I made my mind up of pursuing studies in architecture since I was a young kid, but architecture has always been a cultural interest first.
I focused my Master on historic preservation, usually called restoration in Italy, restauro, but any quality architecture can be interesting and teach me something, no matter its age.
The Clock Tower, now named Elizabeth Tower, is commonly referred to as Big Ben, after the Great Bell of the clock. One of the most iconic symbols of the United Kingdom and London, it is also one of the most photographed. I don't linger in front of crowded and overvisited monuments, but the Palace of Westminster is an architectural masterpiece that I hadn't seen in a while. I also like towers and the many different features and roles they play in the built and natural environment.
Cattedrale di Lincoln
Lincoln Cathedral is a majestic masterpiece of architecture which sit on top of a hill surrounded by the Medieval historic center (although the city has longer history). I have visited the Cathedral few years ago and I was very glad I visited again, but with the sun this time, so it was even better.
Just outside the Manchester Central Library on its south-east side there is a long portico along the newer Town Hall extension. Archways and portici always offer interesting views and create a more dynamic urban environment.
The Getty Center is a beautiful campus offering nature, culture, art and history (and research as well). Located on the top of a hill on the north of Los Angeles, it offers, by free entrance, unique art exhibits, a varied natural environment, landscape and city views, and top architectural design.
The center of Parma has rich history. The city is elegant and well kept, its architectural history is well kept as well. This is "just another building" on a street corner in one of the main roads of the center. I've always liked bricks, they are solid witnesses of centuries of life.
Moulay El Yazid Mosque
The Moulay El yazid Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco is a big complex next to the Saadian Tombs. I don't know how it is inside, since in Morocco only Muslim can enter mosques, but the outside was well kept, simple but neat. This is the main corner right before the Saadian Tombs entrance.
A Man in the World
People interact, create, procreate, design. People never stop moving, in their never-ending task to modify the surrounding environment. But there is one element that will always humble us. One and one only that people would never be able to change directly, but only change how they related to it.
“If I had to choose a religion, the Sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”
The Museo Diocesano and Tiepolo's Gallery is a superb example of Italian architecture of the XVII century, although its first form comes as early as the XIV century. Former seat of the Patriarch of Aquileia, it is now home of the city's archbishop. The Honorary Stairway, here represented, has been decorated by master artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Grand Hotel des Thermes
The former Grand Hotel des Thermes in Salsomaggiore Terme, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, offers an exquisite Art Nouveau example of architecture. Inaugurated in 1901, this architectural/decorative style in Italy is called Liberty and this specific building is probably an example of Liberty-Déco.
The building is now the Palazzo dei Congressi (Congress Center) of the city. What a location!
The complex is big and the public rooms are all decorated, elegant, colorful. They are a beautiful, refined window on the past!
Last March Stephanie and I went to Morocco for few days. The city is made for walking and the buildings' colors are soft and warm. We stopped a second in a square in front of a madrasa.
Few weeks ago, after a 10k trail run race I ran, Stephanie and I briefly stopped in Oxford. On the way to the town's center, we stopped to give a look at St. John's College. The chapel of the was intimate and really nice. I turned to this view: my wife Stephanie in a reflective moment, holding Leo, my to-be son. After smiling for a long moment, I couldn't resist taking a photo.
When Stephanie and I were walking along a bath outside Ourica, Morocco headed for a scenic waterfall, we past a small cooperative of artisans along the way. This man was working alabaster and he had a vast collection of work.
Stephanie and I went to Marrakesh, Morocco in March. The last day we went to Ourica, a Berber village on the mountains south-east from the city. We learnt a lot about the Argan Oil production, which, among things, is virtually made only by women. The activity supports entire communities, but it's really hard work and not really with big income.
Colors and Music
The Manchester Central Library is a beautiful, silent place. The music section has (silenced?) instruments available for people to play. I like how this woman shirt's colors recall those of the books on the shelves.
Street Artist in York
There are always few street artists performing in the King's Square in York, UK. There is also always a big crowd gathered around them. Most of them are in the front, a few are in the back.
