On Look Up!

Do you know the place? I so-much what to visit the small town on the two, adjacent hilltops in the distance. Oh well … next time.

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If you don’t know, let’s move the camera to the left for some familiar places you may recognize.

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These panoramic views are from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. Everybody loves Florence! Then again, loving Florence is very easy to do because there is so much to enjoy. I’ve visited twice in the past three years, and I noticed something each time. Most people look left and right to make sure they catch the store fronts. Besides a lot of shopping, one doesn’t want to miss gelato!

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But for me, the window shoppers are missing some of the best things to see in Florence because their heads are swiveling on their spine to catch the shopping windows … therefore they are not looking up. So enjoy this view of Florence … the Look Up Tour!

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“Italy will never be a normal country. Because Italy is Italy. If we were a normal country, we wouldn’t have Rome. We wouldn’t have Florence. We wouldn’t have the marvel that is Venice.” (Matteo Renzi, Italian politician)

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“In Florence, classical buildings sit against medieval buildings. It’s that contrast we like.” (Richard Rogers British architect)

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“Florence and art is something that is part of my life and is part of myself.” (Roberto Cavalli
Italian designer)

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Any favorites?

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On Twilight

Whether day-to-night or night -to-day, twilight is that part of the day signaling a transition. As the sun sits below the horizon, the light diffuses into the sky delivering a certain state of vagueness.

Twilight isn’t bright, but faint – it’s dim, yet brilliant in its own way – thus able to deliver beauty.

Here’s a short trip to Florence. As my sister was focusing on the shopping, I was on the prowl for beauty, thus looking above the windows at the eyes of the people, down the streets, and above at the charm of the architecture.

For a point-and-shot guy, and with a lot of luck, here are a few for you to enjoy. Which is your favorite?

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The Shadows Begin

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Towering Above the Shadows

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David Stands Guard

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Peek-a-Boo Skyward

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The Four Towers


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Accenting Lights


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Night Falls on the Duomo

On Shadows

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. ― Charles Dickens

A dark figure cast upon a surface by something intercepting the rays from a source of light

A partial darkness or obscurity

An imperfect and faint representation

An imitation or copy

A shaded or darker portion of a picture

The darkness following sunset

A state of obscurity

Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow… ― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

A pervasive and dominant influence or presence

A remnant, an insignificant amount, an inferior focus

An area near an object

A darkened area of skin under the eye

An incipient growth of beard that makes the skin look darker

An inseparable companion or follower

A nearby or adjoining region

A reflected image

A source of gloom or unhappiness

A shelter for protection

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. ― Walt Whitman

Related words: phantom, dusk, umbra, shade, shadiness, blackness, dimness, gloom, murkiness, obscurity, somberness, cloudiness

Enjoy for a day journey with the shadows of Italy. Which are your favorites? Ciao!

Monterosso for a Late Lunch

Monterosso al Mare for a Late Lunch

Shining Church in Vernozza

Shining Church in Vernozza

Peeking through the shadows in Florence

Peeking through the shadows in Florence

A Sunny Day in San Gimignano

A Sunny Day in San Gimignano

Falling Shadows in San Gimignano

Falling Shadows in San Gimignano

In the Shadows of San Gimignano

In the Shadows of San Gimignano

Leaving the Light On in San Gimignano

Leaving the Light On in San Gimignano

A University Building in Pisa

A University Building in Pisa

Pisa at Dusk

Pisa at Dusk

Night falls in Lucca

Night Falls in Lucca on the Bascilica of San Frediano

On Corridors

From Old French and Old Italian corridore, literally: place for running; from correre to run, from Latin currere

A corridor is a narrow enclosed hallway, passageway, or gallery

A corridor is a route leading to rooms or apartments

A corridor is a tract of land allowing access for passage

A corridor is a restricted airspace for flightpaths

A corridor is the path a spacecraft must follow when re-entering the atmosphere

A corridor can be an anatomical reference as a meatus, duct, portal, canal, orifice, opening, channel, sinus, fistula, or shunt

A corridor is a densely populated strip of land connecting two or more urban areas

A corridor is a hallway or passage connecting parts of a building or a railway coach

A corridor is either of the parallel lanes at the sides of a tennis court, which widen the inbounds area for doubles play

A corridor is the seat of power and influence (as in corridors of power)

Corridors can be an aisle, gangway, arcade, areaway, gallery, gate, passage, passageway, shaft, tunnel, breezeway, walk-through, path, street, tract, a covered galley

Enjoy some of the corridors from my trip to Italy. Any favorites?

