A Walk across the Forum – pt. 3

Foro Romano e Palatino!

As I’m off to Israel for a week for business (sorry no time for photography), I thought I’d prepare a couple of blog posts in advance.  I’m flying Alitalia from Boston to Rome to Tel Aviv, so it’s only appropriate to have this post scheduled for the time that I spend about an hour and a half at the Leonardo da Vinci airport outside Roma.

This third installment of images is somewhat larger, but there are still more to come!

The views in this set are across multiple directions of the Palatine Hill and capture some of the key elements that stand out.  There is so much to see that we could have spent the entire day exploring.

A Walk Across the Forum – pt. 2

Passing through the ages

We very much enjoyed our visit to the Forum in Roma.  After all, the Forum was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million sightseers yearly.

Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Roman Kingdom’s earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome.

Here’s another installment of images from this amazing location…

I hope you enjoy them!

Tuscan Rooftops – pt. 1

Shouting about rooftops!

During our vacation in Italy, I got plenty of opportunity to photograph the rooftops in a number of cities.  So, why not do a series of posts on rooftops.

This first installment is from the lovely hilltown of Massa Marittima.  In this town, we encountered some of the longest, steep climbs, as we made our way to the top to climb even further up the Torre del Candeliere, which provided the first view…

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Looking over Massa Marittima

The second image is from walking along those steep streets to catch wonderful views that combine both the old and new…

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Old and New

Many more to come!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Steps

Going for a step or two

Welcome to Week 63 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Last week’s responses were a pure symphony of wonderful images, prose and poetry!  I thoroughly enjoyed the way you embraced the theme and created amazing compositions.

This week, I’m going back to one of my old tricks…  The theme of Steps can be taken in several directions thanks to the English language.  Merriam Webster showed me 11 definitions, some of which were nuances, whereas others have completely separate definitions.  Therefore, it is your choice, whether these steps take you up (or down) or direct your path, or even are performed as part of a ballet!

Have fun with this theme and don’t skimp on creative direction, as I know you won’t!  Uncover some new steps, retrace some old ones or climb up and down, as in an M.C. Escher drawing.

One may wonder where these steps will lead us…

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Where do they lead?

As the observant reader of my blog will surmise, this is yet another image from my Italian vacation.  When we were in Massa Marittima, there were many steep streets followed, steps climbed and descended, as we came across some of the most amazing views at the top of the hill!

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

So, don’t skip a step in your creative process, and step lively to sharing your photography and writing!

Walking through Montepulciano

A first look

Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany. It sits high on a 605-metre (1,985 ft) limestone ridge, 13 kilometres (8 mi) east of Pienza, 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Siena, 124 kilometres (77 mi) southeast of Florence, and 186 kilometres (116 mi) north of Rome by car.

Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Renowned for its pork, cheese, “pici” pasta, lentils, and honey, it is known worldwide for its wine. Connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile, which should not be confused with varietal wine merely made from the Montepulciano grape, among Italy’s best.

Walking through Montepulciano was an absolute joy with many small alleys and narrow streets that are always picturesque.  As you can see from the photos, you get a good workout, as many streets and alleys are steep.

Looking over the valley

Val d’Orcia vista

One more look from Pienza!  I just couldn’t resist to process one of the images today (between work assignments) and share this one with you.

Mid-way between Montalcino and Montepulciano, Pienza has a marvelous view of Val d’Orcia.

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Valley View

Sitting well above the valley floor, Pienza presents some amazing vistas, such as this one.

A Walk through Pienza – pt. 2

More alleys, and food!

I may have pulled up lame during the relay race at work today due to tearing my hamstring, but there will be more images from Italy!  Reduced mobility will keep me in the house more and with less to distract me, such as those great long runs, my time will be spent on photo editing and music!

Both will be the better of it, I hope.

Pecorino de Pienza

Pienza is also the city of cacio, which means cheese! The Pecorino of Pienza is a tasty cheese made from sheep’s milk, renowned worldwide and delicious, which can go from a delicate flavor to a decisive one based on how aged it is.

The town streets are full of small charming shops selling a large quantity of various types of pecorino, from fresh to aged pecorico, that you can taste together with a number of other typical local products, such as fine wines, spices, pici (handmade pasta) and so on. We recommend stopping and tasting!  Best of both worlds is mixing the pici with the cheese in the famous dish: pici con cacio e pepe.

Cheese shops are on just about every street and alley, and can be tasted in the great restaurants.  Our choice of restaurant was La Buca di Enea on Via della Buca; this small restaurant was phenomenal with excellent food (great cheese), a friendly proprietor, who was nice enough to offer us a free digestif at the end of our meal.