Jim DeLutes is a photographer that - after traveling in Italy over 3 months and driving over 11,000 miles - decided to share his love of Italy through the thousands of images that he has taken in our country and here is a focus on Tuscany.
He wrote on his facebook page: "After over 40 years of photography it was two trips since 2009 to Italy that brought me to a place where inspiration was around every corner. Spending 5 weeks on one trip and 8 weeks on the other, I was able to spend enough time in each area to capture different times of the day, with a variety of lighting situations. Plus having the time to settle into a region and savor the 'dolce vita' of everyday life in Italy".
Enjoy his wonderful photos!
La Foce Road
The Strada di Valoresi as seen from the gardens of La Foce in central Val d’Orcia. The history of La Foce dates back many centuries ago, with the story of Iris and Antonio Origo in 1924. Iris wrote several wonderful books about her life in Val d’Orcia and well worth reading. Her daughters Benedetta and Donata run the estate today. Nearby towns of Pienza and Montepulciano can add to a wonderful day trip to the area.
The Duomo of Florence
Being the first ones to climb the 414 steps inside Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower) we arrived at the top in time to see the rays of early light breaking through the clouds and creating a beautiful backdrop for the Duomo. Although you can also climb the stairs inside the dome I want to view of the dome from the bell tower to take a photograph. Certainly one of the more memorable moments of our time in Florence was standing at the top of the Campanile overlooking Florence in the morning light.
Ponte della Maddalena
The Bridge of Mary Magdalene (also called the Devil’s Bridge) crosses the Serchio River at the town of Borgo a Mozzano. This scene was part of a drive north of Lucca along the Serchio River into the area of Tuscany called the Garfagnana. This is a wonderful drive into the mountains with stops in some of the quaint towns along the way of Bagni di Lucca, Barga, Castelnuova di Garfagnana and many more.
North of Lucca is a region called the Garfagnana which is a great place to escape the tourists crowds in the more popular Tuscany towns. You can disappear for a long time on the many winding roads that flow from this valley situated between the Appenine and Apuan Alps mountain ranges. there's a small village poised on a hillside nestled in a distant valley. Having a GPS is a must in the never-ending roads that wander deep into these impressive mountains.
The Duomo of Siena
Looking through the large front doors, the spectacular interior of the Duomo will stop you as you look up at the incredible architecture and beauty of this church. Also known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria, this church was built between 1215 and 1263. It is one of the most stunning churches in Italy (which is saying something since there are so many incredible churches in Italy!) From the mosaic floors and striped marble columns, sculptures, artwork and the architecture itself will take your breath away.
The Duomo of Florence at night
The view from Piazzale Michelangelo over the city of Florence is worth a visit. This photo was actually taken before sunrise and like most of Italy if you want to have towns or even large cities to yourself, just go out early in the morning. The Piazzale is packed with crowds of people every day at sunset and is quite a festive experience but if you want this view all to yourself, arrive in time to watch the sunrise.
Abbazia di Sant'Antimo
The Abbey is located in the countryside in the Val d”Orcia, south of Montalcino. The interior of the Abbey is constructed with a light colored stone that seems to glow as the sun streams into the windows. For a real treat make sure you check the schedule as to when the monks chant their prayers. You will remember the experience forever.
The Church of Santa Maria Nuova in Cortona
This church sits on the hillside below the town of Cortona. Built in the 1500’s it can be seen from several locations inside the town’s walls. Many mornings you will find the church shrouded in fog that sits in the valley and slowly the dome emerges as the fog dissipates. This is just one of many visual delights that we found as we spent over a week in Cortona.
The Ponte Vecchio in the morning
The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) has been crossing the Arno River in Florence since 996 AD. The current bridge was built in 1345 and has always been a place for merchants. In the middle ages it was butchers and today it is jewelers. In the morning you will often find scull boats being rowed along the river. As I have said before if you want to have an Italian town to yourself go out early in the morning.
Thank you Jim!