I've always preferred original point of views, where people don't usually see things from. Now, I've started taking shots from those point of views (as in the other street artist I've photographed).
Street performers, either musicians or else, should be a regular sight in a city's streets: they make the atmosphere lively, on top of giving people a break for some smiles, some gasps by being creative.
Club getaway has unique entertainment all day long, morning, day, evening, night. All the time. At night there was a DJ for the club at the boathouse, and Matt, the entertainment manager, was one of them.
Street Artist in Venice Beach
Our stay in Venice Beach, California last August was a pleasant stay with everyday sun, warm Pacific ocean, good food, colors, fun!
We spent time at the beach, a lot of time in the water (underwater gallery soon to come!), we walked and biked.
There were always some street artist performing on the esplanade. Some would play an instrument, some would draw, some would break-dance. And then there was this guy. What a crowd was around him and well deserved!
I went behind him right away, to have a less common point of view of a gathering crowd.
Such vibrant and pretty colors!
Black & White
I really like Black & White photography. It adds a layer of mystery and intensity to the portrayed image.
Some photos are better in color, if the image is "made" for it, but virtually any photo can be in Black & White.
Master photographer Sebastia Salgado is a great reference for this type of photography. Or any photography.
I want to shoot more in Black & White but I also need to improve my skills.
Stephanie and I were at the Kruger's Farm on Sauvie Island last June. While walking around the property picking berries ourselves (one of the many cool things you can do on the farm) I saw a bird perched on the top of a mound of chopped pieces of wood. It sat still looking in one direction for few minutes, then it just took off.
I Don't Want to Die
The Columbia River separates the two states of Oregon and Washington. The mouth of the Columbia River is wide and seemingly placid. It sits in the middle of what is called the Graveyard of the Pacific, a stretch of particularly tricky waters and coastline along the North coast of the North American continent. Many shipwrecks and accidents happened through the years. The shipwreck of the Peter Iredale is a surreal reminder of life, history and magic.
The beach at Tonsina Point, Resurrection Bay, Alaska was packed with natural silvery sculptures, as aged driftwood, from tree stumps with roots, was lined up along all the shore.
Father and Daughter
Walking back from the Oregon Zoo, i past this father and daughter having a snack, casually sitting on the sidewalk. I asked them if I could take their photo. The girl didn't stop smiling.
Clunker in Orchard Parkdale Oregon USA
One of the ways to reach Parkdale, OR (near Mt. Hood) is by riding the Mt. Hood Railraod.
The company offers different themed train rides, including a dinner one. My brother David and I rode with the Far West themed ride (it happened to be happening on the ride that we chose, not vice-versa), which offered some nice light entertainment on the way back.
The ride is very pretty through varied different landscapes. Getting closer and closer to Parkdale, vast orchards (mostly apples and pears) dominate the landscape. Since it was April, and although the region had an unusual early spring, all the orchards were blooming with white, maybe pink, flowers.
What a sight!
Fort Rock, Eastern Oregon, USA
The scene seemed one out of a Western movie for someone who grew up in Italy. Eastern Oregon has a beautiful landscape, the high desert, which still represents a romantic Far West.
Tree Stumps and Drought at Detroit Lake
Detroit Lake is a beautiful and, when there is no drought, pretty big lake in Central Oregon
I've been there twice before when it was full, to swim and jet-ski before, or just to splash around, and it was beautiful in the sun!
I drove by last April and... this is what it looked like. Lack of water can create beautiful and eerie scenes, if you don't stop thinking over the consequences.
Snowy Night Hawthorne Bridge
Snow is rare in Portland, OR. Few winters ago, it snowed and the snow stuck to the ground for few days. I love the snow. It creates such a magical, surreal atmosphere, where all the sounds are muffled and that helps giving the impression that there is nobody around. The swimming pool was closed so I decided to walk along the Willamette River to take some photos.
Landscape & Nature
Natural landscape brings different, positive feelings to my senses, my heart, my body and my soul.
