From A Distance

For Becky’s November Squares: Walking: The Chianti Hills, Tuscany, Italy.

Always Look Up: The Heights of Santa Croce

This may seem like a strange image in a post about looking up. But it tells a story, a story of the 1966 flood that devastated Florence, destroying or damaging millions of books and manuscripts and countless works of art.

Look up to the highest label on the wall. That is the high water mark, about 22 ft., on November 4, 1966. Lower sections of buildings and damaged art works are still undergoing restoration.

The frescoes in the chancel above the high altar and its vaulte dome are beautiful.

The Baroncelli Chapel, by Taddeo Gaddi, shows scenes from the life of Mary. The three following photos show details from the frescoes.

Transept and side chapels have ceiling frescoes depicting the lives of the saints and the four evangelists.

The central dome of the Pazzi Chapel and its chancel dome. Designed by Brunelleschi but not finished until after his death, (1443-1478), the chapel is one of the earliest Florentine Renaissance structures.

The giant crucifix wooden by Cimabue (c. 1265) was heavily damaged in the flood. Over 60 percent of the paint was lost. Even after extensive restoration, damage is still visible. It is considered one of greatest losses from the flood. It now hangs high in the sacristy.

The Renaissance arches of the second cloister.

Dievole Wine Resort in the Hills of Chianti Classico

I spent the last week at a photo workshop at the Dievole Wine Resort in the verdant hills of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. It was an incredibly beautiful and restful location for both the workshop and for just being. Lovely rooms, great staff, and delicious food. It is within an easy drive to Siena, San Giminagno, and several small hill towns.

Il Duomo, a Medieval Masterpiece in Siena, Italy

Chianti Classico Winery

I am taking a photo workshop at the Dievole Wine Resort in the Chianti Classico hills north of Siena, Italy. It is a beautiful and relaxing place.

The view from my room.

The winery produces whites and reds and uses steel, wood, and cement barrels. We had a tasting and tour this afternoon.

Ouarzazet: Making Movies in Morocco

Did you know one of the largest film studios in the world is in rural Morocco. Atlas Studios is in Ouarzazet. Scenes from Babel, Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones and many other films have been shot in the area.

Atlas Studio

CLA Studio nearby

Set used as Jerusalem. Atlas saves many sets and has tours.

Parts of Gladiator were filmed at Ait Ben Haddou, a historic village along old caravan route. It is a Unesco site.

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