In Florence, art is everywhere you look. There are world renowned museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, the Bargello, the Bardini, the Palazzo Vecchio…like 72 museums. Then there are the churches, grand cathedrals to small neighborhood churches, that contain incredible Renaissance art by Italian masters. In nearly every piazza there are statues commemorating historical events or wealthy donors.
If that wasn’t enough, there are also guys that make-believe they are statues.
Photographing in museums
I love to photograph visitors interacting with pieces of art. They are usually so engaged with the art, they don’t notice me with my camera. The intensity of studying a piece of art, the human body contrasting with marble, the funny juxtaposition of a small child and a giant sculpture make for great photographs.
On the left, a bored museum guard guards a ancient sarcophagus at the Uffizi Gallery. On the right, the unexpected gesture contrasts against a wall of architectural statues at the Bargello Museum.
The invasion of the cellphone camera intrigued me. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would spend their precious time in front of Botticelli’s iconic Venus taking a lousy photograph with their phone, instead of admiring the surprising details of the original painting. I guess it is to prove they were there. They may have only glanced at the 9 foot wide masterpiece, but they can always look at it later on their 3 inch screen.
I’ve been to Italy 4 times. I’ve been to Tuscany before, but not to Florence. Travelers have been visiting this small city for a thousand years and it’s been on my wish list for nearly as long.
Quintessentially Italian: a Vespa on a ancient, narrow street.
I arrived by train and I had rented an AirBnB apartment in the Oltrarno neighborhood. Oltrarno, meaning Beyond the Arno, is on the other side of the Arno River from the main historic center. It is less crowded then the Centro Storico, without the crush of street vendors hawking tourist junk and the harried tourists looking for cappuccini. On the block where I stayed was a cute trattoria, a friendly cafe and two little markets where I could get delicious tomatoes and artichokes.
It was very hot and I learned to do what Italians do: take a siesta from 1 to 4 pm in the hottest part of the day. The Italians call it sonnellino pomeridiano. At 4, the shops reopen and commerce begins again.
Evenings are for strolling and everyone makes use of the piazzas and bridges to hang out and socialize. A couple catches a private moment on the Santa Trinita Bridge, with the famous and picturesque Ponte Vecchio in the background.
These couples steal some time at the Piazzale Michelangelo, a popular hilltop park that has the classic view of the city and fills up with hundreds of visitors at sunset. The massive Duomo, the iconic symbol of Florence, towers over the daintier, low rise sprawl of Florence’s Renaissance architecture.
The Dolomites is a mountain range in northern Italy, near the border with Austria. Hiking in Europe has long been a dream of mine and in late June I traveled to Dobbiaco in northern Italy, very close to the Austrian border. German is more commonly spoken here, but the cappuccino is definitely Italian.
The Dolomites are limestone mountains that are not as tall as the Alps, but are very dramatic; marked by sharp needle-like summits and tall spires. The trails are wide and smooth and go for miles, between fields of wildflowers and cows with bells on their necks or above the tree line.
We did a 6 mile hike circumnavigating the famous Tre Cime di Laveredo, or Three Chimneys. It is a beautiful hike. And the best part is, at the hike’s midpoint at 7,700 feet, there is a restaurant, part of an extensive system of huts throughout these mountains, called “Rifugios.” I don’t know if it was the view, the exertion, or the novelty, but I swear the meal I had, Tagliatelle with Venison Ragout, was one of the best meals I had in Italy.
Come in for Summer Senior Portraits Days!
Take advantage of major discounts while you can…the photo session fee normally $169!
July – Session fee $49
August – Session fee $69
September – Session fee $89
DID YOU KNOW…
- You don’t have to use the yearbook photos you took at school.
- Phil Cantor’s senior yearbook portraits are guaranteed to be accepted by Montclair High School. We’ll even submit them for you!
- You get an hour of shoot time inside the studio and out, free wardrobe advice and THREE wardrobe changes during the session. We take the time to make you look your best.
- LOVE your portraits or your money back – guaranteed!
- PLUS you receive a FREE Consultation before your session!
Don’t be stuck with a stiff yearbook picture!
Want to learn more about getting YOUR Senior Portrait? We’ll be happy to send you more info, as well as schedule a FREE consultation, so we can discuss all of the details!