Nature's Corridor for a River

Nature’s Corridor for a River

Stroll through the Botanical Gardens at the University of Pisa

Stroll the Botanical Gardens at the University of Pisa

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Down the Medieval Bridge

A Tight Squeeze for Traffic in Bagni di Lucca

A Tight Squeeze for Traffic in Bagni di Lucca

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Quiet in Florence

Decision TIme in Pescia

Decision Time in Pescia

Unknown Destination in Pescia

Unknown Destination in Pescia

Intrigue in San Gimignano

Intrigue in San Gimignano

Slow Climb in San Gimignano

Climbing Slow in San Gimignano

Solitude in Vernazza

Solitude in Vernazza

On Doors

First, some background music for today’s post; so if you desire, play and then scroll on to the post.

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Doors are a means of approach, admittance, or access

Doors are gateway marking an entrance or exit

Doors can be hinged, sliding, or a revolving barrier at the entrance to a building, room, vehicle, cupboard, or a piece of equipment

Doors describes a location as entry, bedroom, bathroom, patio, closet, front, side, back, shower, kitchen, office, garage, basement, cellar, barn, exterior, or interior

Doors can be double, sliding, revolving, folding, storm, swing, trap, hinged, reversible, Dutch, French, screen, paneled, fire, security, driver, passenger, pre-hung, single, or double

Doors can involve knobs, hinges, openers, knockers, bells, intercoms, bars, handles, chalk, weathering, frames, locks, deadbolts, latches, keys, springs, stops, peepholes, and more

Doors can be a hatch, gate, portal, gateway, doorway, or entry

Doors allow the possibility for accommodating change

Doors are a sign of life and death

Doors stand for accountability or blame

Doors can be a request to leave

Doors is a sign of a potential possibility

Enjoy a few doors from my recent trip to Italy. Any favorites?

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Inviting guests in Lucchio

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Devine entry

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Florence’s Duomo is inside

Up close of the Duomo's door

Upclose of the Duomo’s door

Enter to climb to the top of the Duomo

Enter to climb to the top of the Duomo

A panel on the bronze door of the Baptistery across from the Duomo

A panel on the bronze door of the Baptistery across from the Duomo

Enter San Gimignano

Enter San Gimignano

A door to a door in Pisa

A door to the unknown in Pisa

On Windows

Windows are openings in a wall of a structure as a building or vehicle.

Windows allow for the passing of air or light.

Windows can have frames, sashes, panes, or blocks.

Windows receive treatments as shades, blinds, curtains, drapes, and shutters.

Windows display merchandise.

Windows contain information on a computer screen.

Windows are a surgical opening.

Windows can be a range of electromagnetic wavelengths for which a medium is transparent.

Windows operate computers.

Windows are strips of metal foil dispersed in the air to obstruct radar detection.

Windows are an interval of time.

Windows are a means of learning.

As you can see windows can things, but they can be for enjoyment – as these from my recent trip to Italy indicate. Which is your favorite?

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The Collection

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Hinged Shutters

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Arches, Vines, and a Pillar

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Private and Mysterious

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Eyebrows and Flowers

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The iron balcony

The Iron Balcony

How Many?

How Many?

On those Special Vacation Moments

What was your one favorite moment? What was the one moment that captured the trip? When a friend returns from a vacation, those are the questions I like to know.

Tflorencehere’s no question, our 2007 cruise of Italy and Croatia was our best vacation ever. Not long ago we were talking vacations with friends and my wife got a little choked up when describing what happened to her in Florence.

While walking from the train station down Via dei Banchi toward the Duomo, the street was bending, and then … POW! Towering over the 4-story buildings and looming ahead, the Duomo suddenly and majestically appeared. She was stunned, and to stop to catch her breath, and then take this picture.

veniceFor me, there was nothing better than being on deck at 7 am with Venice straight ahead. The approaching sight wonderful and full of anticipation, but then topped by the 900 ft. ship going right down the main canal, passing St. Marks Square, then swinging around to dock along a sidewalk – a 5-minute walk from the square.

So remember those quesitons the next time a friend or colleague returns from a vacation. Please share any of your single, special vacation moments that captured the trip.