Saturday, December 9, 2017

On a film set. Commessagio


Just a few kilometres north of  Sabbioneta, Vespasiano Gonzaga’s perfect city in the Po Valley is the small village of Commessagio. It is an agricultural centre just like many around Mantova(Mantua). But the entrance to the village is via a boat bridge, a curiosity that makes it worth a visit.

Commessagio, Mantova.

Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova

The countryside around here is criss-crossed with irrigation and drainage canals, some of them quite large. This area like much of the Po Valley was marshland in ancient times. Over the centuries farming land has been reclaimed. Commessagio sits on a major irrigation canal that dates back to the fifteenth century at least.
Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova
Commessagio, Mantova
When you arrive at the boat bridge, you see a huge brick fortified tower on the other side. This was built by Vespasiano Gonzaga in 1583  to protect the canal crossing and more importantly it was a sign of the power of this local ruler. The whole scene is quite spectacular.
Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova
This backdrop was used by the all-round Italian intellectual Pasolini for his grotesquely unwatchable art film “Salo, 120 days of Sodom” an adaption of the work by the Marchese de Sade transposed to the dying days of Italian Fascism. Pasolini was murdered in murky circumstances soon after the completion of this film in 1975. The place has hardly changed.
Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova
A nice surprise was that the tower was open and one can climb up to the top for a nice view of the surrounding countryside.
Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova

Commessagio, Mantova
 
The Po Valley around Mantova has a certain undescribed sleepy atmosphere, Commessagio was no exception.
River Po,Viadana Mantova
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First Snow


We had our first snow of the year in the Tosco Emilian Apennines last week. So, a trip up into the mountains to catch some snow scenes was obligatory. I had a nice sunny day as well.

I went to the “Recinti” (enclosures) above Valbona RE one of my favourite places for snowy landscapes. I had intended to go to the Cerreto pass, but it was covered in cloud coming in from Tuscany as it is often.

This is a strange place with the landscape divided into small fields using large wooden posts and wire. But the views here are wonderful.

The sun soon disappeared behind a mountain, one of the drawbacks to photographing in the mountains.

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

Valbona,RE

































Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Autumn with a bang at the Comunella

Sunday was just the day to catch the Autumn colours in the Apennines.

I decided to take a walk that starts at the Pradarena pass and heads east to the Passo Comunella. Nothing too strenuous and there are some great views here.

The Autumn has almost passed to winter up there and in a few days the Beach forests will be leafless.

As in the past in this period I came across the Tuscan hunters waiting to ambush the Woodpigeons as they use the mountain passes to migrate south. I saw a pair have a lucky escape from the barrage of lead. A quick retreat to try another day!

The rest of the walk was far more peaceful.

Passo Pradarena, RE

Passo Pradarena, RE

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC


Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Passo Pradarena,RE

Passo Pradarena, RE

Passo Comunella, RE/MC

Montecagno, RE

Montecagno, RE