Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Leather School at Santa Croce - Firenze, Italy

A Leather craftsman working on a strap for a bag - Firenze, Italy
A Leather craftsman working on a strap for a bag - Firenze, Italy 

The Leather school at the church of Santa Croce (Scuola del Cuoio) in Firenze was started off by franciscan monks and the Gori and Casini families with the aim of giving orphans of World War II an opportunity to learn a trade from which to earn a living. The leather school has now expanded and is now a well known Florentine trading house and leather shop.

More info and images after the jump.

Share on Facebook

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Chimera of Notre Dame

One of the Chimera of Notre Dame - Paris, France
One of the Chimera of Notre Dame - Paris, France 

Chimera are grotesque mythical figures which have been made from the body parts of a mixture of animals.  Most often they were a mix of Monkeys, Goats, Wolves and Eagles. A number of churches built in the Medieval period feature Chimeras and out of these, Notre Dame is probably the most famous. They were added to the Galerie des Chimères during the restoration of the cathedral in 1845.

More images and info after the jump.
Share on Facebook

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stohrer - A 300 year old patisserie

Macaroons at Stohrer - Paris, France
Macaroons at Stohrer - Paris, France 

A few days into the Paris leg of our trip we visited a patisserie named Stohrer. It was conveniently located five minutes away from where we stayed and we ended up visiting it quite frequently! The patisserie was opened by Nicolas Stohr, one of King Louis the XV's pastry chefs, in 1730.  The shop itself has not moved for 300 years.

Read on for more info and images after the jump.
Share on Facebook

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Colosseum - Rome, Italy

The Colosseum - Rome, Italy
The Colosseum - Rome, Italy 

The famous Flavian amphitheatre is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Situated in the centre of Rome, it is a "must see" for most tourists. We visited the Colosseum on a walking tour which also included the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. The tour itself was not very good but we did get an opportunity to walk around the Colosseum on our own at the end.

Read on for more info.
Share on Facebook

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Notre Dame de Paris - Exterirors

Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France
Notre-Dame de Paris - Paris, France 

Notre Dame de Paris, French for Our Lady of Paris, is one of the "must see" cathedrals of Paris and, conveniently for us, was located a few hundred meters from our apartment in Le Marais. It is the cathedral of the catholic archdiocese of Paris and is located on the eastern part of Ile de la Cite on  the Seine.

More info and images after the jump.
Share on Facebook

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower - Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower - Paris, France

It's hard to get to Paris and not catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower while walking around the city and since Paris is the city of lights, you have to see it lit up. We caught the metro to Trocadero one evening and wondered around the Eiffel tower for about an hour and a half before walking back towards Notre Dame along the Seine.

Read on for more images and info.
Share on Facebook

Monday, October 11, 2010

Views of Firenze

Panoramic view of Firenze - Firenze, Italy
Panoramic view of Firenze - Firenze, Italy (Click to view a larger version)

On our first evening in Firenze we decided to wonder up to Piazzale Michelangiolo, which was a comfortable 3 km walk from our hotel in Oltrano. When we got up to the piazza, at around 4.30 in the afternoon, it was packed with tourists and I had a to wait a while before I could get up to the wall and set up my tripod. I had a bit of time until the light changed, so I wasn't too fussed.

The Panorama above was a 23 image stitch. The Ponte Vecchio can be seen on the left hand corner of the image while the Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) is on the right. The tall bell tower in the centre of the image is Palazzo Vecchio.

Read on for more images and info.
Share on Facebook

Friday, October 8, 2010

Venetian Masks

A Venetian Mask - Venice, Italy
A Venetian Mask - Venice, Italy 

Masks have been worn in several cultures, going back thousands of years, but never with such pageantry as in Venice. Venetian masks date back to the 13th century when Venice was a republic with a population of around 150,000. Nowadays, Venetians and tourists only wear masks during Carnevale (Mardi Gras) but in the 13th century masks were worn on a daily basis to conceal peoples' identities.

Read on for more images and info
Share on Facebook

Monday, October 4, 2010

Trastevere - Rome, Italy

An Evening in Trastevere - Rome, Italy
An Evening in Trastevere - Rome, Italy

We visited Trastevere for dinner on one of our last evenings in Rome. The area is just south of the Vatican City and is now referred to as Rome's bohemian left bank. It is known for its vibrant street life. The tightly packed, decaying buildings and the cobbled streets give it an old world feeling. Apparently some of the older locals haven't been to the "other side" of the river for a number of years.

Read on for more images and info.
Share on Facebook

Friday, October 1, 2010

St Paul's Cathedral - London

St Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge - London
St Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge - London

St Paul's Cathedral stands on Ludgate Hill, which is the highest point in the city of London. The Cathedral which stand's today is actually the fifth "St Paul's" which has been built on the same site. At 111m in height, it was London's tallest building until the 1960's. The funeral of Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill, jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria and the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana were all held here.

Read on for more images and info.
Share on Facebook