Napoli Panorama

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Taken from the balcony of a 500 year old monastery overlooking Napoli in the foreground, this picture captures thousands of years of history in one 270 degree view. In the foreground sits the ancient town of Napoli. The capital of Campania, Napoli means “new city” but is ironically one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world being founded over 4,000 years ago. Napoli served as the key city in the integration of Greek culture […]

Mt. Vesuvius at Dawn

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Naples is a filthy, crime-ridden town. We were nearly mugged twice and ate dinner in a restaurant run by the mafia. Gun wielding couriers came in on motorbikes and dropped bundles of cash while we feasted on a delicious meal of octupus. We woke around 4:00 AM this morning to make the flight back to the United States from Naples and was treated to early morning surprise on the balcony. We stayed at the Hotel […]

Il Duomo, Florence

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Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance and saw a concentration of master artists and thinkers all competing to create masterpieces. The Statue of David. Santa Maria del Fiore and all her wonders. Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise. Filloppo Brunelleschi discovered the use of perspective in drawings, marking a transformation in drawings and paintings. Yet, more people remember him for his ingenuous architectural solution to the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. Built with compression and […]

Storm Clouds over Piazza San Pietro

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I visited Piazza San Pietro in Vatican City on a late Tuesday afternoon in May. The area near St. Peter’s Basilica was cleared of people as they prepared seating for the Wednesday morning mass.  Rain had cleared many of the visitors from the area, providing a rare moment where the square seemed free of people. Piazza San Pietro is an immense space, and as with all Vatican architecture, leverages techniques to give the maximum aesthetic […]

Ponte Vecchio over the Arno

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The gentle river Arno flows through Florence, Italy. Florence was first settled in 67 BC by Cassus, who established this as a community for retired Roman soldiers. The first bridge across the Arno was believed to have been built by the Romans at this point, the narrowest point of crossing on the Arno. This original bridge was constructed from stone and wood, and disappeared at some time around 1100. During the middle ages Florentines constructed […]