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Alberobello

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In most places, architecture represents power. The bigger your building, the deeper your pockets and the more influence you have over others. Places like these can be found all over the world as human greed is universal. In these places, your social status depends on how many houses you have, in which neighbourhoods they’re located and how big they are. Take Florence for example. During the Renaissance this city was host to some very rich families and their neverending efforts to demonstrate their superiority to others. Let’s not forget that such competition lead to the creation of some of the most beautiful masterpieces of the human race but in Florence everything was, is and will be always about power.

however, as unbelievable as it may sound, in some other places, architecture is an expression of joy and is about unity and respecting the past, the present and the future. In such places, your house is not supposed to feed your ego but is supposed to make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger which in my opinion is far more valuable. In these comunities, it’s absolutely normal to leave your front door open, or to have your kitchen facing the street or to leave your cloths outside to dry.

In september, my wife and I went to visit this little place called Alberobello, famous for its “Trulli” which are traditional buildings with conical roofs and very thick walls (which keep the inside warm in the winter and cool during the summer). I’ve always been facinated by these structure. To me they seem like a part of nature and they have a very logical and geometrical look to them. Walking down the streets of Alberobello, i noticed that each structure has its own unique characteristics but at the same time is an integral part of a bigger picture and plays an important role in the formation of the village. This, in my opinion is how cities are supposed to be planned with emphasis on both individuality and comunity.

Below, you can see some pictures I took in Alberobello. Hope you enjoy them and as always, feedback is much appreciated.

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Crete-Greece

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They say Crete has got it all. It’s very hard to challenge that statement. Beautiful beaches, tall majestic mountains, a fantasic culinary tradition and most importantly, kind hearted people, Crete truely has it all.

During the time I spent there, I got the chance to experiment a lot with long exposure night shots. here you can see a couple of the results. Hope you like the photos and as always feedback is appreciated.

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Piazzale Michelangelo

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«There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there»

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I consider Florence to be too noisy and too hectic. Sometimes when I want to get away from it all, I walk to Piazzale Michelangelo. I think it’s  a healthy habit to climb a hill or a mountain every once in a while so that one can see things from a different perspective. Sometimes we get stuck in our day to day surroundings which prompts us to think that our options are more limited than they really are and distorts our mental vision of reality. Piazzale Michelangelo for me, is an escape from the narrow streets of Florence and my daily worries.Do you have such a place in your life? I would love to know about it.

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Assisi

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There was a time, a time of absolute certainty, a time when time was not a luxurious comodity, a time of planning and designing a future, my future. We all know how this story goes. A young ambitious man makes plans and then life slaps him in the face with reality and after that, he’s forced to adapt while doing his best to keep his plans intact. I won’t bore you with my story but there is one particular plan that I had when I was young that I would like to share with you.

Many moons ago, I read an article somewhere about someone’s visit to Assisi. The way this small town was described in the article made me make a promise to myself that one day I would visit Assisi and see all these beautiful things with my own eyes. I forgot about that plan somewhere along the way until one day, my wife decided it was time to resurrect this ancient desire of mine by simply uttering the words “Let’s go to Assisi next weekend”.

Assisi was everything I hoped it would be and more. A charming town with narrow streets and details to pay attention to in every corner. And the churches, ah the magnificent churches, some of the most beautiful places of worship I have ever seen. The city’s biggest church is the church of San Francesco, built on two levels connected between them by various staircases. Inside, you can find stunning frescoes by Giotto and his students. To sum it up in few words: The church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a piece of heaven on earth.

I’m not a religious man but I think this part of the bible is appropriate for this post.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

As for me, it’s a time of rethinking, redesigning and rebuilding. Hope you enjoy the photos and as always, please keep in touch.

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A day in Florence

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Here are some pictures I took a couple of days ago in Florence. Working on how to properly use the contrast between shadows and light in my photos. For these pictures, I tried to come up with dynamic compositions, compositions that make your eyes move around to notice different details.

As always I would really appreciate your comments and feedback.

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The little things that matter.

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Florence isn’t all about the fancy, massive and glorious renaissance buildings and churches. Some neighbourhoods of the city have small markets that sell vintage and/or local products at surprisingly low prices sometimes. I took these photos in this small neighbourhood that hosts a tiny permanent vintage market right next to the Loggia del Pesce. If you’re a fan of vintage lamps, paintings, furniture, photos and magazines, this is the place to go. It’s one of the places I alway try to take my friends who are visiting Florence just to show them a different side of the city.

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Thoughts on Florence

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Living in Florence has its ups and downs.

It’s a noisy city and it’s full of tourists who confronted with the indescribable beauty of this city, usually lose their ability to walk properly. Most of them even decide to make matters worse by carrying around their massive backpacks and long selfie sticks at all times. Florence isn’t a forgiving city from an economical standpoint. During the years, I’ve seen countless businesses fail and vanish permanently, businesses that I liked, businesses that I had grown to appreciate. There’s little room for improvement in Florence. Everything has been in the same place for the last 600 years, every building, every fountain, every garden. This makes living there a bit frustrating for minds who yearn for new things, who need new images, new colors, new feelings. It’s a city that demands perfection, something I for one, do not possess. Florence is expensive. It’s a city designed for the rich. Being a simple person with a simple job in Florence doesn’t cut it. You won’t even make it to the end of the month in a dignified manner. In most cases, even having lots of money isn’t enough. You need connections. Florence is a city with stone buildings that have many dark windowless rooms in which old rich men make decisions for the rest of us.

Florence is my favourite city in the world. Florence is the place where a small number of men managed to give physical form to that magical portion of our existence which flows through our bodies without being noticed. I can’t help but think of the words of Louis Isadore Kahn :”What was, has always been. What is, has always been. What will be, has always been.”. Florence has always been there. Florence is that part of our collective essence that was lucky enough to be noticed and then realized by artists such as Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Leon Battista Alberti. Florence is our attempt to please the gods not mere human beings.

Hope you enjoy the photos and as always let me know what you think of them.

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Fog

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If I had to associate a feeling to fog, I would choose loneliness. There’s nobility and elegance in loneliness. I wish I could witness fog like this more often so I would have more time to clear my thoughts and be alone in an open space, away from all the noise (both physical and mental).

If you’re a person who often finds himself thinking about the bigger picture, about the more profound ascpects of our existence, chances are you are lonley too. Then for you, my lonely friend, I wish a foggy day.

I took these pictures at the lake of Konstanz. I usually don’t like carrying a big camera and big lenses with me when I go for walks and if I see something interesting that I want to capture in a photo, my cell phone will have to do. Luckily cellphones these days take amazing wide angle pictures.

I would love to know, which natural phenomenon makes you feel more at home?

 

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