After a few days in Valle d’Aosta, here we are enjoying one of the beauties of the entire Alpine chain, maybe of the world.
Today the Mont Blanc massif is definitely within everyone’s reach taking advantage of an incredible panoramic cable way that starts shortly after Courmayeur and reaches Punta Helbronner at of 3400 meters height.
The cable way car ride is divided into two sections (originally it was three parts) and I recommend to acclimatize and stop at the first level for a few hours and then climb the last step.
This is not a short climb but is definitely feasible to cover on foot in a the day starting from the trails at the bottom of the valley early in the morning. The sight and the spectacle will repay every effort.
This time was more than a walk, at least for a citizen. A climb of more than 1000 meters in altitude from Terme di Valdieri to Rifugio Morelli Buzzi, then further to Colletto del Chiapus at 2500 mt. and down to Rifugio Genoa at 2000 mt. Actually, at least with our own time, we walk from ten in the morning until eight in the evening, over fifteen kilometers.
And the next day, the same thing, back to Terme di Valdieri. The backpack was quite lightweight but I had with me my telephoto lens, ready to immortalize chamois and ibex.
Really spectacular, really nice places, passing by the marvelous Mount Argentera, kissed by a cool sunshine of September, the last few days before the winter closure of Alpine Refugees.
Finally some days of total relax, a beautiful hike in a place I know well, an opportunity to visit the Natural Park of Maritime Alps, the valley of Rio Freddo the huge mont Malinvern, the valley of Valscura.
A challenging two-day excursion walking with main stops in two different alpine refuges.
Despite the backpack weight problem, something have to carry all the time, I did not give up with the Canon 760D photo camera that thanks to the beautiful weather it really was worth to bring it.
I decided that I will repeat for sure similar excursions, in the Natural Park of Maritime Alps, the paths to be faced and the alpine refuges are certainly not lacking of photo opportunities.
An opportunity to visit Genoa, a city I obviously already knew, but I always look at it with pleasure. Genoa historic center and Genoa port are really interesting and offer countless attractions.
Aside from the famous aquarium to which you have to spend at least one full day, it is also interesting just turn around and get lost in the city center looking for a good focaccia.
The day was beautiful, the light was great, and for the first time I used my new Canon 760D that officially replaced the Canon 450D now retired after years of honored service.
I took the opportunity to visit Florence, a city I’ve never been to and I must say I was really excited. I had obviously the idea of the Italian Renaissance, but I never really knew of its beauty and its historical importance until I visited Florence, which is actually the main center.
A city of such beauty that really deserves a stay of several weeks to be able to appreciate and to see at least a part of what it offers.
Above all, I appreciated the fact that the whole city is practically accessible on foot and is really for “human” not just cars.
During my trip to Greece, on the way back, I could not miss a visit to Athens; really a unique city, the cradle of Western civilization. I had the opportunity to stay there few days admiring and photographing various archaeological ruins, wander about distant beaches, and visit the city center enjoying some really nice and chaotic nightlife.
I arrived in Athens by ship, from Crete, and I leaved by plane to Turin in Italy. Actually it was not my first time in Athens; the previous visit went back to 1997.
Athens is immense, considering Athens plus Piraeus more than four million people are living there, about 35 per cent of all inhabitants of all of Greece.
After more than a week in the western part of Crete it was time to move and take some photos of the central area, in fact the second reason which I decided to visit the island its history.
The charm of Greece, everywhere, is offering the beauty of its sea associated with its millennial history. In the case of Crete, we speak of a civilization dating back over two thousand years before Christ.
Apart from this, we can not forget the Venetian and Arab vestiges in various cities on the northern coast of the island.
I really wanted to have more time to take photos and visit the eastern part of the island I voluntarily left it for the next trip, I hope I will be back in Crete sooner or later.
Even this trip to Crete has been a demonstration that Greece as a tourist destination never disappoints: great hospitality, great value for money, beautiful and wild natural environments, total relaxation. I hope these photographs can convey at least part of the beauty of the places.
After visiting the Cycladic Islands, Santorini and Rhodes; This year I could not miss the great island of Crete, the cradle of the Minoan civilization, a very ancient civilization of which little is known yet but it does not stop to fascinate me.
But first of all sea, sun, olive, good food, and many but quite many goats everywhere also around beaches.
Corsica is really a spectacular place, after being in Sicily and Sardinia could not miss the third largest island.
