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Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi February 16th 2021

16th February - In the Footsteps of St. Francis Whilst the exact date of St. Francis birth is unknown, he was born around 1181-1182. He died at the age of 44 in 1226 We started ou tour today overlooking the statue of St.Francis’s parents. In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned home from a trip to France to find his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited he was furious because she'd had his new son baptized Giovanni after John the Baptist. The last thing he wanted in his son was a man if God, he wanted a man of business, a cloth merchant like he was, and he especially wanted a son who would reflect his infatuation with France. So he renamed his son Francesco. The cloth draped over the arm of his ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Perugia February 12th 2021

11th February - Perugia The other day the skies were grey when I visited Perugia but today The sun was shining & the sky was blue! We were in the main square. The Cathedral of San Lorenzo was initiated in 1345 and finished in 1490 and it looks rather worn with age. The front façade is a quite plain but the left side is much more interesting. The strange pulpit protruding from the wall was where St. Bernardino da Siena preached, when he visited Perugia in 1425 and 1427. Bernadino was a traveling preacher with a weak voice and a powerful and captivating imagery. Whenever he visited an Italian town, he drew large crowds even though his sermons started at dawn and lasted 3-4 hours. He talked about moral corruption, After his death, he was rapidly ... read more

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Genoa February 12th 2021

I see bitter orange trees all over Liguria and they are delightful. Bitter orange trees originally came from South East Asia, through Oman, Persia and Egypt. They arrived in 1000AC on the coasts of the Arabian Mediterranean Sea (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Lebanon.) In the course of the crusades, the French and Genoese loaded it on to their ships and brought it home to garnish their gardens. The bitter orange tree then arrived in Liguria and Provence, and as a result the areas grew prosperous. The citrus groves on the Ligurian west coast were called 'The Ligurian Gardens of the Hesperides' Now there are many bitter orange trees placed between Sanremo and Ventimiglia. REFERENCES ■Sanremo ■Ventimiglia ■orange trees ... read more
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La Spezia

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Genoa February 12th 2021

VILLETTA DI NEGRO A waterfall in a park in the centre of Genova. The park also houses the Edoardo Chiossone Oriental Art Museum in a reconstructed villa. PASSEGGIATA DI CORSO ITALIA A long promenade where people can run, walk or rollerblade on. I often cycle in the cycle lane which heads towards Bocadasse. There is also a jogging lane, which is next to the cycle lane, which is next to the road. VIEWS OF GENOVA AND PORTO ANTICO Most of Genova is on a hill. There are many staircases which lead to great views over the city itself and over Porto Antico, the old port. BOCADASSE A picturesque fishing village which I cycle to often via Corso Italia.... read more
Monument in Villetta di Negro park
Passeggiata Di Corso Italia
Beautiful building along Corso Italia

Europe » Italy » Tuscany February 11th 2021

I believe very strongly that good weather plays a major role in achieving good health, and as the winter roars on here in Italy, and the nights get shorter and the days get longer I feel healthier and healthier. The pandemic is still a concern for me but as I enjoy the nice climate accompanied by high quality food, somehow it forces the pandemic far back into the background of my mind and thrusts the many opportunities of outdoor life (such as cycling, outdoor gyms, photography, looking out to sea) into sharp focus. Like this, the pandemic then becomes one of the many things to be aware of, whilst I fit in preventative measures against it, around my outdoor life and exercise, as opposed to seeing the pandemic as an out of control evil which imprisons ... read more
Bocadasse on a non-rainy, non-windy and sunny day in January 2021
Roman bath and ampitheatre ruins in March
Me in Viareggio in September enjoying Granita in 30 degrees of heat

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Perugia February 9th 2021

8th February - Perugia - Italy Perugia is considered the green heart of Italy due to it’s location in the centre of the country as shown on the map that Patrizia, our guide, showed at the start of our tour overlooking the surrounding area of the city with great views. Patrizia made her way down the 700 year old steps to the Etruscan Arch, one of the 7 remaining arches that served as an entrance to the city of Perugia in ages past. Constructed in the 3rd century BC, this arch is one of the oldest pieces of architecture in the city and is considered to be the best remaining example of the cities original defences. The front façade of the arch features some of the original latin inscriptions. We continued our walk overlooking the beautiful ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence February 9th 2021

8th February - Palazzo Vecchio & Ponte Vecchio Another visit to Florence, this time we started our tour at Piazza Della Signoria an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio (Town Hall)and the gateway to the Uffizi Gallery. The last time I was here was back a few years ago and we sat with friends in the square and enjoyed strawberries and cream in the sunshine. The Town Hall is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany, overlooking the square with its copy of Michaelangelo’s David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia with its open-air sculpture gallery of antique and Renaissance art. Another feature is the beautiful fountain of Neptune, the statue is also known as the Biancone (great white) on account of the brilliance of its marble. The ... read more

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Genoa February 9th 2021

Salvatori and Michelangelo in Genoa. Michelangelo Buonarrotti is considered to be one of the greatest Renaissance artists. He is particularly famous for his painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in 1508. He is also famous for sculptures of heads of the biblical hero David, of which there are many copies around Florence especially. Just inside of Palazzo Ducale, located in Piazza De Ferrari in Genoa, there is part of Andrea Salvatori's exhibition which shows the head of David. Andrea Salvatori is a modern sculptor. In 2018 during a stay in Montelupo Fiorentino, which is a town famous for ceramics and located very near to Empoli, Salvatori made a few big heads of the David by Michelangelo, out of terracotta. The head in this exhibition is one of those heads, which are turned upside down, carved inside ... read more

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Genoa February 9th 2021

Water clocks were used to mark a limited time interval. They above all marked the time of studying and of teaching, and were used by sailors to calculate the speed of a ship and by priests to limit the length of homilies. Well I have to say, an enormous water clock would have been an ideal ornament for the church wall where I used to go to church as a child because I don't remember any priest ever finishing a homily ON TIME. There was no respecting of a water clock, a salt timer or sand glasses, or even just respecting the plain old clock on the wall, certainly not when the homily was read anyway. At the dawn of civilization man learned to mark the passage of time by using natural clocks, like the Sun, ... read more
Water Clock

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Genoa February 9th 2021

This morning I took the Funicolare Zecca-Righi. This is a funicular railway in Genoa connecting the Largo della Zecca, on the edge of Genoa's historic centre to several stations on the slope of the Righi hill. After reaching Righi I walked up a hill and found a Planetarium which in plain English is a theatre devoted to education and entertainment in astronomy and space science. I found some very interesting information and pictures of sightings which have taken place in the Planetarium. My favourite was one taken during the equinox. I also found some information on a board about the use of water clocks to measure time. I've always been very interested in how different civilizations have measured time. I remember back in primary school when we were doing a really interesting project on the Egyptians ... read more
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Funicolare
Planet Jupiter taken from the Observatory




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