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View from Fattoria Lischeto ~ Volterra ~ Tuscany ~ Italy
~ Firenze ~ from Arcetri ~
One week day we drove up into the hills of Arcetri south of Firenze, looking for
Galileo's Tower. Victor had recently read a biography of Galileo's daughter, so
we knew the general direction, as we began to wend our way up into the hills along
winding streets; so narrow that sometimes there was barely room for one car let
alone room to pass. In many of these little “Vias” we had to pull the rearview
mirrors in to avoid damaging them on the stone walls shielding the many Villas
We failed in locating the tower, but used the day trip as a photo op. I captured
this view of Firenze from a different angle than I was used to. We can see Il
Duomo from our morning room window but not this great sprawling expanse
of the city with its domes, towers and mountains.
What I love especially about this sunset photo is that it looks like an oil paint-
ing. We are going to print a series of note cards of Il Duomo and this will be
one view in a pack of six cards.
~ Porto Venere ~
Next on the title page is the view of the Mediterranean from St. Peter’s church
Porto Venere, (Portovenere)
The name of the village (Portus Veneris) derived from a temple dedicated to the
goddess Venus Ericina, located exactly in the place where now stands the church of
San Pietro. The name was probably linked to the fact that, according to tradition,
the goddess was born from the foam of the sea, abundant just below that promontory.
We hiked up to catch the sunset and I captured this photo before the sun slipped
into the sea.
The town of Porto Venere is located at the southern end of a peninsula, which,
breaking away from the jagged coastline of the eastern Ligurian Riviera forms the
western shore of the Gulf of La Spezia also called "The Gulf of Poets" to commemorate
the drowning of Percy Bysshe Shelly At the end of this peninsula there are three
small islands: the Palmaria, The Tino and the Tintino; only the island of Palmaria,
which rises right in front of the village of Porto Venere beyond a narrow stretch of
sea, is inhabited to a small extent.
We spent a weekend here in March and got lots of exercise climbing stairs and walk-
ing around the village and photographing the flora and fauna on Palmaria Island.
~ Borgo Ognissanti ~
Is sometimes also referred to as via Borgognissanti or Borgo d'Ognissanti. It is
a long road in the west of central Florence , which owes its name to the church of
Ognissanti, as well as for the homonymous square that opens along the route. It
runs more or less parallel to the Arno and goes from piazza Goldoni to Prato di
Ognissanti, from the side where they meet via Curtatone and via Santa Lucia.
Along the route are: via del Porcellana, piazza d'Ognissanti, via Melegnano and
via Maso Finiguerra.
One rainy afternoon Victor dropped me off inside the ZTL to go to the British
Institute Library for one of their weekly cultural lectures. I was running a
bit late, but couldn't resist stopping for a moment to snap this photo of yet
another incredible sunset over the Arno.
The Arno is one of my favourite locations to shoot pictures because of the reflec-
ions one is able to capture if the time of day is right and the river not too muddy.
~ Ancient Street near Piazza dei Priori ~ Volterra
This is a photo I captured with my Olympus camera in 2010 on my first trip to Italy
since the days when I lived for a few months in Rome back in the 70s.
Volterra is a walled mountaintop town in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its history
dates from before the 8th century BC and it has substantial structures from the
Etruscan, Roman, and Medieval periods.
~ Sunrise Grand Canal ~
When I stayed at Monaco Grand Canal for several days in 2010, I used to rise at 5:30
am in order to photograph the sun rising over the Grand Canal. I'd walk down to one
of the main vaporetto docks and just wait for the sun to peek through the clouds to
announce a new and fabulous day in Venice and then snap photos like crazy before it
was too high in the sky. On our Easter Week holiday I decided to repeat my old habits
and this photo was the result.
~ Ponte Vecchio ~
The oldest bridge in Firenze/Florence over the Arno. Built very close to the Roman
crossing, the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, was the only bridge across the Arno in
Florence until 1218. The current bridge was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During
World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not
destroy. Instead they blocked access by demolishing the medieval buildings on each
side This is actually the first time I’ve photographed this bridge because I love the
view from the Ponte Santa Trinita with its palaces and colourful reflections so I
always shoot down river.
Be sure to read the Wiki page to learn more about this ancient and famous bridge.
~ Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Grazie Del Calcinaio ~
Ths church is located in the Calcinaio area of Cortona in the province of Arezzo.
According to Catholic believers, on Easter Sunday of 1484 , an image of the
Madonna and Child, painted on the wall of a tank used for tanning leather and
called calcinaio for quicklime used for this purpose, began to work miracles.
That image venerated as sacred is now visible in the high altar, most likely
positioned on the site of the ancient tabernacle. We discovered this church on
a road trip back in August of 2018 on the way home from Cortona. You may recall
Under the Tuscan Sunwas filmed in around the village of Cortona, which is south
east of Tuscany between the borders of Tuscany and Umbria.
I am very fond of this photo because of the composition, the colours and the
~ Venice Sunset ~ Grand Canal ~
When Victor and I spent Easter Week in Venice, we first stayed in an AirBnB on
Giudecca then we moved to The Monaco Grand Canal. Right next door to Harry's
On our first day there we decided to take a leisurely ride on the Vaporetto
around all the canals. I captured this sunset shot as we were leaving the Grand
Canal on the way back to the Giudecca Canal.
~ Grand Canal ~ from the Guggenheim Museum ~ (On this page)
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is among the most important museums in Italy for
European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. It is located in
Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in
Venice. It is one of my favourite museums in the world.
~ View from Fattoria Lischeto ~ Volterra ~ (On this page)
Fattoria Lischeto is a self sustaining-organic farm in the countryside, 4.3 miles
from the Etruscan village of Volterra. Offering stunning views of the hills and
countryside, it features a swimming pool with sun lounges and parasols. You dine
"in stile familiare", (family style). I first stayed there in 2010 and like to go
there to relax by the pool and get over jet lag before heading out to San Gimignano
or the hustle and bustle of Firenze.
Sharmagne Leland-St. John
Grand Canal from the Guggenheim Museum ~ Venice ~ Veneto ~ Italy