and the Mediterranean one.


Trieste. Personalmente amo molto sia le città di mare che le città di frontiera, e per questo a maggior ragione amo Trieste che ne incarna entrambi gli aspetti. Non solo, ma qui l’anima Mitteleuropea del nord (Trieste è stato il principale sbocco marittimo dell’Impero Asburgico, periodo durante il quale conobbe un’epoca di straordinario sviluppo economico e demografico) si fonde con quella Mediterranea in un crocevia di razze, culture, religioni e stili di vita.

Di tanto in tanto mi capita di aver occasione di passare qualche ora a Trieste, e trovo che sia una città bellissima da vedere e da fotografare sia con i suoi panorami più classici, che con i suoi angoli nascosti. Nella foto qui sopra, la facciata di un palazzo che si affaccia lungo il Canal Grande, presa da un punto di vista un po’ diverso, ossia riflessa sulla superficie del mare. Appunto, le due anime di Trieste: quella Mitteleuropea e quella Mediterranea.

 

 

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Sunset from the Church of Soccorso, Forio (Ischia)

Naples (Italy). I don’t like (anymore) photographing a sunset “in itself”, stand alone; unless there is something else in the image that can characterise it. Yesterday I was shooting some photos around Forio, a lovely small village on the Ischia Island – not far from Naples, in the South of Italy. Here, there is a small church called “Chiesa dell Soccorso” (literally translated, “Church of the Rescue”) and around it, plenty of people gather together every day to assist the show of the sunset in the sea.

I took this photo to celebrate the beginning of my summer holidays…

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