Reachable from Savona in six / seven hours by boat Corsica has a beautiful beach with warm, clear waters, nothing to envy to my beloved Sardinia, and is definitely a good compromise between journey and costs.
The difference is made by geology, I’m not going into details for experts, but while Sardinia is full of flat landscapes Corsica is about mountains of Alpine genealogy.
Vens is part of the municipality of Saint-Nicolas in Valle d’Aosta, a really lovely place forgotten by time, situated more than 1700 meters above see level consists of 16 inhabitants, and many abandoned houses, remember than a century ago there were almost two hundred people.
Certainly lives up to the owner of the hotel Vagneur, the family that for three generations manages this isolated and beautiful hotel.
Visiting the Cinque Terre, as I love the sea, was a great opportunity to see an area of Liguria that I had never known.
Cinque Terre is a part of the coast of the Riviera di Levante in which stands five municipalities, from west to east: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore.
I was guest of friends in Riomaggiore.
A short break by the sea, in Cannes, during a long convalescence healing from a bad fracture to heel. In October the incident happened on a mountain bike down from the hill of Turin, a winter and spring very hard to overcome, but finally a week in June insolitamete hot, like the sea.
The Tower Saint Jacques is one of the buildings in Paris that I most admire, definitely unique stands alone in the middle of the busy city, when you last expect something, a huge late gothic tower about 52 meters high.
I took advantage of a beautiful morning for a series of photos with my telephoto lens, I must say I was amazed by the good definition, considering how far the gargoyles were.
Here’s we have other photo of Paris of what I think is an incredible work of art, the timeless cathedral Notre Dame and his incredible gallery of Chimeras.
In the area of the cathedral, originally, there was a pagan temple dedicated to Jupiter, the result of construction of Lutetia by Julius Caesar after the surrender of Vercingetorix of 52 BC. The first Christian place of worship was built in the fourth century. In the seventh century, the cathedral was restored in Romanesque style. Following a fire in 857, the church of Notre Dame rebuilt as Carolingian.
The Catacombs of Paris are truly unique. Visiting Paris there is needs to try something curious and after monuments, museums, arts is not to be underestimated a tour underground.
There is a gigantic ossuary buried in the town of Paris, remains of about 6 million people, stretching for kilometers. By fact the largest cemeteries in the world occupying the remains of quarries and tunnels dug to extract the famous stone with which were constructed buildings and cathedrals.
I faced hours of queue visiting Eiffel Tower but is always an unforgettable experience. I propose several photos to a subject that certainly is among the most shooted in the world. So I tried to follow with photos about the incredible geometries.
The Eiffel Tower is known worldwide as a symbol of the city and of France itself.
Built from 1887 to 1889 for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, which was held in Paris to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution, Eiffel Tower was named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel Alexandre.
Some shots of a very nice holiday in Paris, definitely a wonderful city.
I left the photos waiting to be published far too long, I arrived in the city a week before New Year in 2015 and left the same day, few hours before, the horrific attack on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo.
Today, after one year, I find myself to see on Tv once again blood in the streets of the capital of Europe. This is probably why I decided to upload the photos online now and I will plan to return to Paris and visit what I have not done yet. They will never win.
Sardinia never stops to amaze me, and although it is the third time I go there I have to say I’m always fascinated by this ancient and mysterious land.
Traveling through its roads you can see slide in front of you remote and majestic landscapes, I wish I had more time to spend there and also the possibility to travel there more often. This time it was time for eastern Sardinia and the Gennargentu park, a really wonderful place.
After spending few days with my girlfriend relaxing near San Teodoro beach, after a quick visit to La Maddalena and Caprera islands we headed south-east to Gennargentu park.
Here’s another beautiful excursion to discover a masterpiece almost around the corner. One sunny morning decided direction Lombardy to visit Vigevano.
Piazza Ducale in Vigevano was really unaspected, really unique magnificence. I got lost to admire the frescoes along the streets, not to mention the pavement.
I used on this occasion the new telephoto lens in order to capture the details of the frescoes even at a considerable distance, definitely a great satisfaction.
I was not so impressed by this site, actually I find quite annoying climb the steps without shoes among macaque monkey excrement all over. The view is amazing but the place itself was not that much for me, definitely I do not consider it a “must see” of Myanmar.
Mt. Popa geologically is a volcano composed of basalt and basaltic andesite lava flows, along with pyroclastic deposits.
