Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shadow Shot Sunday 211 - Pisa


Where can you find this rather striking geometric pattern of shadows??


Well it belongs to a bench in an art corner of Pisa.....


opposite a rather delightful jazzy gigantic Keith Haring mural entitled "Life" - perhaps not the kind of art typically associated with Renaissance Italy....


More posts will depict the more typical architectural shots of Pisa, Italy, but in the meantime enjoy the other shots submitted to Shadow Shot Sunday...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer in Saorge....


Finding a great spot for a cup of tea with a view is always part of my daytrip summer sojourns up in the mountains around Nice - and this cafe in the delightful medieval village of Saorge with its antique tea-set was just perfect....


Here is the charming village of Saorge nestled in the green hills of the Roya valley, and wandering around the quiet, narrow streets, be prepared to be astonished by the resplendent architecture and setting at every twist and turn...




Saorge is a short train ride from Nice on le train des merveilles - the journey takes about 50 minutes. Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Escape into the Esterel....


Whenever it gets too hot and humid or too busy and crowded down on the coast of the Riviera, it becomes time to head for the hills - and one such perfect escape is into the Esterel - a National park in the Massif de l'Esterel....


The Massif de l"Esterel, with its characteristic richly red rocks, stretches West from Cannes and Mandlieu to St Raphael and Frejus - an area of volcanic rocks with porphyry giving the rocks its distinctive colour. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and the perfect place for a peaceful walk....


A place of tranquility and serenity....


There will probably be a lot more posts like this as tourist season heats up....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Posing on the Croisette - Cannes


Who is this here posing on the Croisette at the Cannes Film Festival??


Who has created these rather arresting and striking creatures??


They are sculptures by "Rabarama" - the pseudonym of Italian contemporary artist Paola Epifani from Rome who was exhibiting at galeries Bartoux in Cannes during the recent Film Festival....


Her work is characterised by these large sculptures of posed figures - men, women and strange hybrid creatures whose skin is decorated and patterned with symbols, letters, designs, and hieroglyphs...


Check out the Galeries Bartoux who host very interesting contemporary exhibitions, and check out more of Epifani's work at her website www.rabarama.com . PS - Here are the more conventional posers from the Croisette amidst the glitz and glamour of the Cannes Film Festival - Enjoy!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pietrasanta - tiny town, big art....



Tuscany is well known for all its treasure-houses of art, but a little off the beaten track I discovered a tiny town in Tuscany with big, big art. Pietrasanta is a little place on the coast between La Spezia and Pisa with one large piazza and duomo, and a long, long tradition of art....


Currently on offer is the grand exhibition entitled "Lapidarium" by Mexican sculptor Gustavo Aceves consisting of huge installations of horses in bronze on huge slabs of local marble on display throughout the town. There are many galleries, artist studios, bronze foundries and studios where sculptors can cast their works in marble - a tradition first started here by Michelangelo...


Many artists and sculptors have moved here or have a studio here - one such being the Colombian artist Botero who reputedly likes to hang out at the bar Serendipity on the piazza, and celebrated his 80th birthday here two years ago with a grand exhibition of his work. His "warrior" still stands in one of the piazzas.....


In the small church named Misercordia are two comic murals by Botero - one of Heaven and one of Hell - the one of Hell, whereby Botero casts himself as the Devil, is particularly striking in its iconography... notice the detail of  Adolf Hitler who is burning in Hell (bottom right)...


I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Pietrasanta and will keep an eye out for forthcoming exhibitions - who indeed can resist a place which welcomes you as soon as you leave the train station with this cool "polo mint" sculpture in marble by a Japanese artist...it is definitely a place to which I would love to return soon...


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Step Back in Time......Peille Day


One of the most delightful aspects of living in Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes is that once you have explored all the beauty of the coast, nipped frequently into Italy, and done that glamorous jet-setting thing of breakfasting in France, lunching in Monaco, and dining in Italy, it is time to head for the hills.....


and step back in time as you go Medieval.....


Exploring these villages in the arriere pays (back country) is a sheer delight as you walk the cobbled lanes, follow the twisting alleys, emerge into the atmospheric squares...and just quite happily while away an afternoon.....


Peille is only half an hour from Nice - Take the 116 bus from Vauban Bus Station - Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cinque Terre - village hopping....

If you get the chance don't miss out on the joy of village hopping in the Cinque Terre region of Italy - a group of 5 beautiful perched cliff top villages which can easily be visited in just one day - either by train or by boat. Unfortunately the beautiful coastal path is still closed after the devastating storms, landslides and flooding of 2011, but the higher mountain paths are now open for hiking. Here are the famous five from East to West.....

Riomaggiore


Manarola


Corniglia


Vernazza


Monterosso


You can eat extremely well in each village - the seafood and local wine are both delicious, plus there is always a cliff edge bar with a stunning sea vista for that early evening aperitvo - namely a glass of chilled prosecco - Cheers!!