Whitehall Palace – Banqueting Rooms

a banquet was composed of little snacks and desserts, eaten after diners had finished the main course and were waiting for the entertainment to begin.  A banqueting house was a separate little house or room, highly decorated and situated a short walk away from the main dining hall in order to aid digestion.  The Banqueting House of Whitehall Palace was the biggest and grandest of them all.

In the Footsteps of The Impressionists

Looking through some images last night reminded me of a trip I took a few years ago visiting the places where the Impressionists had painted (sometimes standing exactly where they had stood as they worked), places like Rouen, Honfleur, Etretat and Le Havre in N. France.  The idea behind the trip was to look at … Continue reading In the Footsteps of The Impressionists

Serpotta’s Stucco in Palermo

Palermo is this year’s Italian City of Culture.  The city has stunning architecture, beautiful churches and art that is equal to that in many other parts of Italy, but for me, Palermo's gem is the baroque Oratory of the Rosario in Santa Cita. Tucked away in a back street of the capital, this exuberant masterpiece … Continue reading Serpotta’s Stucco in Palermo

Majolica – Made in Faenza, Italy

Becky’s lovely Tavira vase post reminded me of the beautiful ceramics we saw a few years ago on a trip to Faenza in Italy, the town between Bologna and Florence which produces work of great originality from old, traditional, designs and occasional new designs.  These ceramics go by different names, depending on who is speaking … Continue reading Majolica – Made in Faenza, Italy

The Violin Makers of Cremona

Mari's Travels with her Camera

I went to Cremona last winter and two things from that trip I remember clearly: one was how cold it was, so cold that I had to buy a woollen hat from a street trader who charged me an outrageous €20 for a very inferior product:  the second, but most important, was my meeting with violin maker, Stefano Conia, a master luthier, an intense young man who makes violins with passion, violins that are bought and played by some of the world’s finest musicians.

Cremona has been important in Italy’s cultural life since Roman times, located as it is on the banks of the Po River, a major junction for trade and commerce.  The narrow streets of the city are rich in history, the red brick medieval towers and the Renaissance buildings shading the many statues of its famous sons, Antonio Stradivari and Claudio Monteverdi.

Statue of Claudio Monteverdi, in Cremona Statue of Claudio Monteverdi, in…

View original post 1,181 more words

Strasbourg – Cross Roads of Europe

goods from the Baltic, Britain, the Mediterranean and the Far East poured across the borders to be traded for wines, grain and fabrics and just like today, when the languages of the 46 member states can be heard in the squares and streets of the city, traders speaking a dozen different languages, met and conducted business.  People from different countries working together and mingling in Strasbourg’s squares means that the city continues to be the crossroads of Europe.

MONTPELIER, France

If there’s a city in France that can offer more in the way of enjoyment, relaxation, places to visit outside the area, and great sight-seeing inside it, than Montpelier, then I have yet to find it. Often called the sunshine capital of France because of its average of 300 sunny days per year, Montpelier lies just 11 km from the Mediterranean coast.

Rome: View of the Forum at Night

Rome and the Tiber

Castell Sant'Angelo across the Tiber - Photo Mari Nicholson The Tiber has been the soul of Rome since the city’s inception, and it could be said that Rome owes its very existence to this strategically important river on whose banks the first settlements were built.  The two sides of the river are joined by more … Continue reading Rome and the Tiber

Weekly Photo Challenge: ABSTRACT

Truly abstract I think.  Love the subtle muddy colours and the starkness of the image. This is a piece of graffiti on a wall in London's East End (Brick Lane area).  It's a wonderful place in which to make artistic discoveries.  This one comes from the camera of London photographer Steve Moore who has given … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: ABSTRACT

Weekly Photo Challenge,Life Imitates Art

Perhaps not the greatest interpretation of the challenge but I've lately been wanting to use one of the interesting tools in my imaging programme and thought this might be my opportunity. This sculpture was done by marine woodcarver Norman Gaches, from a tree that was destroyed in the great storm of 1987, outside Barton Manor … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge,Life Imitates Art