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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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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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 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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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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Driving from Florence to Siena

Vertine (Italy). I’m writing from a very small place, it’s name is Vertine and it’s between Florence and Siena, in the heart of Chianti close to Radda and Gaiole. Driving from Florence to Siena is one of the most beautiful experience you can have in Italy: the hilly country – named “Chiantishire” because of its popularity among British people – is full vineyards and cypress trees, a wonderful location for landscape photography.

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The Courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi

Florence (Italy). A fish-eye view of Palazzo Strozzi’s Courtyard. I have always considered this place as an example of “architectural perfection”: with its clean lines, harmonious proportions and soft tones, Palazzo Strozzi is a real jewel of the Renaissance period.

If you are a lucky owner of a 1,000 CHF note (more or less equivalent to 1,000 USD), before spending it just watch on one of the two sides: there’s a detail of Palazzo Strozzi (one of its mullioned paired windows, also called “bifore”).


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