Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The "Tivoli" you won't expect

I'm not used to post videos on my blog. This time I'll make an exception.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Via di Pomata

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Up until a century ago there where two ways to get to the town of Tivoli, coming from Rome. One way was passing the old citadel walls walking along the ancient roman road Tiburtina (which means "leading to Tibur", i.e. Tivoli), the second was entering the south gate after climbing the hill across a true forest of olive trees, along what today is called Via di Pomata.
This narrow county road takes down to the valley below, where the Adrian Emperor's Villa is standing, dribbling through remains of ancient roman villas and pillars of the bridges of the aqueducts that used to bring water from the mountains behind Tivoli to Rome. It was the natural set of past centuries' painters (mainly Grand Touring water-colorists) and poets. Today it's the perfect place where to spend a nice hour, walking or running soaked by sunlight, safe from the blanket of mist and smog that's covering the Italian capital in these days. A place that I never miss to visit every time I go back to my youth's hometown.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

This Year' Sunset

We're almost there. Few days to go. A new exciting year is just behind the corner. I'm spending my last hours in a sunny and warm Tivoli, before getting back to the mist and smog of Milan metropolitan area.
I'm not mentioning a cliche. Not this time. There's so much difference between the clear blue sky under which I've been trekking this morning together with my son and the dull grayness that I left few days ago.
This afternoon I took a last walk in the alleys of the old town and visited the new born Civic Museum, where an exhibition about the jubilee has just been opened. The view on Villa d'Este and Saint Peter church at sunset from the museum's windows has been breathtaking.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Allure of Decadence

What remains of an old (textile?) manufacturing plant along river Olona, in Lonate Ceppino. I would say, made when the architecture was concerned about the places where we used to work. Now there's only a stretch of flat, all alike, mirrored buildings.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Merry Christmas

This is not probably the best picture I could post today. I don't have any better at hand, but it's good enough to bring you my Best Wishes for this day and the coming ones.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

In Open Fields

A snapshot taken with a mobile is not able to convey all you feel in some situations. This is an example. Last Sunday, early in the morning, in the open field just out of the town.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

And the boat goes on ...

Milano, Naviglio Grande, one week ago. In a typical misty afternoon of this unusually dry winter half town seems to be converging here. The other half is crammed around Piazza Duomo and La Scala, where the lyrical season opening is in progress.
I can hardly walk inside this endless worm of people moving aimlessly along the channel banks. I think it's simply because they don't have anything else to do and anywhere else to go. What everyone cares is just to be out of home and walk with someone to talk to. So do I.
Looks like that people have less to spend this year. Crowded streets but empty shops. I'm just another one among them but I have other concerns: little time and no idea.

Then a boat takes its load of people and goes on and on, till it disappears in he mist.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The way up

The arrival of the winter seasons also means the opening of the indoor tournaments season and I, as a father of a young and sporting volley player, cannot refuse touring around the province of Varese and visiting new villages on almost every Sunday afternoon.
Between two matches, there's always time for a short walk to the local bar, where to sip a cup of - in better times - undrinkable coffee, under the glances of few elderly locals gathered to play cards while listening at the football matches commentary from the always on television in the next room.
Beside the bar on the main street, few of these villages have little more than a small church to be noted and tentatively visited. In the accidental visitor's support, the winter frock helps making them a little bit more interesting. People stay inside their homes or in the bar lounge and walking through the desert streets, where the sounds are dump and the kitchens flavors fall down from the chimneys melted with fog, is always pleasant. It feels like walking alone on a mountain track. And, sometimes, you even find sources of inspiration. Metaphors and epiphanies. Just like the narrow climb below.

I'm going to walk a tortuous path. Next months are going to bring a wealth of new experiences and events in my basket, as well as in those of my family.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December Morning

It's nearly a week since we saw the sun last time. Cycling in the countryside in the silence of the morning mist has a special taste. Reminds me the atmosphere of a famous Italian film: Novecento.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December is here

The latest news about the air pollution in the area surrounding Milan are somehow scaring. Considering the concentration of well known particulate matter (PM10) the north Italian Pianura Padana, where Milan sits, has recorded the highest values in Europe. And the results are under our eyes. Rime ice (in Italian "galaverna") is thicker and thicker every year. It is nice to see but very few of us know that this ice growth is favored by the air pollution.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Don't Stop

Sunday Ride

I think I've already mentioned about good and bad things with riding on a mountain bike in the countryside on a sunny Sunday morning. Good things come when you are wandering alone and concentrated on your "performance" and unexpectedly you spot treasures of your national heritage, without notice, that make you stop and stare with open mouth. The bad thing is that in most of these times you don't have anything better for snapping than your mobile camera.
The pictures below are from Cascina Mirabello and the nearby Villa Verri, in Lentate sul Seveso.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Signs to anywhere

What is important is to follow them anyhow. You'll get somewhere sooner or later. It's the Robert Frost approach of "The road not taken".

