Here are a couple shots we took in Firenze (Florence). Generally, Italian police don’t like photos so you have to be a little sneaky about it! There are several different types of police with varying responsibilities in Italy but I won’t begin to try to explain what I only barely understand myself… The two men pictured at the top are with the Polizia Municipiale (municipal or city police), and the man in the navy blue uniform below is with the Carabinieri (national or military police).
Joel always has fun shooting photos of people in Italy. And the people are definitely a large part of what makes Italy so great! Here’s a link with some of his favorite people shots from this trip.
A reminder- coming up June 11th, we’re doing another Digital Photo Basics Workshop through Flagstaff Cultural Partners. Part of the fee is a donation to a great organization! Please contact us or visit the website for more info!
We made it back home in about 30 hours… Wow! Very tiring, but happy to be back.
The day before we left, a local gave us a tour of a private castello (castle) that dates back to the 10th century. Parts of it were destroyed and/or damaged and reconstructed over the centuries and it was at the center of a farming community. It sits on the highest point between Florence and Siena, which made it a strategic location throughout history. One can see for miles in all directions from the top of the high tower. The current owners’ family purchased the property in the late 1800s. They make their own wine, olive oil and honey. Also on the grounds was a Romanesque church from the same time period- I thought the old wooden doors and stone walls were beautiful with the dappled light coming through the adjacent oak forest.
Today, we were lucky enough to be part of the “crowd” during a national cycling race. Watching how excited the people were was just as fun as the race itself. All the locals were posted at their windows to watch it, a better view than from the street I think.
After the racers left on their 150km journey, we noticed the trophy tent… Only in Italy do athletes get wine as part of their prize!
A local told us that this race is the last qualifier before riders go pro. I have to say, it was very exciting- especially the finish! It was really close at the end. Of course it was a great place to take photos too. All in all, a fun and pretty relaxing day. Once the race started, we couldn’t go anywhere anyway- everything was fenced up. And we didn’t mind at all.
I snapped the poppies with beautiful background on my way back to our hotel after lunch yesterday… if only this was my view at home! The sepia tone below is inside an ancient abbey that just begs to be shot in black and white!
Today we were actually in Siena- I hope to get a shot or two from our participants for my next post! Siena is one of my favorite days on our trip… We have a terrific guide to take us to some of the most important sites and tell us all about the history of Siena.
In Siena, the Palio is their most important “festa” all year long and occurs twice, once in July and once in August. The city becomes a different place during these two events and the rest of the year revolves around the Palio. We are looking into basing a photography workshop at the Palio for 2012… Very exciting!
Ciao for now.
In Siena, everyone hangs their laundry on dry sunny days. Today was absolutely gorgeous and there was laundry everywhere!
It is very early in the year for the farmers to cut hay, but this was freshly cut… amazing scenery, but not a lot of color. I thought it made for a nice black and white.
Gelati today in Siena and a delicious zuppa di farro e fagioli (bean and wheat berry soup), and pici al aglioni (fresh local pasta with garlic tomato sauce) for dinner… Mmmmm!
Here in Italy, old Fiats are prize possessions… at least the ones that are still running anyway! We’ve seen red ones, white ones, black ones, even an orange one. It seems every village has at least one old Fiat. Of course there is a back seat, but I can’t imagine who could fit inside it!
Right now there are flowers every where. The roses are blooming and smell wonderful. Italians are all about presentation in every aspect of life, and flowers are often their finishing touch on the beautiful old houses.
We arrived yesterday afternoon and fought the jet lag to stay up late enough in the evening to “reset” ourselves. We had a light dinner of fresh pasta and salad at one of our favorite restaurants and a good night’s sleep.
Today we spent the day driving some of the back roads to scout our shooting locations. Although the Tuscan scenery changes little, it is always beautiful and amazes us so! The sheep are not so smart, but very cute! And their milk makes very tasty local cheese…
For dinner this evening, we cooked fresh ravioli tartufo (truffle filled ravioli) and asparagi (asparagus) from the local market… Mmmm! Tomorrow, Montepulciano and Montalcino.
Ciao for now!
Living at a high elevation like Flagstaff (7,000 ft/2,100 m) can sometimes mean strange weather… like the 8 inches of fresh snow we woke up to this morning! I took this image out the back door of our house.
Instead of complaining, we should thank Mother Nature for being so generous- we definitely need the moisture. It’s been a relatively dry winter and this is beautiful! Besides, with temperatures near 60 on Monday, the snow will not last long.
We’re about a month away from leaving for Tuscany. Today has been a good day to gather the necessary books and maps we need for the trip. Now it’s time to pull out the check lists…
Thinking about our May Villages of Tuscany tour, I was inspired to cook Tuscan last night… For our “Primi Piati” I made a traditional country Zuppa di Cavolo con Fagioli (Cabbage Soup with Beans), with crusty garlic bread in the bottom of the bowl. For our “Secondi Piatti” I made Zucchini Farcito (Stuffed Zucchini), and for “Dolci” (desert), Caffe in Forchetta (Coffee on a Fork- a coffee flavored custard). Mmmm, Buon Appetito!
We drank a nice California wine that went very well with the soup and the zucchini…
It’s always fun to taste a bit of culture before you go somewhere!
FYI- We still have room in our March 19th Digital Photo Basics Workshop in Scottsdale!
Please join us this weekend! We will be at the Sonoran Arts League Annual Festival of Fine Art in Cave Creek and this will be our last show in the Phoenix area until fall. The show will be at the Stagecoach Village Friday through Sunday, 10AM-5PM each day.
Here is Joel’s new release, Cantina Antica. I love how Joel captured the feel of the old Tuscan winery. In fact the winery is centuries old, and in the same family the whole time. And the wine wasn’t bad either! To visit this winery and more, join us on our Villages of Tuscany tour in May…