Since this blog is sometimes written around photography, I am therefore going to tell you my 10 favorites of the photos I shot in Italy--and why I chose them. I'm sure most of you would have chosen some of the other 200+ photos published in this blog over my ten, and I'm happy about that! Please enjoy, and comments, good or constructive, are welcomed.
Even with the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its Duomo to choose from, I chose this photo taken in Pisa as one of my favorites. I love the architecture, the colors, and the way the street curves. I took a similar photo in Nice, France that I really liked so when I saw this scene, I knew it had potential.
There are so many photos of the Leaning Tower, it is difficult to find something interesting that is new, especially those of all those folks holding it up. (Yes, I took some myself). On the other hand, not too many will take a photo of a Pisa thoroughfare, which I found more interesting because of its lack of notice by the "leaners".
1) The roof and railroad tracks converging on the left portion of the photo which, in turn, lead you to the one person in the photo.
2) The absence of any people except for the girl with her hair falling on her left side, large purse, and one bent knee. This photo captures a point in time in March of 2015 in Lucca, Italy and tells more of a story than being a picture of beauty.
I had taken a photo of this same scene at midday but knew it would be even better near sunset. We left Pienza to tour more of the Tuscan countryside and returned before sunset.
This photo with the sun low to the west, lit up the olive trees and better defined the shape of the hills. The signature cypress trees put the exclamation point on the scene!
The road, lined with cypresses, leads to a small farm. The sun defines the crests of the hills. The scene stretches for miles from the nearby foliage to the distant mountains showing the depth and peacefulness of the area.
Many tourist never reach this level because of the climb and the mistake of only visiting the lower section of the building. I was lucky to find it.
I positioned myself so the sun was behind the bowed head of St. Francis. The horizon is distant and low, giving away the altitude of this beautiful church.
The rock structure and the multi-colored homes make for a unique picturesque scene that can rarely be found anywhere in the world.
Another location where it is a challenge to take a bad photo!
I love this photo for the water, the boats, and all the colors.
The scene behind me was just as beautiful with magificent rock cliffs, lapping waters, and small waterfalls.
I settled, however, on this photo with no colorful umbrellas and few people. It has a feeling of a movie from the 40's, 50's, or 60's.
The rain beautifully reflected the streetlights, which merge in the distance from both sides of the street.
A single lady holds her umbrella as she begins to cross the street. The two balls of light in the upper left corner balance the photo and can be found on the first building on the right as you walk onto the world famous Ponte Vecchio bridge over the Arno River. The cross on the right is green and signifies a 'farmacia' (pharmacy).
But my delays paid off! Despite the forecast the clouds broke, they were dramatic, and the sun shone on Florence, including the Ponte Vecchio bridge, the Duomo, the tower of Palazzo Vecchio, the Arno River and much more. Taken from the Piazza Michelangelo, this is where many young men propose marriage to their chosen one. It is a classic scene and one of the few places where you can see the sky and mountains surrounding Florence. This is because of the narrow streets and many buildings in the city that obstruct those views.
As wonderful as this trip was, and despite how long we were there, we failed to make it to Venice, Lake Como, and the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. I can't imagine the beautiful photos that would have been possible in those locations.