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Gosts' Corner

There's a corner in the old coaches of Milan underground from where, depending on the light conditions and railway bent you can see the people sitting in front of you reflected on the back windows facing the next coach and appear as if they were sitting in there. It's the corner where people appear and fade away in a matter of seconds. I've been noticing this curious conditions since I arrived here in year 2000. Yesterday the train stopped for a while between two stations, where the rail inclination and curvature were good enough to see a steady picture.
I've been taught that optics laws respect a principle of reciprocity. That's why I thought that if one of these two "ghosts" rose their head and looked through the windows they would have seen another ghost pointing at them his mobile and take a picture. 

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Different Perspective

You need to get close to the window and reveal yourself, if you want to see the world from a different perspective.

Note: these involuntary prisoners were all released soon after their photo session. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Late Blossom

Looks like these Succulentae waited for the end of the Summer before pushing their best sprouts out. And it seems to me that the same happens in all contexts, even between humans. If they only became aware of it.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mount Spotting

Soon after taking off from Milan the spectacle of the Alps presents before the passengers. As an amateur photographer I take care to choose my seat in the best possible position to let me look outside and take some pictures. On a clear sky day the best possible activity you can do is pressing your forehead on the window glass and play a "spot the mountain" game. It's better than any page of geographical atlas.

The one on the bottom, below, is the Sassolungo group (Saslonch in Ladin dialect), close to Val Gardena, in the Italian South Tyrol.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015


As anticipated, last Tuesday has been a good and very long day. It started with a dramatic sky in Italy and ended with a sunny sunset in Austria. Even though I had been flying and driving for the whole day, a short walk around the hotel was necessary before I met with some friends for dinner.

 (Made and sent from my mobile.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Good Morning

The weather is not promising a good day here in Saronno but I'm about to fly abroad and ... Yes, who cares. I'm happy as well. It will be a long day. And a good day anyhow.

(Made and sent from my mobile.)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Eine kleine bunte musik

Yesterday evening I came out of my office later than usual, as I wanted to complete a model for some kind of simulations I've had in mind for a while but hardly found the time (and the right open-space conditions) to sketch it and write the code. Just before sunset the model behaved so fine that at the end of the simulation run, as I also said to the only colleague of mine still in office at that time, I was congratulating with myself. So I went out to reach the metro station in a complete state of euphoria.

When I reached Garibaldi station, half an hour later, I spotted a splendid coloring book ("The Enchanted Forest" by Johanna Basford) behind the windows of Feltrinelli library and, having some minutes before the train departure, I rushed in and took one copy for my daughter (of course I had to compensate this "kindness" by taking a book for my son as well). It's been some kind of self-rewarding act. Instead of making a gift to myself I had made it to the "next in queue".

When I woke up this morning my daughter had already perfectly lined up all her pencils on the desk and was ready to start her work. I saw that with her little fingers she was passing over and over the pencils as if she was deciding which hue to start from. So I asked her what was she doing and she replied: "I'm playing a colors' music".

Friday, September 25, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In wait for the next enemy

A visit to WW1 forts cannot be complete without a walk into the trenches where the opponents used to live, spy and shoot at the enemy on the facing mountain or on the opposite side of the valley in between. Today the two flags are waving one close to the other, even though the European starred blue flag sits in between, as if it was a sign of a peace come for necessity, opportunity. In these days, looks like that the "enemy" has to be found elsewhere, very far from the fresh mountains where the Great War was staged.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Forte Campomolon

I already posted in August a picture taken on the summit of Mount Campomolon, on the border between today's Veneto and Trentino, Italy and Austria one century ago, where the remains of an Italian WW1 fort can be found. Now I've managed to process some shots I took that day with my SRL.

An ascent to one of these military cathedrals distributed along the natural borders drawn by the Alps tops is almost a metaphysical experience, provided you have an understanding of what really happened there long time ago. Every corner has a story to tell and it really does. These forts, no matter if they were on the Italian or Austrian side, were so accurately designed and carefully built as if they had never come to feel the scars of the falling bombs. Forte Campomolon destruction was ordered by the same Italian generals, as they couldn't leave it in the hands of the Austrian, on May 1916, the day that under the pressure of the Strafexpedition (the Punitive Expedition) they were forced to leave it.
On top of these forts the silence talks, no matter the wind. I have never felt the same while visiting a medieval castle or an ancient roman camp. Here the presence of all the young men that spent years killing each other is still vivid, even if there's not much left to see beside stones.