Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Presidential Visit


Yesterday I went to see the visit of the Italian President to Reggio Emilia. He was here to celebrate the 220th anniversary of the invention of the Italian Flag. I was not interested in the tired ritual of the official visit, but I wanted to see a huge 1700-metre-long flag that was hauled through town.

I caught the preparations for the flag quite by accident as they were unfurling it just outside the bar where I have breakfast. I took a few shots on the iPhone.
 
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations.
 
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations
The disruption in town was tremendous with crowd barriers dividing the city in two along with a massive police presence. One really got the feeling of the isolation of the establishment from the unwashed masses behind the barriers.
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations
I managed to get a good position to see the procession of our local worthies before the agitation of the guys in dark shades left us in no doubt that the top dogs were arriving. I also narrowly avoided getting interviewed by the local TV who to their rhetorical questions expected a rhetorical patriotic response to generate a bit of “fake news”.
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

President Mattarella, Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations
Seeing one of these visits is quite interesting and instructive to see the stage management of these events and the distorted vision I got from reading the local newspaper this morning.
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations
Then the flag arrived down the Via Emilia, our high street. It was quite an impressive sight. The road from start to finish was green white and red. Quite an impressive sight, almost impossible to describe in a photograph.
Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations

Reggio Emilia 7th January flag day celebrations
My wife and a friend who I met for an aperitive afterwards were concerned that I might be suffering from a nasty dose of patriotism.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Another Year has Passed

The year started with a visit to Genova. The seaside out of season is always interesting, especially the Italian Riviera. We stayed in Quarto, where Garibaldi embarked with his "thousand" to start the reunification of Italy

Quarto, Genova

Quarto, Genova


Quarto, Genova
From the sea to the Appennines with some snow and ice at Cerreto Laghi.

Passo Cerreto, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

"I Ricinti"  above Valbona are always a good place to do some photography

Monte Cusna from Valbona,RE


Valbona,RE

Monte Cusna from Valbona,RE

Monte Cusna from Valbona,RE
A return to the bridge by Calatrava in Reggio Emila

Ponte di Calatrava, Reggio Emilia

Ponte di Calatrava, Reggio Emilia

Ponte di Calatrava, Reggio Emilia
Also another photo session at the Ceramic Crown by Libeskind

Ceramic Crown, Casalgrande,RE

Ceramic Crown, Casalgrande,RE

Ceramic Crown, Casalgrande, RE

Unwelcome anniversaries in Piazza in Reggio Emila

Reggio Emila

Reggio Emila

Reggio Emila
 
Looking at the sky at Bianello
 
 
 

Above the clouds on Monte Cavalbianco in Febuary 
 
Monte Cavalbianco,RE

Monte Cavalbianco,RE

Monte Cavalbianco,RE

Monte Cavalbianco,RE

Monte Cavalbianco,RE
In March I climbed the bell tower of the Ghiara in Reggio Emila
 
Ghiara, Reggio Emilia

Ghiara, Reggio Emilia

Ghiara, Reggio Emilia

Ghiara, Reggio Emilia
Took 3 pictures of the inside before being told "no photography allowed".
 
Ghiara, Reggio Emilia

Ghiara, Reggio Emilia
Went to San Benedetto Po to see the inside of this fantastic monastery
 
San Benedetto Po, MN

San Benedetto Po, MN

San Benedetto Po, MN

San Benedetto Po, MN

San Benedetto Po, MN

San Benedetto Po, MN
At the end of March I came across the Rocca Di San Secondo, an unknown gem near Parma
 

San Secondo, PR

San Secondo, PR

San Secondo, PR

San Secondo, PR

San Secondo, PR
 
Spring means flowers, which I found on a walk near home in the foothills above Reggio
 
Borzano,RE

Borzano,RE

Borzano,RE

Borzano,RE

Borzano,RE



 Spring met winter up at Lago Pranda
 
Passo Cerreto, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

Lago Pranda, RE

Lago Pranda, RE
 
Found Spring up at the Castello di Carpineti

Carpineti, RE

Carpineti, RE

Carpineti, RE
Found the "stone footballs" near Ramiseto. A curious geological formation.


Taviano,RE

Taviano,RE

Taviano,RE

Even places very near to home like the seemingly squalid little river Crostolo that flows through Reggio Emilia can be interesting to photograph.

Crostolo, Reggio Emilia

Crostolo, Reggio Emilia

Crostolo, Reggio Emilia

Crostolo, Reggio Emilia
Revisited the Palazzo Ducale di Sassuolo where some more rooms have been opened. This is another hidden jewel of a place.


Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, MO

Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, MO

Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, MO

Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, MO


Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, MO

Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, MO
July is the time when I get some time to walk in the Apennines.

The first was an epic 12 hour hike from Abetone to Passo Croce Arcana and back along a rather brutish part of the 00 footpath.

Libro Aperto, MO

Libro Aperto, MO

Libro Aperto, MO

Libro Aperto, MO

The second July outing was to Monte Sole near Bologna. A place were the worst second world war massacre of civilians in Western Europe took place in 1944. A sobering place to visit.

Monte Sole Marzabotto, BO

Monte Sole Marzabotto, BO

Monte Sole Marzabotto, BO

Monte Sole Marzabotto, BO

Monte Sole Marzabotto, BO

Monte Sole Marzabotto, BO
A classic walk for me is from Lago Santo Modenese to Lago Nero in the province of Pistoia. The Tosco Emilian Apennines at their most beautiful.

Lago Ballano, MO

Lago Ballano, MO



Lago Nero, PT 
I visited a place that had been on my bucket list for ages. Sirmione has the remains of a huge Roman villa set on a fantastic location on the south end of lake Garda.

Lago di Garda, Sirmione, BS

Lago di Garda Sirmione, BS

Sirmione, BS

Sirmione BS

Sirmione BS

Lago di Garda.
Near Reggio Emilia the monument remembering a Second Wold War massacre of civilians has been brought to life with the photo's of the victims.
Bettola, RE
Marzabotto near Bologna has the remains of an Etruscan city.

Marzabotto, BO

Marzabotto, BO
In  September it was time for our annual holiday in the Valle d'Aosta.

Val Ferret, AO

Passo Gran San Bernardo, AO



Passo Piccolo San Bernardo



Rèmes Notre Dame,AO
 Mantua- Mantova was the Italian capital of culture this year.

Mantova

Mantova

Mantova

Mantova

Mantova

River Po

Cassio with its strange geological formations made for a curious autumn afternoon.

Cassio, PR

Cassio, PR

Cassio, PR

Cassio, PR

On an afternoon where everything went perfectly I climbed the castle Castello di Carpineti castle keep and saw the autumn colours in the Apennines.

Castello di carpineti,RE

Carpineti,RE

Carpineti,RE

Carpineti,RE
December started with a misty afternoon climb up the Pietra di Brismantova

Pietra di Brismantova,RE

Pietra di Brismantova,RE

Pietra di Brismantova,RE


Work took me to Busseto, the birthplace of verdi

Busseto, PR

Busseto, PR

Busseto, PR
I fitted in a short trip to the UK after a long absence.

London

London

Bath

Bath
Above Scandiano hidden away lies a strange geological landscape that is always interesting to explore.

Montebabbio,RE

Montebabbio,RE

Montebabbio,RE
The year ended with an afternoon in Florence and Christmas in the Valle d' Aosta.

Firenze

Firenze

Firenze

Firenze

Valle, d'Aosta

Valle, d'Aosta

Valle, d'Aosta