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Follow Di's board La Superba - An ancient Italian city on Pinterest.


Not only has Di changed my perception of the city I have called home for the past six years, she has also taken me beyond my own limits as a photographer. She has inspired me to stop living my entire life on the default settings I have grown so comfortable with. By pushing a camera to its limits and learning how to manipulate the manual settings, I, for the first time in my life, realized how much potential I was wasting by always deferring to my default auto setting.

Leah Armstrong, from Help! I live with my Italian mother-in-law, and her article about the workshop over at Holiday Mag.

Come join me on a journey of discovery in an exquisitely ancient Italian city.


'Visit' Genova via Stefano's RIGHICAM.

Of all the things I wondered about on this land, I wondered the hardest about the seduction of certain geographies that feel like home - not by story or blood but merely by their forms and colours. How our perceptions are our only internal map of the world, how there are places that claim you and places that warn you. How you can fall in love with the light. Ellen Melloy, Writer
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the quick brown fox

Come travel with me to...

Rome from xx to xx December 2099


Finding Beauty, Genova

It was a good day today, photographically.  A slower day perhaps.  There was cleaning to do here at the apartment, mails to answer, supplies to buy in ... walks to take.  And my marketing course too. My next meeting is on Wednesday.

The course is 6 weeks of learning how to create a targeted marketing campaign and I really can't speak highly enough of my coach, Karen Skidmore.   I am my own worst marketing person.  Photography is fine.  Writing, a pleasure but marketing is one of those nightmares.  I had no clue where to start.

It's a little bit like being back at university.  It seems I'll never outgrow my dodgy studying techniques but they always worked out so perhaps I should relax about that.

Anyway, last photograph tonight ... I promise, but wandering along Via Dante in exceptional light, I noticed the sky and the corner of this building and found them beautiful.


Palazzo Ducale - another view, Genova


The Light ...

Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts

Walker Evans

The light is everything in photography.  I can walk past the same scene one thousand times or more and not see what is there when a particular light shines on it.

Today Via Dante was lit up in a particular way.


The Problems of Life Lived as a Flatlander ...

I like Genova more than I like Venice.  I prefer Nervi over Cinque Terre.  And perhaps I am one of the few who arrive in Italy and lose weight every time I am here.

It's the walking.  Twice a day, at very least, my camera and I head out.  Genova is located on the sides of some fairly spectacular hills.  The city reminds me of Dunedin or Wellington in terms of position between sea and hills.

The walking here involves hills.  The first 4 days are hellish for me.  A trip that winds down through the old part city involves a rather steep climb back up to Piazza De Ferrari.  'Steep' depending on how long I've been away from Genova but finding the easiest way home is the only time, in my life, the engineering part of my brain is used.

Is it simpler to walk back up Via San Lorenzo and then, should I follow the steady slow climb up Via Porta Soprana to the gate or should I turn left and arrive in Piazza De Ferrari, meandering some more on the 'flat' before climbing the stairs that take me up through the gate at Porta Soprana ... steeper than that first option but over more quickly. Unless I have a suitcase.  Or I'm carrying groceries.

And they are only two of many options that must be considered depending on where my feet have taken me that day.  Salita S. Matteo is the worst of the climbs back up and out of the carruggio for me.  However it is the climb I'm most proud to walk easily when it comes time to leave.


Pietro Romanengo Fu Stefano, Confettieri, Genova 

On Friday I spent some hours with Anna, from Beautiful Liguria, visiting the laboratory of Genovese confectioner Pietro Romanengo Fu Stefano.

Our tour was followed by an interview, one that opened a door to the confectioner's history, spanning some 234 years. 

The details were fascinating.  The machinery is only replaced if the new equipment leaves the quality of the end product uncompromised and so it was a tour of an older way of doing things.  Attention to detail was everywhere. 

I was offered the opportunity to taste as we wandered.  The delicacy of the products startled me.  I have never tasted anything like the marzipan, the pastilles, nor the chocolates, flavoured as they are, with real flowers and candied fruits.

I will write more but the pastilles below ... delicate and surprising, as they melt in your mouth, releasing the most divine liquid. 'The perfumed pastilles, known also as “ginevrine” (Genevans),  have a very ancient processing where the colour and the aroma given to the sugar are absolutely natural. They can be purchased loose in 500g bags with the taste of rose, banana, Chartreuse liqueur, aniseed, peach, marasca cherry, mint and violet.'