Venice to Florence, Italy, stops along the drive

Posted on 22 Jul ’12 by Earl Moore

Earl Moore Photography
Small Italian town south of Venice

The drive from Venice, Italy, to Florence, Italy was our first real introduction to rural Italy.  When we drove from Milan to Venice it was late evening via toll highways which offered few views of the areas we were were passing through.  For our drive to Florence we selected secondary roads to enjoy some of the flavors of smaller Italian towns and countryside.

Earl Moore Photography
Castello Estense – Ferrara, Italy

Brief stops along the way included Castle Estense or Castle of Saint Michele in Ferrara, Italy, and the Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi in Bologna, Italy.  We ventured inside both the Castle and the Basilica but photos were only allowed in the Castle.

Earl Moore Photography
Castello Estense, Tower

The castle was built in stages beginning in the late 1300’s and was at one point in time a “proper”  castle with moat, drawbridge and “populated” dungeons.

Earl Moore Photography
Front of Castello Estense

The dungeons were a little unnerving knowing so many people suffered and died there in almost total darkness crowded, maltreated and/or tortured. The dungeon window below admitted a little light but some dungeon cells had no windows.

Earl Moore Photography
Dungeon window, Castello Estense

The brick floor of the hallway leading to the dungeons is captured below showing the wear over the ages. Can you imagine the stories of lost souls it could tell.

Earl Moore Photography
Floor of hallway leading to the dungeons – Castello Estense, Ferrara, Italy

Of course the rooms and upper floors of the castle were wonderfully light and rich for the privileged ruling families.

Earl Moore Photography
Upper floor hallway – Castello Estense – Ferrara, Italy

There were even areas where family and guest could enjoy the outdoors privately and safely.

Earl Moore Photography
Citris garden balcony, Castello Estense – Ferrara, Italy

I’m not sure if this staircase is part of the original structure or if it was added at some later date but it was nicely done.  The young woman in red is definitely a much later addition.

Earl Moore Photography
Courtyard staircase – Castello Estense – Ferrara, Italy

A couple of Italian “flavor” photos from Bologna follow. The area around the Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi, where we drove, was like a maze and our GPS was totally useless as we went in circles on very narrow streets trying to exit.

Earl Moore Photography
Tower & Arch – Bologna, Italy
Earl Moore Photography
Warm walkway, Bologna, Italy

This last photo is for any interested photographers to give some idea of the DR and capabilities of the Olympus E-M5. This was shot down a dark thick stone window slit with bright noon sun outside, and the E-M5 still picked up most of the details from beyond the slit while retaining detail of the shadows in the stone wall.   I expected the highlights of the window slit to be blown out.  This photo was only slightly adjusted in Lightroom 4.

Earl Moore Photography
Window Slit in wall – Castello Estense – Ferrara, Italy

 

What Others Are Saying

  1. Paul Maxim 22 Jul ’12 at 10:20 am

    Again, a really good set of images that demonstrate a remarkable DR for this camera. The “warm walkway” photograph is especially good. I’m not sure my Cano9n 5D MK II can capture that much tonality.

    I love the “hallway to the dungeons”, by the way. Like you, when I see these kinds of things my mind tries to imagine the people who had to walk through this passageway under less than pleasant circumstances. I can’t imagine the terror that some of them must have gone through.

    • Earl 22 Jul ’12 at 11:02 am

      Thanks, Paul. I was so absorbed by the “warm walkway” I fell well behind my little group of traveling companions and had to hurry to catch up — partly because I had to wait for them to disappear down and around the walkway to capture this shot.

      If inanimate objects could ever absorb the physic or emotional energies of events around them then this dungeon hallway would be one of those spots. ;-)

  2. Monte Stevens 22 Jul ’12 at 2:40 pm

    Well my favorite is the warm walkway in Bologna. And, it looks like the EM-5 does have a broad DR. It is a keeper.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… Ali

    • Earl 22 Jul ’12 at 10:06 pm

      Monte,
      That “Warm Walkway” is one of my favorites as well and yes, I think I will keep the E-M5. :-)

  3. Steve Skinner 22 Jul ’12 at 8:22 pm

    I also like the floor on the hallway that leads to the dungeon; many a foot passed over it.
    Steve Skinner recently posted… Thoughts On Being Lost

    • Earl 22 Jul ’12 at 10:09 pm

      Steve, that dungeon hallway made a great impact upon me and so this photo holds some attachment as well — the screams it’s heard and the blood it’s probably absorbed.

  4. ken bello 22 Jul ’12 at 8:25 pm

    The “warm walkway” seems to be a hit, it’s my favorite also. Except for the girl in one shot, you managed to avoid photographing any other tourists or sightseers. Or did you have a private showing? ;-)
    I’m starting to change my mind about smaller sensor cameras. These shots are absolutely beautiful. Will you be printing any up?

    • Earl 22 Jul ’12 at 10:19 pm

      Ken, yes the “warm walkway” seems to be a favorite…it’s hard to pass up those lovely colors and tones. I may try printing it and the “tower and arch” photos. Thanks!

      Small sensor cameras are now delivering near DSLR performance in packages 1/3 the size, weight and cost. It’s as Markus mentioned in a comment on a previous post….we’ve reached a point where these cameras are “good enough” for all but the most professional photographers.

      I was a little worried taking an unproven small camera on this trip to Italy — after all I may never visit Italy again. However, it proved to be excellent functionally, ergonomically and productively. I’m pleased with it and it has me considering if I need a DSLR at all.

      Plus, it’s just a fun camera and reminds me of my old OM-1 film camera I enjoyed so long ago.

  5. Paul 23 Jul ’12 at 11:43 am

    Wow, Earl! A fantastic set of photos along with the usual complement of good info! Sounds like you made the absolute right choice in camera, there. On another note, you’re killing me! I cannot afford so many trips! ;) I have to stay home sometime!
    Paul recently posted… Thankful for National and State Parks

    • Earl 23 Jul ’12 at 2:13 pm

      Paul, What do you mean? I’ve just been trying to keep up with all your travels! ;-)

      Yeah, I’ve very happy with the Olympus E-M5.

      Thanks!

  6. Mark 24 Jul ’12 at 6:57 pm

    It really seems Italy has a preference for archways, and you also have an eye for capturing them Earl! Very nice set here. The window slit is very well exposed, I am impressed.
    Mark recently posted… Southern Stingrays

    • Earl 24 Jul ’12 at 9:10 pm

      Mark, archways and old…two things Italy does very well — in addition to the food and wine! :-)
      Thanks!

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