A Buddhist monastery is located at the summit of the mountain and Buddhist hermit maintained the stairway of 777 steps to the summit.
Bagan, called at that time Pagan, is an ancient city of Myanmar located in the region of Mandalay. It was the capital of several ancient Burmese kingdoms and is located in the dry central plain, on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River, 140 kilometers southwest of Mandalay.
Once in Bagan there are only bicycles or horse-drawn carts to get around and visit the hundreds of pagodas, the choice is yours. Personally I have used both options, and both are wonderful experiences, but the really spectacular thing in Myanmar former Burma, Bagan, probably the best of the whole trip, 2011, was my first sunset seen from the Pagoda Shwesandaw.
My travel along the mighty Irrawaddy river, on my way to Myanmar former Burma, Bagan, started at five in the morning. I spent on a slow boat all day and got definitely time to catch some interesting photos of people and life along the river.
I was in Bagan at nine in the evening, more than 15 hours on the river stopping by on every village between Mandalay and Bagan.
Myanmar former Burma, Mandalay, if possible, is worst then Yangon, more crowded, more polluted, more chaotic, full of noisy motorbikes and honking cars. Of course nice golden pagodas are all over like everywhere in Myanmar. Outside the city instead the countryside is really beautiful. The motorbike ride to visit surroundings of Mandalay in Amarapura, U Bein Bridge and the nearby monastery was exceptional.
Mingun is an ancient town located 11 km from Mandalay along Irrawaddy river west bank. I arrived at the end of the day in Mingun, after a ride all over Mandalay surroundings.
I was just in time to get some great shot with my camera before sunset, I was so excited to see the huge ruin of the largest stupa in the world. Definitely one of the best day in Myanmar.
I have not seen yet Bagan at that time but Mingun is definitely in the top list of Myanmar sites to visit.
I arrived in Mandalay after a 10 hours bus night ride from Myanmar former Burma, Inle lake, despite it was just 5 in the morning the bus station was crowded.
The main first notable difference from Yangon was the thousands of motorbike all around horning and beeping all the time coming in every direction. The city is a complete polluted chaotic mess that only Burmese can manage.
Inle lake is located near Nyaungshwe and Taunggyi area in Shan State of Myanmar.
I spent a few days to decide if the long bus ride from Yangon to Inle lake was a good idea. Despite being one of the best attractions in Myanmar roads are quite bad, we’re talking over 13 hours of night bus.
Once there I quickly realized that the trip was worth it, the place is truly amazing, unique, and I’m not just thinking about the landscape but also of culture, people and traditional crafts.
I arrived in Bago, the former capital of Burma, during a daily trip by taxi from Yangon. I expected to find out in Bago ancient ruins, but nothing was so far from reality and made me think a lot of Burmese and their attitude, the way to restore and repaint all the religious structures and statues. It does not matter if an ancient statue of Buddha is more than 1000 years old, it must be white and clean, it’s a matter of respect.
So, beside the chaotic intersection of two main roads and the bustling market town, it was very interesting to wander through temples thousands of years old, yet shiny and covered with fresh paint.
With a population of over four million people Yangon is the largest city and the most important center in Burma.
Yangon also known as Rangoon, is the former capital of Burma, and does not matter if officially the military government since March 2006 has relocated the administrative capital to Naypyidaw, 322 km north of Yangon.
In 2010 a U.S. State Department estimate the Yangon population at 5.5 million, despite of this Yangon’s infrastructures are really undeveloped compared with other similar cities in Asia.
Cameron Highland took its name from William Cameron, a British explorer who, in 1885, was commissioned by the colonial government to map an area of 712 square kilometers, one of the cooler hills of Malaysia.
Cameron Highland is located approximately 85 kilometers from Ipoh and about 200 km from Kuala Lumpur. It is the highest point in Malaysia which is accessible by car.
During the day the temperature rises little above 25° C, but at night can drop to below 12° C
Looking for beautiful beaches and quite disappointed by Penang’s seaside I moved with the ferry to Langkawi.
We are talking about an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea off the northwest coast of Malaysia, the largest of the islands is Pulau Langkawi. The only other inhabited island is Pulau Tuba.
Pulau Langkawi extends about 25 km north to south and slightly more from east to west. The coastal areas consist of alluvial plains dotted with limestone ridges and mountains covered with forest.
From Kuala Lumpur, after resolving the issue of visa for Burma, I moved to Penang.
