When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…

God knows, I love listening to Dean Martin.  Here, have a sip of vintage Dino…That’s Amore clip.  He was born Dino Paul Crocetti, to Italian immigrant parents in Ohio, and spoke only his father’s dialect of Italian until he went to school.  He was, and still is to me, the King of Cool.  Sweetie and I went to the land of his father on our honeymoon, and this image was taken while we were in Florence howling at the moon.  Sweetie was a breech baby, born backwards and we fear she hasn’t changed since.  She has what the Prophet Omega termed “crossed-up condition”…tends to say “right” when she means “left” and so on.  Smart as a whip, but does things backwards.  We did the honeymoon first, followed with the wedding reception some months later, then went to the Grove Park Inn and were married!  It was just the two of us and the padre, in the garden of a home that hosted F. Scott Fitzgerald and in which Nina Simone took piano lessons.  So, I guess I’m backwards now too, and the only thing I’d do differently is to do it all again!  And if anyone’s looking for a honeymoon recommendation, try Florence and the Arno River by moonlight…and bring a little Dean Martin with you to set a fine romantic mood.
(5 September, 2006  Arno River, Firenze, Italy)

God, don't you love Dean Martin!

Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind…

If I ever tire of looking at the Arno River in Florence, someone stick a fork in me…I’m done.  The timeless combination of moonlight, water, and stone so often creates stunning images, the kind I like to have sitting around in plain view for a mental retreat when things get stressful.  The Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River was first built in Roman times, using stone piers and a wooden superstructure that tended to wash away during floods.  It was finally rebuilt in stone in 1345, a medium which has proven to stand the test of time. The bridge was originally home to butchers, but we are told the odors of their cast-offs led to their eviction in favor of the jewelers who still occupy the bridge shops today.  In 1565, the Medicis had a private enclosed corridor built atop the shops on the bridge, giving them a safe and secure way to get from their Pitti Palace to the town hall nearby.  It is indeed so historic and picturesque that even Hitler found a soft spot in his heart for the Ponte Vecchio…at his express order, this was the only bridge over the Arno not destroyed by the Germans as they retreated from  Florence during WWII.  Check it out some time, and don’t be afraid to explore the far side of the river too…many visitors to Florence don’t venture beyond the great Duomo and Uffizi Gallery hotspots, and they’re missing so much.  (5, September, 2006  Firenze, Italy)

There’s a bathroom on the right…

It’s funny how you can go through life being absolutely sure of something, only to find you’ve been dead-wrong all along.  Song lyrics are a classic example, as with CCR’s “bad moon on the rise”.  Great song, nothing to do with bathrooms!  Photographs can be prime material for correcting some of those “false memories” too…several times I have revisited photos from some past event, only to find I was quite mistaken about who had been there or even where “there” was!  Thank God for photography.  The image is of the Cathedral in Florence, more properly known as the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, shot with a great moon and a steady tripod.  (7 September, 2006  Florence, Italy)

Look at the buns on that one…

Yeah, he must work out.  The original David by Michelangelo used to grace the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, where this copy sits today.  Like most people, I was familiar with David from the front…the youthful giant-killer in the classic pose with his weight on one leg and the sling trailing down his back.  But speaking of his back, “what’s it look like” I wondered?  Turns out the boy has buns of steel, or Carrara marble in the case of the original sitting a few blocks away in the Accademia Gallery.  We shot this view at night while the (other) tourist hordes slumbered, wandering the ancient city with camera, tripod, and curiosity for the sides you don’t often see.  (5 September, 2006  Florence, Italy)

Night time is the right time…

The Arno River in Florence, Italy, is one of those can’t-miss places where any chimp holding a camera can take an interesting photo.  In this case I was the chimp, and the photo was taken at about one in the morning.  As luck would have it we weren’t adjusted to the local time, it was too hot to sleep, it was a beautiful night, and we were packing a sense of adventure and a tripod.  (5 September, 2006  Firenze, Italy)