It’s been a while since I updated shared some of my latest Instagram offerings. Again, these are all from photos taken with the iPhone 4S, which is my point-and-shoot camera of choice purely for the fact it’s always with me.
So comes the last of my posts on our Italian holiday. This is a collection of the shots I took with Instagram whilst there, which were subsequently shared once I was back in the UK (boo roaming data charges, boo). I’ve recently – yesterday, in fact – ordered some prints from Instagram. I’m intrigued to see how they come out, as I think by their Polaroid-style nature they lend themselves well to the idea of, gasp, actual real-world photos that you can touch and hold. A review post may follow once I receive them.
Of all the places we visited whilst in Italy, I think Barga was my favourite. It’s always the places you least expect. This was a small town, the nearest of its type to us, in the next valley across in the mountains. It’s walled with narrow, pedestrian-only streets, but being built in the mountains it’s an endearing place with piles of buildings that sit on top and below each other all at the same time.
Barga has strong connections with Scotland as many people from the area, which until comparatively recently was very poor, emigrated there. We learnt whilst we were there that they weren’t intending to end up in Scotland, they were aiming for the USA. But the person they hired to sail them there by boat was a bit of a jobsworth and so dropped them off on the Scottish coast and told them it was America! Fantastic.
Looking up the inside the tower 18mm, 1/6 sec, f/9, ISO 800
The Torre Guinigi stands out in Lucca because, well, it’s a tower. Whilst there are quite a few church towers around, this seems to stand alone – I believe it was once part of a palace. I should have done a bit more homework on it before starting this post. For now all you really need to know is that you get a good view from the top. Continue reading →
The Ponte del Diavolo – the Devil’s Bridge – was something we passed on a few occasions, and had to stop at. It has a great story attached:
“The bridge was made by a poor builder, and due to some unforeseen circumstance, the bridge fell apart. The builder was in despair because it had to be finished the next day for the local authorities and he knew that it was impossible to get this massive project finished in time. However, all of sudden, to his delight, he was offered a lifeline! A huge creature appeared with hoof like feet and black skin, who revealed himself to be the Devil. He pledged to get the bridge finished in time for the builder’s deadline, but for doing this, the Devil wanted the spirit of the first person to cross the bridge. The builder was so desperate to save his own skin, he agreed to this outrageous deal. The following morning, as promised the bridge was completely finished, in all it’s magnificent detail and glory. The builder, overcome with emotion, threw himself to the feet of the Bishop of Lucca and confessed everything. The Bishop then made a pig cross the bridge before anyone else could and it trottered accross. The Devil then came to collect his fee, and was absolutely furious to discover that he had been conned. He was so angry that he created a huge hole below the bridge, in the hope that if the bridge broke, people would become trapped in the hole.” (from Tuscany Travel)
We stayed in (or really just outside) the village/town of Coreglia Antelminelli. As with all places in Italy it has a long history, and is, apparently, famed for its plaster statues. I was personally more interested in its narrow streets and views of the surrounding countryside.
Everywhere we visited in Italy had a pedestrianised centre – and I don’t just mean one street of shops. The cobbled roads there are just not big enough for cars in most places, having been built long before Mr. Ford came along, and so by default cannot take any traffic. Although it is just when you come to enjoy this relative peace and freedom that you can bet you’ll be mowed down by a cyclist or someone in an ‘Ape’. However, these narrow roads make for great perspective photos, although you do have to rely on a wide angle lens for the most part, and it can also mean balancing the light levels is tricky, especially in bright sunshine.
Av, 55mm, 1/80 sec, f/14, ISO 100 As you can see, our first few days were quite overcast
As I mentioned in my last post some 3 weeks ago, I was, at that time, about to be off on holiday to Italy. Which is why nothing happened here for 2 weeks, and that third week was spent uploading and editing the photos I took – some 600 of them. This is the first post of a few from the trip.
We went for a two week break to the northern end of Tuscany known as the Garfagnana, an mountainous area which is not necessarily what you expect when you first think of Tuscany. We’d originally wanted to go to the parts of Tuscany you imagine – yellow plains, cypress trees, villas dotted about between historic towns and cities. But we’d only settled on this destination a little late in the day for holiday booking, and the property we ended up renting was an unexpectedly good deal in what looked like beautiful scenery.
Beautiful it was indeed, and the property wasn’t entirely unphotogenic either. Let me introduce you to Il Vecchio Mulino – a former water mill just outside the hilltop town of Coregelia Antelminelli.