The island’s history is fascinating so I probably expected too much. The city of Georgetown is chaotic and smelly with cars stuck in traffic anywhere. The pollution is unsustainable and can barely breathe.
The British were the first to reach Penang, the navigator Sir James Lancaster, on 10 April 1591, under the command of Edward Bonadventure, sailed from Plymouth for the West Indies, reached Penang in June 1592.
I was really curious to visit Taman Negara one of the oldest and most amazing national parks in Malaysia. It is huge, with 4,343 km sq of uncontaminated jungle, inside the park is present Gunung Tahan the highest point of Malay Peninsula.
In 1938 the National Park was entitled to King George V, but was later renamed in Taman Negara National Park after independence, a name that literally means “national park” in Malay language.
I just could not miss Malacca and all the history over there so I planned a full day trip from Kuala Lumpur. Regretfully I got nearly a full day of rain! Anyway my Canon did the hard job.
The historic center of Malacca was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang.
Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a fishing village inhabited by local Malays. The town was founded by Parameswara, also called Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara. He understood the importance of Malacca around 1400, the place was accessible in all seasons, located in the narrowest point of the Malacca Straits. Really a strategical place.
Batu Caves is a limestone hill 13 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur. I was there on a daily trip renting a taxi from Kuala Lumpur and have to bargain a lot to get a good price. There are also some public transport to get to Batu Caves.
The light was quite good outside but of course my Canon was forced to do miracles inside the cave where the light was really low coming down just from the opening of the ceiling.
Here we are, my second time in Kuala Lumpur. Definitely when you leave a place you never know when and how you will be back there. I have been in KL in 2007 and the reason of this second visit was mainly to get the Visa from Myanmar embassy.
I had three possible choice. One was quite expensive in Italy to get my Visa from Myanmar embassy in Rome.
The second one is to get a Myanmar Visa in Bangkok and the third one is to get the Myanmar Visa in Kuala Lumpur.
Waiting in Kuala Lumpur to obtain a visa from the embassy of Myanmar, I visited the Petronas Towers, something which I consider a truly beautiful architecture. It was not possible to go up, but I really enjoyed exploring around them taking pictures of people who work there.
The architecture of Kuala Lumpur is a blend of old colonial influences, Asian traditions, Islamic inspirations, modern and postmodern design.
It is a relatively young city compared to other Southeast Asian capitals like Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, most of Kuala Lumpur’s colonial buildings were built in the last two centuries.
During a short business trip I had the opportunity to visit southern Sardinia stopping in Cagliari, Carbonia and even Sant’ Antioco despite the inclement weather.
In the past I had been in Sardinia, and regretfully this was a really short trip, just few days, but intense. Sardinia is really beautiful, in every part and in any climate. I really hope to return as soon as possible.
The third and final step of the trip in Liguria was the medieval village of Triora. Triora is really in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the Ligurian hinterland, separated from the sea and from the Piedmont by high hills and mountains covered by dense forests.
Triora is located in the Valle Argentina, 780 above see level on the southern slope of a mountain ridge, has been rated as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The day was ending, the weather getting worst, but the Triora is definitely really lovely.
The second step of the short tour in Liguria, after a quick sandwich, was Dolceacqua a beautiful medieval village in Val Nervia.
The oldest part of Dolceacqua is dominated by the Castle of Doria, the modern town extends on the opposite bank of the river. A panorama truly distinctive and unmistakable.
Is a picturesque place indeed, Monet made his first visit in Liguria in 1883 together with Renoir, for just fifteen days. He was so impressed by the charm of the places that had just returned to Giverny, immediately showed the desire to go back, in fact, 23 January 1884, Monet was back in Bordighera.
The Italian region Liguria is a very interesting, especially the hinterland, rich in medieval villages or almost forgotten. I decided to take a nice hike discovering some, the first of these was Taggia.
The inland area is particularly rich in vegetation and interesting destinations, both in terms of landscape and natural features. With an hour’s drive you can reach the Maritime Alps.
The whole area of the upper valley Argentina is interested in the creation of the Natural Park of the Maritime Alps particularly suitable for walking activities at various levels and the practice of mountain-biking.
The fountain of Frejus located in Piazza Statuto was design by Count Marcello Panissera to commemorate the inauguration of the Frejus tunnel. It was inaugurated in 1879.
It consists of a pyramid of huge boulders coming right from the excavation of the tunnel, and is surmounted by a winged Genius overlooking the marble statues of the Titans killed: it means the triumph of reason over brutal and animal wild force.