I've lived in Nature all my life and it's a fundamental component for my well-being. On top of that... what beautiful sights are there, offered to us by Mother Nature!
I've always been interesting in details. Small, or hidden, or corky, natural, artificial, architectural, artistic. Any kind. Many years ago, on one of the hikes in Austria I was on with my father and my brother David, we crossed a timber bridge over a creek. I spotted this small plants coming out of a crack in the silver wood. Life is incredible.
Stephanie and I had a day trip to the Peak District for her birthday. It was a beautiful sunny Spring day. We first stopped at Chatsworth House and in the morning spent almost two hours in the Garden alone. They are a huge secret garden with different landscapes, corners, views, and a maze (with beautiful hyacinths too). In the kitchen garden, where they grown fruit and vegetables, one of the plants was cradling the morning dew.
Road to Nowhere
Driving in central Oregon from Bend to Crack in the Ground the landscaped suddenly but not abruptly.
You could see miles away, like in this photo, and yet after few, perhaps unseen, undulations of the land, you'd find yourself in the woods. Then, just as magically, back to the high desert. The high desert has stunning colors' shows. And gives much space to reflection.
When I stopped to take this photo, some words came to my mind: How does it feel, how does it feel? To be without a home Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone - Bob Dylan
Frog Lake & Mt. Hood
Stephanie and I spent a long week-end at Frogg Lake, near Mt. Hood, for my 30th birthday. The lake is one of the dozens (hundreds?) in Oregon, but this one for sure offered us nice views all day long, from eerie morning moments, to sunny afternoons, to quiet nights. One morning I walked to the opposite side of the lake (it was about 400 meters/1200 ft long) and waited for the right moment to take this beautiful reflection of Mt. Hood over the placid waters.
Oregon is a beautiful State, also because it is a very varied from the natural landscape point of view. Last April, David came to visit me. One of the places we traveled to was Central Oregon. We heard of Smith Rock and decided to see it. We couldn't have picked better!
Smith Rock is a very varied natural world in itself. It's a diorama of different landscapes in few square miles. There is a creek, otters, herons, straight-up rock formations and incredible colors.
Lake Crescent, Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA
The Mt. Hood Railroad is a historic rail line connecting Hood River to Parkdale and other towns. The line runs through a scenic valley and it has many different types of topics for the ride, such as train robbery or champagne brunch.
My brother and I didn't chose any themed ride and we left in the morning on a Saturday.
The valley is very narrow and almost rough at the beginning but it then opens up the more it climbs higher. After the initial part, where the rail is in the woods, the open and flatter valley offers quite the view of the surrounding mountains. We are here in the Cascades Volcanic Arc, quite a spectacular geographical feature.
The rail coasts orchard after orchard and I really suggest to see them in bloom, as we did. What a show of Mother Nature!
Parkdale is a pretty plain and simple town, but the orchards are everywhere and the people seemed friendly.
I really suggest this train ride. Inexpensive and fun, it supports a local and historical element and offers a unique way to explore part of Oregon.
The View of Life
I was visiting the Ben Youssef Mederssa in Marrakesh, Morocco. The person with me and I were both looking around mostly without cameras (I had my camera, she had her phone). One of the photos she took made me reflect on how, in present days, too many people view life through a screen and not with their own eyes.
I was in Portland, Oregon a month ago in mid June. Stephanie and I went on Sauvie Island the last day of my stay and we stopped at Kruger's Farms. I haven't been there in a year and it was nice to sit in the sun eating a hot-dog and a corn-n-the-cob and drinking a fresh juice. Inside the covered market, there was a scene that I think represented a staple of Portland: casual feeling, colors, books, beer, eclectic style.
Camping is a beautiful experience under every single aspect. I just love it.
At night, when it's still early but it's already dark, after I had dinner and while the fire is alive, I like to read, write or just observe what is around me.
I was camping with Stephanie at Waldo Lake in Oregon. For some reason we turned a glow stick on and we ended up playing with it after its first immediate use.
