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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Florence (Italy). “Diladdarno” (or sometimes “Oltrarno”) is a word that means “on the other side of the Arno river” in the local slang. Technically, Diladdarno is the left bank of the city with reference to the river Arno, which crosses Florence from East to West. And among the bridges that connect the two banks of Florence, Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Santa Trinita (both of them in the photo) are the most beautiful. The first one is today a symbol of the city, it hosts prestigious jewellers and it is visited by thousands of tourists every day.

I took this photo from one of the most beautiful observatory points in town: the terrace at the Westin Excelsior Hotel. I could spend hours there, capturing photos and drinking nice cocktails. The view is breathtaking, not only on the river, the bridges and Diladdarno, but also on the Cathedral and the right bank or – as we say here in Florence – “Diquaddarno”!

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Giglio Porto (Isola del Giglio)

Giglio Porto (Giglio Island, Italy). The Giglio Island is unfortunately famous for the tragic Costa Concordia disaster, when a cruise ship capsized and sank after striking an underwater rock off just outside this small marina, resulting in 32 deaths. Today, the ship’s wreck has been removed and this lovely destination is back to its touristic vocation. I had the feeling – walking along the narrow streets of Giglio Porto – that locals don’t want to talk about the Costa Concordia, and that they want to put that episode behind them. And I think they are right: the Giglio Island is a perfect place for a relaxed and low intensity holiday, especially now that international broadcasters left the island switching off their reflectors from this small angle of paradise.

Giglio Porto (Isola del Giglio, Italia). L’Isola del Giglio è purtroppo famosa per la tragedia della Costa Concordia, quando una nave da crociera si rovesciò e affondò dopo aver colpito uno scoglio sommerso proprio fuori da questa piccola marina, causando 32 vittime. Oggi, il relitto della nave è stato rimosso e questa deliziosa destinazione è tornata alla sua vocazione turistica. Ho avuto la sensazione – camminando per gli stretti vicoli di Giglio Porto – che i locali non abbiano tanta voglia di parlare della Costa Concordia, e che vogliano anzi lasciarsi questo episodio alle loro spalle. E penso che abbiano ragione: l’Isola del Giglio è una meta pefetta per delle vacanze rilassanti e a bassa intensità, specialmente ora che le emittenti internazionali se ne sono andate dall’isola spegnendo i loro riflettori su questo piccolo angolo di paradiso

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Sunset at the Florence Rowing Club

Florence (Italy). This is the Florence Rowing Club, it’s my second home – or at least it was. I spent here the largest part of my life from 6 to 26 (before moving from Florence) and as soon as I come back home, I can’t resist from returning here. Today there was a fantastic sunset, typical of this period of the year. The sun was going down behind Ponte Vecchio and its rays were partially hidden by the blade of one oar left on the rack. I thought it was a great set for a photograph…

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