Misty Monte Baldo

Posted on October 14, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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This was one of our all-time favorite hikes.  There were sheer cliffs down the mountain and misty updrafts from the lake below – eerie!

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The bad part was racing down the mountain through farm fields after this amazing section in order to catch the ferry back across the lake.  Leave early so you can savor this gorgeous hike!

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Paragliding on Monte Baldo

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , |

Travel - Paragliding 1I summited Monte Baldo!   Thanks to the funivia (cable car) from the nearby town of Malcesine, lying on the Lake Garda, it was quite easy!

Then we got to watch these paragliders taking off high over the lake.  It was really interesting to watch them waiting for the signal from the leaders and the perfect wind.

Travel - Paragliding 2What a view they must get!

After this we got some amazing views hiking.  I will post these shots next.

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Olive Wood Workshop

Posted on October 11, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Photography, Poetry, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , |

Travel - Olive Wood Workshop

Hand tools

A focused lamp

A small lathe to turn wood

Half-done projects

Oh olive tree!

What a boon you are!

Olives

Rest for birds

Green oil

Roots that hold the hillside.

Dense wood

With beautiful grain

That speaks

To the craftsman’s hands.

He comes

He holds the heavy wood

and he works it.

Spoons

Bowls

Platters

All come from his tools

And his hands

Here in this workshop.

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Tor Des Geants (Tour of the Giants)

Posted on October 10, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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We happened to be in Courmayeur, Italy for the finish of the Tor Des Geants, a grueling 205- mile endurance race.  It covers mountainous terrain with almost 79,000 feet of elevation gain over the 150 hours the athletes have to complete the course.  What a thrill to cheer on the completers coming in late in the day!  Completing the race is quite an accomplishment all by itself, but the winner’s time of 70 hours was astonishing.

I was eager to get to the internet to find out all about this world-class event.  These are the kinds of serendipitous occasions that make travel so interesting!

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Decaying Villa

Posted on October 7, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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This was a crumbling villa in the picturesque little town of Orta San Giulio, Italy.  These decaying villas are all over Italy.  This one was fun to inspect close up.  I love how the ferns have made themselves at home on the roof.  I can’t help but imagine what lives were lived in these walls.  And how could such a spectacular home right on Lake Orta stand abandoned?  Like anything, I guess, the funds to keep it up got to be too great.  I find it beautiful even in its decay.

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The Beautiful Italian Specialty Shop + Dog!

Posted on October 4, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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This beautiful and multi-colored hat shop in Cortina, Italy is typical of the beautiful displays you find of merchandise in specialty shops there.Travel - Italian Shop 2 Travel - Italian Shop 3

Travel - Italian Shop 4That’s White Devil, the sweetest little dog who belongs to the shop owner.  He comes and goes as he pleases!

Even this fresh pasta shop has the wares displayed enticingly in the front window.

One can actually window shop in small towns in Europe!  It’s mostly a lost pleasure back home.

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Peace in the Night Sky

Posted on October 3, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Photography, Poetry, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , |

Travel - Night Sky

All is still tonight.

The mountains are asleep already.

The sun’s light is almost gone.

The clouds pass through.

The moon holds vigil.

Sunset and Moonrise over Rifugio Fadora Vedla, Italy.

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Italian Mountain Church

Posted on October 2, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Philosophy, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Mountain ChurchMountains make me contemplative.  They are so massive with soaring heights of rock and plunging valleys.  Their skies hold wild winds and clouds.  I can understand the logic in putting a tiny church right here.  A quiet and small place to retreat and commune with the Creator of all this.  Lovely.

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Sculptor Carlo Ramous in Cortina

Posted on September 29, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Corina Ramous 3This is Arco (Arch), 1973 by Carlo Ramous recently installed in nearly the center of Cortina, Italy.  It’s a massive, yet elegant steel sculpture with a fascinating history.

This sculpture along with its companions, Tympanum and Contintuity, have been “stored” in Parma since they were shown there in 1974 (Longing is missing a piece and Development is completely lost still.)  Pictures of the storage look like they were thrown in disassembled heaps out back of a building where they rusted and collapsed.  They were difficult to transport and there were disagreements between the artist and the city of Parma.  So they were piled up and forgotten.

The artist died in 2003 and there was an artistic endowment group which had even lost track of the whereabouts of the sculptures.  All along though, there was Walter Patscheider, who remembered Carlo Ramous as a family friend.  Walter’s father had a vast collection of his artwork and drawings.  It was through Walter’s efforts that the sculptures were found, cleaned, restored and reassembled.  Without his archive of sketches of the sculptures this would have been impossible.  Talk about the right person at the right time!

Travel - Corina Ramous 2This sculpture is destined for it’s permanent home in Milan but is situated in this wonderful space between the church and belltower in Cortina for now.  We were lucky to catch it here.  I wish it could stay here because I think it really inhabits this space perfectly.  I fear it will be lost in the big city shuffle of Milan.  Maybe one can wish for the Italian slowness-of-getting-things-done this time!  Here is another thing I love about travel; finding the little stories of a place that pique interest.  An art history story is the best!

Travel - Corina Ramous 1Tricky photography here – the sculpture is a magnet for all visitors, especially children who want to make it into a slide (even though the sign says stay off!)  I had to wait for a brief clearing of the people to get a clear shot of the whole thing.

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Roman Mosaics

Posted on September 14, 2013. Filed under: Art, Italy, Rome, Travel | Tags: , , , , |

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When you go to Rome you will remember that the Romans did fabulous mosaics.  You will not, however, be prepared for how masterful and prolific they were.

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These are spectacular ancient examples from the National Museum.  But you will see them virtually everywhere including St. Peter’s where artisans copied paintings in micro-mosaic so finely that you cannot tell it is not a painting.  Theydid this because of the candle and incense smoke damage that would occur to real paintings.

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The detail in this work is fantastic.  I like to think of the hands that placed each tile.  It was a rich culture indeed that could produce such exquisite handiwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34 mosaic geometric

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