Sunday, October 14

Look! Up there... Castel Gandolfo.

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NOTE: You will find in-depth descriptions of this Italian visit among the comments below. I shall try to restrict my thoughts exclusively to the image here on the main site.

Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's vacation residence, occupies a height in the Alban Hills overlooking Lake Albano about 25 miles South-East of Rome. The lake was formed when an ancient volcanic mountain collapsed. The castle was made part of the few remaining Papal holdings when the ancient power of the Popes in Italy collapsed. It sits amidst a small town in Lazio. Gandolfo shows the wear of time and while a patina of grandeur peeks through it seems to present His Holiness with the same challenge faced by all owners of old homes... The word "money-pit" resonates, eh?

I suppose the Pope is faced with a dilemma. Should he let the facade, at least, deteriorate so as not to seem to be detouring the gifts of the faithful toward maintaining an ancient opulence while millions go hungry or die from preventable diseases (diarrhea comes to mind)? Or should he restore the place to its former glory to show the significant might and influence of the Roman Church? Not to decide it to decide, eh?

2 comments:

advman said...

Ahh, good to see you back, good to see you show me Italy. In five trips to Rome I've only managed once to leave the city, but I have never been in Gandolfo. I see your guide kept you busy :)

Welcome back!

Ted Byrne said...

(Andreas) It was an important thing for me to meet both you and Irene in Firenze. The dinner was wonderful, the wine perfect and the conversation perfect-er. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your joining us from Vienna.

We travelled considerably beyond Rome in our first week going among other places to Tivoli, Milan, Assisi, Spoletto and of course Pompeii. During our second week in Florence we also travelled outward, trips I'll detail as I get to the pictures.
As you know, my MacPro went PFFFT! on October 8th in Florence and became a quite expensive paper weight, so my hopes of both continuing our discussion by email and updating this site went also PFFFT!

I got the chance to take a bus from Florence to the industrial burbs to an Apple authorized repair shop (very primitive by Apple Store standards) where my pigeon Italian and their rudimentary English concluded that I should take it back here for repairs. I have, and Apple gets the machine (mother board problems) tomorrow.

By next week or so I hope to get to posting my version of our historic shoot of Renaissance Florence at sunrise on October 7th. I'm looking forward to your posts. As you know, it is impossible for two people to take the same picture of the same thing. But I also realized how dramatically different our photographic styles are... my training is to work so very quickly, taking many pictures of the same thing while you work with far more precision... with almost the effort of a view camera worker.

Now I understand more about the exquisite detail your lens reveals in its subjects. (He uses a tripod gang! Whoa! Isn't that cheating?)

For those of you following this thread, we met first for dinner on Saturday evening that at the Duomo in Florence at sunrise on Sunda... then worked our way to the Ponte Vecchio though what is a series of ancient streets that are rimmed by some of the most expensive shopkeepers in the world. I have only just glimpsed at those photos... I am holding onto sifting through them as a sort of dessert as I consume the enormous meal of images I've brought back (somewhere between 16 and 20 gigs of RAW images) from a week first in Rome an environs and then a week in Florence (Firenze) and thereabouts. I'm hoping to work on images chronologically from our arrival on October 1 through our flight home on October 14.

I'll try to make more extensive thoughts like this one in the comments section rather than the main body where I'll attempt to restrict myself to idea gleanings about the images.

Hope this all won't bore folks silly.

Ted