Not-So Hidden Corners in Italy
Of course I start with Florence, the city I fell in love with when I was ten. Wandering towards the Arno, I was so busy looking at all the sights it was easy to miss this spectacular fountain on the corner of a house.
This crumbling archway in Venice is but a few minutes from the Grand Canal and its grand procession of gondolas. I simply had to walk up the side street to be surrounded by tourists, but here, in a small alley, I stood in the Venice of centuries past.
A major trading port not far from Florence or Pisa, Livorno is built for wandering, especially the old area known as Little Venice. (Europe has a lot of Little Venices.) I did wonder about the tale behind this forgotten bike.
Naples is full of amazing gems, and even in the height of summer was impressively free of tourists. I don't even know the name of this forgotten church. It stands, forgotten, on a corner out of the more visited area, unmarked on my map or any guide book I looked at. Unfortunately it was closed, and looked like it had been for centuries.
Ah, Assisi. An oasis of peace in the chaos of travel. Every time I look at my potted geraniums at home, they take me straight back to the town of St Francis.
I caught a slow train from Pietrasanta to Lucca on a hot and sultry day, and fell in love with her alleyways and gracious walks on the city walls. I wasn't expecting to find a tower on a street corner complete with trees growing on the roof.
And so back to Florence, and one of my favourite photos. How can I not love a place with such a street corner?
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