Simplicity and imagination can lead to entertaining and creatives fun.
What do you see with the eyes of your mind? What do you dream of? What does your imagination build and create?
Sometimes the frame around your dreams can be dull, but never stop dreaming is the important thing.
Open the chest just a little bit and see what's inside!
From Heart to Paper
Il pennino. The wooden dip pen.
What a beautiful object. So simple, yet so special, creative, refined, unique. It has a long history and interesting evolution from the dip pen, from the 6th century AD, to today. It's still used by professional calligraphers and graphic novels artists. I want to look for more, I have only one. I rarely use it but I love it. I actually have three or four different types of ink, but I've been traveling and moving a lot lately so I didn't have with with me. Soon!
I like to write and sketch with it, although I am still learning my nib well and the difference responses it has with different kind of papers.
Wanderer Inside the Sea of Fog
I was in Lake Como in Bellagio for few days and one day it was particularly foggy. The cloudy sky and the fog coming from the hills blocked a lot of light and made it difficult to distinguish where the water ended and the fog started. While looking into emptiness, two sailboats slowly came in our direction. It seemed one was trailing the other and at moments the two would overlap in my view.
There was no wind and everything was silent. It was a beautiful and eerie moment.
Rails to Nowhere
My brother David and I were on our way to Bend, OR from Portland when we came across an unexpected but particularly scenic viewpoint, the Peter Skene Ogden State Park. The Park offers the view of two historic bridges and of the impressive gorge. The Crooked River Bridge, built in 1926, is just upstream of the Oregon Trunk Railroad steel arch bridge of 1911, which is the one here pictured.
Railroad tracks have always fascinated me and the no-end view of tracks have always instilled stories - dreams! - in me.
This one has particularly inspired me because it was an unexpected awe-inspiring view in a beautiful landscape and moody weather.
My girlfriend Stephanie and I had just arrived at Trillium Lake for a day-trip from our campsite at Rock Creek Reservoir, not far away. We were walking towards the shore when we noticed more people turning to stare behind us up to the sky, smartphones quickly appearing in their hands.
I turned to see, behind the trees, a rainbow-colored cloud floating in the sky!
After enjoying the view, I pulled my camera out to take some photos since the cloud was moving slowly but steady out of sight, behind the trees, and the colors were fading away.
I jumped on a 5ft tall stump and started taking photos.
What a sight!
I have traveled to beautiful cities since I was born.
I have always walked, learned, observed, looked the city around me.
Architecture, art, history, culture, tradition... how many things are interconnected in the urban dimension of a city?
A cultural, quality, pleasant, welcoming, artistic urban environment reflects its qualities to the people who live in it.
A Cat at Home
In March I spent few days in Marrakech, Morocco. What a different city for me, since I spent most of my traveling in Western countries. I noticed right away that there was plenty of stray cats all around the city - in the square, in the souks (the markets), in the parks. And people let them be. They gave them food, water and let them roam. Very nice. This one is in the Saadian Tombs.
Le Torri di Bologna
Bologna is a beautiful city full of history, culture, humanity and traditions.
The ubiquitous portici (portico) are the one urban signature feature and what a feature it is! They allow the city to be vibrant and varied. People can stay out more and walk longer, creating lively and alive boulevards, streets, alleys. Back in the days, the City allowed, if not incentivized, building over the sidewalks and creating porticos, so people and buildings could build more and have more room. This also because even centuries ago, the city was a huge University town!
By the way, the University of Bologna is the oldest established public university in the world: 1092.
The city has been in a relevant spot in Italian history for centuries. At one point, master Dante Alighieri mentioned in his Inferno the Torre Carisenda, one of the two famous towers in Bologna, the other one being the Torre degli Asinelli, here in the middle of the photo.
Qual pare a riguardar la Carisenda sotto 'l chinato, quando un nuvol vada sovr' essa sì, ched ella incontro penda: tal parve Antëo a me che stava a bada di vederlo chinare
- Dante Alighieri, Inf. XXXI
The Carisenda eventually toppled, and only its half stump remains (barely visible in the photo on the left of the Asinelli).
