Monday, March 27, 2017

A House on a Lake. Vasca di Corbelli


Every year the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) open places that are not usually possible to visit. This year in Reggio Emilia, it was possible to visit the “Vasca di Corbelli” a curious country house built on an island in the middle of a huge artificial lake. I have passed this house many times and so an opportunity to see inside was not to be missed.

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE
This house is part of a complex commissioned by the Dukes of Modena in the mid Eighteenth century comprising of two villas and a huge palace. Only a small part remains of the palace and the other villa houses of all things a ham factory. The “Vasca” has survived quite well.

Vasca di Corbelli, RE
Like many of these villas classed as  a“Casino”, most of the house is taken up by a huge main hall which extends upwards two stories. The small side rooms house the dining room, lounges and bedrooms. These were houses built to hold parties and not to be lived in.

The main hall. Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE
Entrance hall, Vasca di Corbelli, RE

The nearby Palace of Rivalta was built in 1724 by Rinaldo d’Este Duke of Modena for his daughter in law, Carlotta Aglae d’Orleans. The lake was built to supply water to the fountains and lakes of the Ducal Palace. The house on the island in the lake was added as a secluded retreat by Carlotta's husband Francesco III some years later when he became the duke. As it was completely surrounded by water a large galleon was used as the only access the villa. Privacy was guaranteed here.

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Local products. Vasca di Corbelli, RE
Dining room.Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Dining room.Vasca di Corbelli, RE
Vasca di Corbelli, RE
In the space of fifty years and two generations, the reigning Duke of Modena was short of money and was forced to sell to the house to a certain Corbelli. The fa├žade of the house was altered to its present state and most of the frescoes we see inside date from Corbelli’s ownership.

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE
Vasca di Corbelli, RE
A series of owners succeed Corbelli and the house eventually became a night club. The House was only connected to the dry land with a causeway after the Second World War.
 
Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasco di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE
The frescoes dating from the late eighteenth century are quite interesting, particularly the “grotesques” which seemed to me like a cartoonish copy of the Fifteenth century ones I have seen at Torrechiara for example, but not without a certain charm.
One of the few original frescoes.Vasca di Corbelli, RE
Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

Vasca di Corbelli, RE

These FAI events are incredibly popular. I was glad I went early, as there was a huge queue when I came out. Being crowded it was incredibly difficult to photograph the inside. But the house was well worth the visit.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Carnival again




A visit to the Castelnovo di Sotto Carnival which takes place in the three weeks before Lent is always good fun and is also interesting to photograph.

This is a typical Italian carnival, far more typical than the Venice carnival. Huge carnival floats are towed around the centre of this small town each one blaring deafening music of the worst kind. It is all very raucous. 
 
Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE
One has to watch out as lots of paper confetti gets thrown from the floats and it is impossible to remove. I still find bits of it in my camera bag after two years.
Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE
This year I wanted to do something different with my photographs to try and emphasise the bright colours of the floats.
Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE

Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE
 Best to avoid getting the "bath" though.
Carnival, Castelnovo di Sotto, RE
 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Monte Prampa


I decided that on Sunday I would try to catch some snow again in the mountains before it disappears completely. But I could not decide where to catch it. It was Monte Cavalbianco or Monte Prampa.

Driving up the SS63 I caught sight of a gleaming Monte Cusna. So, Monte Prampa just under Cusna won the day.

The first leg of the climb from the road above Mont Orsaro is very steep. It seemed to be clear of snow, but as I climbed up the shadowy valley the snow started to become quite deep and difficult.




Monte Prampa, RE




Monte Prampa, RE
Just at the right moment another walker appeared, better equipped than me. He kindly lent me a hiking stick that made the climb a lot easier. Thanks again Mauro if you read this post.

So, for the first time ever I did a hike in company.

The climb up to Mont Prampa from the pass was a lot steeper than I remembered, but the view was as splendid as ever. Pity about the smog coming up from the Po Valley which was quite noticeable.


Monte Prampa, RE


Monte Prampa, RE


Monte Prampa, RE


Monte Prampa, RE
Having reached the top, the next thing was to get down before it got dark. We took the longer but easier path down following the footprints of a man and his dog who had preceded us, which was lucky as the red and white trail markers were mostly under the snow.
Monte Prampa, RE
 

Monte Prampa, RE



Monte Prampa, RE



Monte Prampa, RE
Monte Prampa, RE



Monte Prampa, RE
 
I will have to get a walking pole as they really took the weight off my kneecap that sometimes suffers after a steep decent.