In popular tradition this was the original meaning of the monument in Piazza Statute but people added a second one: the suffering endured by the miners to carry out the hard work.
Despite being born and raised in Turin only recently began to know the city. You have not to walk just looking around, you have to move the eye upward also.
The historic center of Turin, in particular the area occupied by Banks between Via Alfieri, Via XX Settembre, Piazza San Carlo, Palazzo Lascaris is full of strange presences: Gargoyles, monsters, devils, they are numerous, it’s disturbing to think that I passed by the very same way for years without ever notice them.
Finally you see them, the Gargoyles have always been there.
It was a beautiful day, so I decided to photograph Piazza CLN in Turin, once called, by my ancestors “Piazza of the two Churches”. It is not a large square, a minor in Turin, crossed by Via Roma. The current name is derived from the National Liberation Committee, formed in Italy by the end of fascism.
I do not live far away so I promised myself to do these shots, pictures of the small square and the fountains of rivers Po and Dora.
Turin is a strange, mysterious city, where good and evil merge, where the measure and the balance between the forces of nature and man are constantly changing and is object of attention since thousands of years. A story that could only be imbued of masonic symbols. The city of Turin is so full of esoteric symbols, demons and angels, and we have already seen some in this Web site.
In addition to the doorway of the Devil, of which we have already discussed, there is another wooden door very interesting, in Via Alfieri 19, near Piazza Solferino. A large door in solid wood where you can clearly see several masonic symbols like the square, compass, goniometer. It is said that the palace was built by the masons, but beyond that, it is really a beautiful work of craftsmanship, and it worths finding.
It’s a series of shots taken in Turin in different circumstances, a walk through the various streets of the historic center and a visit to the monumental cemetery of the city.
As I watched these photos of Torino, I immediately realized that they have to stay together, they were opposed and antithetical, but inevitably attracted by each other.
Life, game, fun, clowns, streets, church, religion, tombs.
is one of the most important squares of Turin the real center of Turin. 168 meters long and 76 wide is embedded within the road axis of the Via Roma, which connects Piazza Castello and Piazza Carlo Felice.
It is the main place for the historical and social events, rallies, demonstrations, presentations, strikes, concerts; in short, the living room of the city.
Personally it is one of my Turin favorites Piazza’s, especially since many years ago the square has become completely pedestrian, cars are not allowed.
In Turin, in via Vittorio Alfieri, stands an old building, which now houses a bank. The building has a beautiful huge, solid, dark, carved wood door.
Palazzo Trucchi di Levaldigi, this is the name of the palace in Turin, is a huge building erected in 1673 on design by Amedeo di Castellamonte and thanks to Minister of Finance of the House of Savoy.
The door is decorated with flowers, angels, fruit, but what is really amazing is the clapper in the center of the door: a polished smiling Devil. All the people of Turin known this door as doorway of the Devil.
Last winter I realized that I had never photographed the Mole Antonelliana from the royal gardens.
In this web-site you will find some more photos of Mole Antonelliana, it is virtually impossible come to Turin without photographing its symbol which makes a unique city with an unmistakable profile.
The construction of the Mole Antonelliana began in 1863, and was originally supposed to be a Jewish synagogue. The project of Mole Antonelliana proved to be time consuming and costly, and a series of changes made by Antonelli, the architect of this opera, raised the building to 113 meters.
Walking in Turin must being careful where you go, it could happen to come across not only in monsters, demons, gargoyles, but also Angels. Turin, the magical city par excellence is a set of forces of good and evil.
The Angels that I photographed are located in the historic center of Turin, to hold the balcony of the first floor of a strange building on the corner of Via Pietro Micca and Via San Francesco d’Assisi, almost in Piazza Solferino, definitely nice building.
You do not notice the building, you must know it, the palace once looked directly at one of the most beautiful squares in Torino, but now it is almost buried, obscured, hidden, by a huge and horrible fifteen-story skyscraper built in the 60s’.
After Saluzzo, along with a friend of mine, we went to visit the famous Staffarda Abbey, unfortunately the weather was not the best, it rained all day. The atmosphere was interesting, the photographs of the Abbey of Staffarda str not bad at all.
The Abbey is not in optimal conditions, especially inside, as we can see in the photographs of the windows. The atmosphere was quite serene, peaceful and relaxed, suspended in time of a site so rich in history.