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Showing posts from June, 2013

Festival in Florence

Where have I been?
I've been away traveling and completing my final projects for school.

What did I do during my time away?
I traveled to Austria and Germany. Hopefully, I will have time to post about my travels.
I also spent some time photographing a festival in Florence. This festival was in honor of San Giovanni the patron saint of Florence. Usually there is a historic soccer game, but it was cancelled due to some really crazy thunderstorms that rolled into town just before the game was going to start.
Thankfully the storms didn't stay long. The sky cleared just in time for the evening fireworks show.
Here are a few (unedited) pictures from the festival.

Lemons, Oranges, Islands & Sun

I spent the weekend in Sorrento, Pompeii and on the Island of Capri. All of these cities are beautiful places with a severe lack of free wifi/ internet access. In Sorrento trees full of oranges lined the streets. In Capri the ocean was clear and the color of sapphires.
Now that I have returned to Florence I will probably be blogging more regularly again.
After a few days by the ocean it was difficult to return to class, but today we had a great guest lecture about the Italian mafia. I may write a little more about it later when I have the time to sit down and sort my thoughts.
On a totally different note, I will be traveling to Austria and Germany this weekend if all of the hotel room/ train ticket travel plans work out.

Oranges in Pompeii. These were located at stand that makes fresh squeezed orange juice and buffalo mozzarella pizza.

On the Island of Capri.

Lovers arch. We took a boat tour all around the island and got to pass under this giant arch.

Sorrento lemon orchard. Sorrent…

Night Photography in Florence


On Sunday my friends and I took a break from the busy city life of Florence.
We boarded a bus around 8 a.m. and headed off to see the Tuscan countryside.
Our first stop was in a small town called Pienza.
Pienza is the top producer of Pecorino cheese. There are cheese shops everywhere, and even the town itself smells a bit like cheese. There is also a cheese sport that the men participate in that involves rolling a wheel of cheese toward a stick. I'm still not sure how it works, but I do know it must be a lot more difficult that it looks. It seems that cheese wheels are generally not very cooperative.
After Pienza we were on our way to Salcheto Winery. This was probably the scariest part of the trip mostly because the charter bus we were on got stuck going uphill and most of the trip there was spent driving on winding dirt roads with high cliffs on either side of the bus. Somehow we made it to Salcheto Winery unscathed, and only had to get off the bus once so it could drive up a …

Monday Through Thursday From 3-6 p.m.

When I am not roaming the streets of Florence sampling Italian cuisine, writing, looking through a camera lens or sitting at a cafe sipping a latte, I am in class. At my university I am enrolled in two classes: Advanced Magazine Editing and Media Photography. Both classes are challenging and enjoyable in their own ways.
The objective of the advanced magazine editing class is to create a complete magazine about the Florence study abroad experience for future study abroad students. At first I thought it would be boring for the first few weeks, but it has been fascinating. Currently, we are working with another student who wants to make a documentary about the Madonnari or street artists of Florence. So far, we have compiled a list of questions for an interview we will be setting up with one of the most well known street artists of Florence.
In my media photography class we are moving a little bit slower, learning concepts class by class and not jumping into everything head first. We go …

The View From Above

Late Post: This was supposed to be published the day I wrote it when I was in Italy. Unfortunately the internet was moody and decided to save it a a draft instead....
So here it is now months later.

After hiking up a really steep hill to Michelangelo's Plaza, I had the chance to shoot some sunset and night photos. This was my first nighttime photo shoot. I will soon have some amazing pictures, if they turn out how I think they did.

During the day, I crashed a fashion photo shoot with my photography class. It was interesting getting to see the different aspects of live outdoor photography and photo shoots. I tried my best to sneak a shot, but I couldn't get my camera to cooperate. The area was crowded and, as you can see in the photo above, the lighting was harsh so everyone had lovely raccoon eyes.

A longer and more detailed post should appear on my blog soon. Right now sleep is my priority. Starting at 4 a.m. the alleyway by my becomes a bottomless pit of construction sounds…

Navigating Italy

The larger towns in Italy are composed of tiny side-by-side shops that line streets so narrow that anything bigger than a MINI Cooper will struggle to wind its way through. Outside of these larger towns lies the sudden, sprawling, countryside which intermingles with various industrial fortresses. As I rode the bus to Florence I would see a lone field full of crops, a small farmhouse, then nothing but trees and flowers, and out of nowhere a Prada factory.
So different from Texas, but charming in its own way.
Adjusting to college was surprisingly more difficult than adjusting living in Italy. However, there have been a few funny and slightly embarrassing experiences my new friends and I have had since arriving in this foreign land.

It was our first day in Rome. My friends and I had just sat down outside of a cute cafe for a quick lunch. The waiter brought us a menu, we ordered our food, received our meal, finished eating and waited for our check. We talked about our afternoon plans and…

I'm On a Boat (And a Train)

Vatican City & Florence Photo Diary

Before entering Vatican City everyone had to go through metal detectors and get their bags checked. It reminded me of going through airport security which instantly stressed me out. However, once I entered Vatican City, I realized it was actually a peaceful place, and a really nice break from the busy Roman city life I had been running through the day before. As we toured the city it was very calm and happy. I felt as if I was at Disneyland except there were no crazy carnival rides, just beautiful works of art. Instead of Disney princesses and cartoon characters around every corner, there were statues and cheerful security guards.
While I was in Vatican City I was able to see the Vatican City Museum, The Sistine Chapel (no pictures) and St. Peter's Basilica.
I loved the beautiful paintings done by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel! Since I don't have any pictures use this link to see what I saw.

Rome to Florence

Today I traveled by bus to Florence, Italy. Florence is where I will be spending the remainder of my time in Italy and I couldn’t be more excited. I have moved into my new apartment that overlooks a very (very, very) busy and loud street. During our last dinner in Rome I had some time (3 hours to be exact, dinners take a lot longer in Italy than in the states) to discuss my favorite sights with all of my new friends. I loved getting to see the Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum, but I’ve decided my favorite sight in Rome was the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or “Fountain of the Four Rivers”. This beautiful fountain is located in the Piazza Navona. The Piazza Navona area is also home to many street artists and a fantastic cafĂ© that has the best hot chocolate. The Fountain of the Four Rivers was sculpted by the artist Bernini and has so much symbolism and hidden features it is impossible to spot it all in one visit. As you can see in my pictures the fountain features sculptures of men. Each …