a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

A little help holding up the leaning tower of Pisa

Posted on the July 29th, 2011

Creating special effects with their snapshots is especially popular when tourists visit Pisa and its famous leaning tower. On a trip there last May, photographer Tarcisio Arzuffi also found the temptation irresistible. With a little help from his friend Andrew, he framed a fun optical illusion.

Explaining how and why he created the photo, Tarcisio wrote:

Last May I spent a couple of days in Savona (Liguria) for a meeting. The weather was okay but a little cloudy and cold. I was hoping for better weather on the long six-hour trip back home to Rome. When I left with my friends Andrew and Walter it was just a gorgeous day.

We decided to take the coastal highway. Along the way, after passing the beautiful white marble caves of Massa Carrara, we saw the exit sign to Pisa, and since no one of us had ever seen the famous leaning tower we decided to take a detour.

The cathedral with the leaning tower is really worth seeing. We walked the whole “Campo dei miracoli,” the square around the cathedral, and then… I saw the photo: the light was great (6 p.m. I think the light is at its best, right where you want it). I only had to work a little on the composition with the help of Andrew so that his hands are in the right place and his feet also, so that it looks like he is really pushing the tower. I also found the right balance between the height of the tower and that of Andrew, and then the right zoom.

We rewarded ourselves with some awesome cones of gelato artigianale, the famous Italian ice cream, almost as famous as the leaning tower!

I hope this advice can be useful for those who will be coming to Italy and are planning a visit to the Tuscany region.

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Romulus and Remus and the She Wolf: La sala della Lupa (Palazzo Montecitorio)

Posted on the July 1st, 2011

Life-sized bronze statue of She-Wolf nursing Romulus and Remus in the namesake hall, La sala della Lupa, of the seat of the Italian parliament in Palazzo Montecitorio in Rome. Photo by Tarcisio Arzuffi (June 2011).

Describing the photo in an email to me, Tarcisio wrote:

This year Italy celebrates its 150th year of national unity. Last week I had the opportunity to be in Palazzo Montecitorio, the seat of the Italian parliament, and there I took this picture. It represents the symbol of Rome — the two children Romulus and Remus raised by a She Wolf. This bronze statue sculpted in natural dimensions gives its name to the most known hall of representatives in Montecitorio: La sala della Lupa.  The colors you see next to the Lupa in the photo are the Italian flag.

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A monkey at Sanjay National Park

Posted on the November 4th, 2010

Monkey at Sanjay National Park, India — photo by Tarcisio Arzuffi, May 2010

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