Archive for florence

Street Collage

Posted in Creative Photography, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by Scott Hanson
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Pictures from Florence

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2012 by Scott Hanson

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Florence

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by Scott Hanson

Today was my first day in Florence. It was a last-minute addition to my itinerary and I am very glad I decided to come.

My immediate adulation of Florence may have a bit to do with a lovely English speaking ticket window worker. I have been stressing over travel plans a bit lately. My last attempt at making reservations did not go very well. I paid €40 to book two train routes which are no longer offered and because I book them through the French railway system there is nothing that can be done in Italy. On top of that, the one successful reservation I made in France, cost me €20 in booking fees and sent me on a five hour journey, when I could have taken a two-hour trip on a regional train and paid no booking fee. However, even if they did try to inform me of this it is doubtful I would have understood, or maybe I replied with a oui when I should have said non.

Back to the wonderful woman who made my day. I approached the counter, made a pitiful attempt at communicating my needs in Italian, pushed a piece of paper with my itinerary written out in Italian under the window and her reply was laughter. Not just a little slip up. Full on uncontrollable laughter. Then she replied ” You don’t speak Italian” and she was quite right. In a matter of fifteen minutes she had the rest of my train trips planned out, helped me rearrange some dates and saved me a bit of cash. From then on, I was destined to have a great day. Thank you, ticket window clerk Gabrielle!

I have had a few people go out of their way to help me on this trip. I never would have made my train to Nice without the help of a stranger. I didn’t even ask for help. I probably looked like I was attempting to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics. Furiously searching for some relationship between the numbers on my ticket and the maps on the wall. It’s funny how you stand out when your in a room full of people who know exactly where they’re going and your lost. A woman flagged me down; led me out of the subway, down a hallway, up three flights of stairs, into the train station, to the proper platform and then pointed out the train numbers, departure times and platforms on the board. All in complete silence. What a bizarrely magnanimous person. So bizarre in fact that if I believed in ghosts, I would have believed her to be one. For two reasons. First, everyone knows there are vengeful ghosts and helpful ghosts, the kind that know they are going to hell and the ones that are trying to get to heaven. Secondly, she did not speak. Which makes me think she didn’t want to be noticed. Maybe, because she didn’t exist and seeing as she was the good deed doing type, she did not want to frighten anyone.

Back to Florence. My first stop was the Santa Maria del Fiore. I arrived by accident. In fact I didn’t even know what it was when I walked up to the doors.

It is a massive cathedral made entirely of pink, green and white marble and completely covered in the most intricate stone work. The type of sculptures that can only be found in Florence (I came to this realization after visiting the Uffizi and Accademia). Every inch of the massive building belongs in a museum.

My next stop was the Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotographia. I have been to some great museums on this trip and seen some amazing art. All of which is in a class far above anything the museum had to offer, but this museum may have been my favorite. I understand photography. I can relate to it. This place was full of photographers I have studied and admired for years. Such as Ansel Adams, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Dorthea Lange. The museum also had a special showing of British fashion photographer Bryan Duffy. If you’re not familiar, I recommend checking out his work. There is also a great PBS documentary about him called “Shot in the Sixites”.