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.
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