Steel Bridge at Dawn
Few years ago I decided that I needed to decide what to focus on regarding artistic skills and media: appropriately learn watercolors, or photography. I decided for photography. I took my very first photography class in Portland, OR. I loved it and learned a lot! There were constant assignments and for one of these, I went along the Willamette River early one morning and wanted to shoot the here depicted Steel Bridge. I was there before the sun was out but it was winter, so I think I was there between 5 and 6am. Since it was cloudy, the sun's light came out more as a diffuse glow rather than a specific point. There were few sounds and the water was placid (it usually is). I like the vintage look of the photo.
We avoided crowds and spent a lot of time in side alleys and the weather was crisp but sunny.
Venice is made to get lost in small, narrow streets called calle (the Venetian back-alley) away from the main center and the packed touristy roads.
We ended up on the east side of Venice, just north of the Biennale. No tourists at all were on sight.
There is this beautiful church, the Basilica Concattedrale di San Pietro di Castello. The facade is supposedly designed by Andrea Palladio, the famed master architect, as his first appointed Venetian job.
Continuing walking counter-clockwise from the church, we stopped on the bridge along Calle Larga Rosa where I took this photo of the setting sun disappearing behind the houses. Any view is quite the view in Venice! But I think this is really nice because it's quiet and "just a city", where people live their routine without being under a magnifying lens.
Le Quattro Stagioni
Le Quattro Stagioni, The Four Seasons in English, is my very first personal photography project.
i wanted to revise the stereotypical images associated to each season in a new way, one that would lead the viewer to a new perspective.
The essence of each season remains the same, but a new point of view leads to new thoughts.
New thoughts lead to dreaming.
In some Native Americans’ culture, white is the color of death, therefore i see Winter as its herald, carpeting everything of supernatural sorrow. But, the answer to this clouding veil is always in front of us. Life always finds a way and facing life, even Death might allow herself a moment of peace.
Nature’s colors flawlessly express the link between the life within and its external manifestation. The struggle of rebirth is empathized by the tension on the droplet’s surface, life and magic at the same time.
The climax of life’s rhythm is not frenzied, but holds within moments of extreme levity and purity.
The falling of the leaves, the act of their death, is taken to the extreme. It is, however, an act of extreme selflessness, because their passing guarantees the survival of the tree to a thriving rebirth.
I was really fascinated by the beauty of Alaska and I want to go back to backpack some more. I spent only few days backpacking in Resurrection Bay, south of Anchorage, and it was a beautiful first experience. Majestic, beautiful natural landscape, silence and walking were my daily bread and I loved every minute of it.
Midnight Sun at North Beach
I experienced the midnight sun for the first time. It seemed normal except when I rationalized the atmosphere, and being able to read with natural light at 11pm.
Caines Head Trail
Traveling shows you how Nature embodies humility within majesty and elegace. It makes us reflect how we should behave and what the priorities are.
The train from Anchorage to Seward is alone in the wilderness for half of the journey. Among the beautiful views, small ice caps detaching from a glacier created a beautiful contrast with the lush green of the endless forest.
Lowell Point, Old Wooden Boat
Resurrection Bay wasn't full of small boat moving around its water. They mostly consisted in big cruise ships or small water taxis. Nevertheless, coastal towns have a strong connection with its waters.
tonsina Creek along Caines Head Trail
Glaciers snaking down towards the oceans are just a small fraction of the actual glacier. It feels like seeing just the tip of the iceberg, or the glimpse of a dragon.
Midnight Sun over Historic Remnats
The Last Frontier has a very interesting history too, mixing human grit, adventure, drama and nature all at once. These are the remnants of an US Navy dock base,
Clunker in Thumb Cove
Alaska feels like unexplored country in my eyes, which makes me want to go back and travel around even more. Remnants of abandoned outposts or activity are occasionally found in unexpected places.