Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Siena, Italy

We absolutely fell in love with this city. So much culture and tradition

One of the things that helped pay for our trip was a grant that I got through BYU.  
Aaron introduced me to his Italian professor who is writing a book about Siena and needed photographs for the book. So she and I wrote up a proposal and got some funding for the project!  It's been great to work with her and learn about the city while photographing it. 
We spent most days in Siena just photographing all the different sites and buildings needed for the project. Aaron was a great photography assistant and we had a lot of fun.

Siena is the city of the famous horse race "the Palio." 
If you haven't heard about it, read here
The city is separated into 17 different sections/neighborhoods, called Contrade. These contrade make up the different teams in the race. 

It was beautiful to see how much pride each contrada has, and how all the people have a deep sense of belonging.

We met this man in the little shop that he owns. He sells a lot of different contrade souvenir items (you can see all the different contrade flags that are behind him on the shelves).  The store is in the contrada Bruco- which is the Caterpillar neighborhood.  He told us something really interesting that stuck with us the rest of the trip. He said, 

"If you have a past, you have a future. The longer your past is, the more future you have.

The contrada of Bruco was founded by his ancestors long ago in the 14th Century, and is a strong tradition in his life today.

This is the Piazza del Campo, where the race is held each year. 
It is the city's main square. 

We went on top of a fort to get this great view, and it started raining! I got so sad, because I was hoping to get some great photos. It only rained for a couple minutes, and then this happened. 
It was stunning. 
The overcast clouds creating such beautiful lighting.

And then...
a rainbow appeared and landed right at the Duomo! How perfect.

This is the Duomo (Cathedral) of Siena.
Here you can see the front with the facade, and then below is a side view.

The baptistry and the inside of the nave.

This is the detail of the inside of the dome.

I have TONS of pictures of Siena, so more to come soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Laveno, Italia

Laveno lies on Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy.
The lake borders Switzerland.

Santa Caterina del Sasso

We had a delicious dinner outside with the Funaro family. 
 I can't think of a better way to end the day :]

Urbino, Italy

Urbino is a walled Medieval city near the east coast of Italy. 
We walked up to get a good view of the whole city and sat down in a city park. 
Aaron took a nap and I watercolored. 
Look at the view we had!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lake Como

Ah, Lake Como. 

We took a boat ride to see the parts of the lake. The lake is surrounded by these little villages. There are some stunning palaces/villas on the edge of the Lake.

The stairs of this villa lead right into the water.

I love this guy just sun tanning on the edge of this little wall.

Now the city of Como was also really neat. 
We had a lot of fun wandering the streets of centro. 
A lot of cute shops and restaurants to look at.

Como's main Cathedral- the Duomo.

Props to Aaron for this one.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sacro Monte, Varese Italia

The town of Varese lies at the feet of Sacro Monte di Varese, 
which is part of the Campo dei Fiori mountain range. Sacro Monte is a famous pilgrimage that catholics would make for worship and remembrance. We didn't trek up the entire pilgrimage, because it's a pretty intense incline. Instead, Franco dropped us off at the top. 

We spent most of our time in this village at the very top. It was a beautiful place.

View from the top, looking down at the city of Varese.

Statue of Pope Paul VI. Why such big hands, I have no idea.

There were many ancient frescos outside on the walls of various buildings. 
Here are a few of them.