Last December, we were invited to photograph behind the scenes at a unique Italian Christmas event called Precepe Viventi or live nativity. We thought that it would be a great excursion for our Rome workshop group so we added it to the itinerary. On Christmas morning, we set off from Rome for the Umbrian village of Petrignano di Assisi. Each year, the village honors the tradition of the live nativity invented by St. Francis of Assisi in the 14th century.
We are excited to announce our next photography tour, Photographing Ireland’s Wild Western Coast which will run from May 11 to May 20, 2017. We love Ireland and last May and June spent time exploring Ireland’s beautiful and rugged western coast. Ireland’s Atlantic coast is a photographer’s dream offering a vast array of photographic opportunities including landscape; seascape; wildlife, villages; ancient ruins; castles; beautiful Victorian houses and their gardens. The rugged and dramatic coastline is dotted with mountains, rivers, lakes, and quaint villages making Western Ireland the perfect environment for a photography tour. While photographing the villages, you will be welcomed by the locals. The Irish are warm and friendly hosts. Spring is a fantastic time to photograph offering us breathtaking misty mornings, lush green fields, and soft sunlight.
One of the great pleasures of traveling is sharing our favorite places with others. And one of our favorite ways to do this is to organize photography workshops. In 2014 we taught in London and Paris. For 2015 we spent ten days in December introducing nine wonderful photographers to Rome and Assisi. The best part was that we got to spend Christmas time in one of our favorite cities in the world.
Naples is a beautiful historical city on the west coast of Italy about 140 miles/225 kilometers south of Rome. When most people think of Naples, they think of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, the beautiful churches and museums, and of course the mafia. Matt and I will go back for those things, but today our visit was all about pizza.
Rome stole my heart when I was about four years old and it has never let go. There is a comfort that I feel each time I go to Rome, as if when I arrive, I will grab my suitcase off the baggage carousel and head directly to my home instead of a hotel. I sometimes wonder if the Romans aren’t just a little bit spoiled living in a city with such incredible history, architecture, food, and art. Even the weather is just about perfect most of the year. But when you visit Rome, you realize that the Romans are not spoiled. On the contrary, Romans are very willing to share their home with the world and it is most evident during the Christmas season.
It’s well known that Italians are fiercely proud of their history, food, and culture and a visit to Florence will help you to understand why. Florence is a city blessed with many masterpieces of art, architecture, and literature. You can find Michelangelo’s statue of David, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Brunelleschi’s Dome on the Duomo, Florence’s cathedral, and you can visit the home of Dante Aleghieri, author of The Divine Comedy, which is considered the greatest work of literature in the Italian language. You could also visit Florence without seeing any of these things and still understand the pride of the Italians. We spent ten days in Florence wandering the medieval streets, eating delicious food, and viewing some of the greatest art of the Renaissance.
Continue reading All Roads Lead to Rome: But First, Florence
On this trip, Matt and I have been able to visit some of the places that we have long wanted to see. For me, Brugues and Salzburg were two of those places. I have been to Austria before, but never to Salzburg. I will admit that I grew up watching The Sound of Music and as a young girl, dreamed of waltzing in the Van Trapp Family’s gazebo singing “I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. Well, I didn’t do that as the house in the movie is not the house in real life. So you are spared that detail that Matt would have made into an embarrassing video. But we did see some of the sights and a hefty amount of delicious beer.
One of the best reasons to visit Northern Europe from mid-November through December is the Christmas markets. As we were planning our trip through Europe, I wanted to be sure that we would be in a place that had a Christmas market so Matt could finally see what I have been going on about for all the years that we have been together. I loved them when I was a little girl living in Germany and I wanted to see them again. After some research, we figured that Vienna would be the perfect choice because it has more than one Christmas Market.
I know the history. I have seen Schindler’s List. When I was a girl, I visited Dachau. None of that prepared me for visiting Auschwitz. Being there felt like all of the historical tragedies of the past few hundred years were smothering me. There isn’t much left of the camp, but what remains sucked the oxygen from the air and from my lungs. I searched for open space, an escape, a moment to catch my breath, but it was impossible. Everywhere I looked, I was bound by brick, barbed wire, or electrified fences. Escape would not have been possible.
Yesterday we were nominated for a peer-reviewed blogger award, the Liebster Award. We would very much like to thank Ankita of Transforming Escapes for recognizing our rookie efforts at travel blogging. We have been spending the past month in Bali writing, editing photos, and working on our blog’s functionality. We are proud of this achievement and the nomination from a fellow travel blogger. We would also like to nominate two blogs we have enjoyed.