Photos and Words

Every day is different

Noto

Noto 2018
Noto 2018
Noto 2018

The old town, Noto Antica, lies 8 kilometres (5 mi) directly north on Mount Alveria. A city of Sicel origin, it was known as Netum in ancient times. In 263 BCE the city was granted to Hiero II by the Romans. According to legend, Daedalus stayed in the city after his flight over the Ionian Sea, as did Hercules after his seventh task. During the Roman era, it opposed the magistrate Verres.

In 866 it was conquered by the Muslims, who elevated the city to become a capital of one of the three districts of the island (the Val di Noto). In 1091, it became the last Islamic stronghold in Sicily to fall to the Christians. Later it became a rich Norman city.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city was home to several notable intellectual figures, including Giovanni Aurispa, jurists Andrea Barbazio and Antonio Corsetto, as well as architect Matteo Carnelivari and composer Mario Capuana. In 1503 king Ferdinand III granted it the title of civitas ingeniosa (“Ingenious City”). In the following centuries, the city expanded, growing beyond its medieval limits, and new buildings, churches and convents were built.

The medieval town of Noto was virtually razed by the 1693 Sicilian earthquake. Over half the population is said to have died from the earthquake. It was decided to re-build the town at the present site, on the left bank of the River Asinaro, closer to the Ionian shore. These circumstances have led this town to have a unique architectural homogeneity, since the core of the town was all built over the next decades after the calamity in what is a typical and highly preserved example of Sicilian baroque. The layout followed a grid system by Giovanni Battista Landolina and utilized the sloping hillside for scenographic effects. The architects Rosario Gagliardi, Francesco Sortino and others each participated in designing multiple structures. The town was dubbed the “Stone Garden” by Cesare Brandi and is currently listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Many of the newer structures are built of a soft tufa stone, which assume a honey tonality under sunlight. Parts of the cathedral, however, unexpectedly collapsed in 1996.

The city, which had lost its provincial capital status in 1817, rebelled against the House of Bourbon on 16 May 1860, leaving its gates open to Giuseppe Garibaldi and his expedition. Five months later, on 21 October, a plebiscite sealed the annexation of Noto to Piedmont.

Tonnara siciliana

Tonnara is the Italian word for the tuna factories where fishermen used to bring and process their tuna catches.

Tonnara, Sicilia 2018
Tonnara, Sicilia 2018
Tonnara, Sicilia 2018

At least one photo a day

Po river /2

Approaching boat, Cremona 2017
Approaching boat, Cremona 2017
Approaching boat, Cremona 2017
Approaching boat, Cremona 2017
Approaching boat, Cremona 2017

At least one photo a day

The middle of the summer

It is summer. Night time. The air is humid. It is warm. I cycle downtown. I try not to hurry too much, but I am a bit nervous. I turn left in Via Mercatello. I see the lights on at the bar at the cornet. I recognise some of the people who stand on the sidewalk in front with a glass in their hands. I reach the end of the road, turn tight and see the back of the cathedral. I get to the main square and slow down but do not stop. I make large loop on the cobblestones of the piazza. Then another one. I stop in front of the Bertazzola. One feet on the ground. the other on the pedal. I see people standing outside the bar under the arches of the municipality. Young couples sit on the steps of the Cathedral not far from me. They whisper to each other. I feel the heat of the day which was trapped in the stones of the piazza and is now freeing itself. This is the middle of the summer.

Portal early 12th century, Cremona 2018

At least one photo a day

Piazza del Duomo, Cremona

Originally built in Romanesque style, the cathedral has been restored and extended several times, with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. Construction began in 1107, but the works were damaged and halted after an earthquake in 1117. Construction resumed in 1129, and the building was probably finished in 1160-1170. The main altar, dedicated to the city’s patron saints Archelaus and Himerius, was consecrated in 1196.Façade

The current façade was probably built in the 13th and the early 14th century. In the same period the arms of the transept were also added: the northern in 1288 and the southern in 1348 (Wikipedia)

Piazza del Duomo, Cremona 2018

At least one photo a day

Bertazzola

I am catching up with posting at-least-one-photo-a-day. I stopped on 21/3, the first day of spring. I worked long days and if you add that to the turbulence of the unprecedented I did not have the headspace to keep going with posting the photos I wanted to post. I am catching up this weekend. Some more photos from Cremona. The one you see if of the Bertazzola, the short loggia that connect the Torrazzo bell tower with the main body of the cathedral. It was built at the beginning of XVI century. The architect is Lorenzo de Trotti.

Bertazzola ca. 1500, Cremoan 2018

At least one photo a day

Cremona

I did not know whether to continue with this project, posting at least one photo a day on this blog. The coronavirus news are quite distressing and I was asking myself whether it makes sense to continue posting photos of places where I am travelling or where I travelled in the past. Earlier this morning, It did not seem something useful spending time on.

I live in Finland and I am following very closely how things are developing in Cremona, my hometown in Northern Italy which has been at the centre of this epidemic since its earlier stages. I remembered the photos I have taken over the years when going back to visit my family and friends.

So, I decided that what I am going to do over the next days or weeks is to look into my photos and search for the ones from Cremona, edit them into black and white, and post them here.

I do not know if I will have something to say every day. Anyways, this is for me a way for me to feel that connection with the city I was born as I follow the latest developments.

Cremona 2018
Cremona 2018
Cremona 2018
Cremona 2018

At least one photo a day

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