If you want to take a tour with the help of your eyes, here's something for you. Jim DeLutes is an experienced photographer that - after traveling around Italy for over 3 months, driving over 11,000 miles - decided to share his love for Italy through the thousands of inspiring images that he has taken in our country and here is a focus on Tuscany, with 6 amazing shots, each one explained by the author.
Strada di Valoresi as seen from the gardens of La Foce in central Val d’Orcia. The history of La Foce dates back to centuries ago, with the story of Iris and Antonio Origo in 1924. Iris was a writer who wrote several wonderful books about her life in Val d’Orcia and well worth reading. Her daughters Benedetta and Donata run the estate today. Nearby towns of Pienza and Montepulciano can add to a wonderful day trip to the area.
On that day being the first ones to climb the 414 steps inside Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower) we arrived at the top in time to see the rays of early light breaking through the clouds and creating a beautiful backdrop for the Duomo. Although you can also climb the stairs inside the Dome. Certainly one of the more memorable moments of our time in Florence was standing at the top of the Campanile overlooking Florence in the morning light.
The Bridge of Mary Magdalene (also called the Devil’s Bridge) crosses the Serchio River at the town of Borgo a Mozzano. This scene was part of a drive north of Lucca along the Serchio River into the area of Tuscany called Garfagnana. This is a wonderful drive into the mountains with stops in some of the quaint towns along the way.
Looking through the large front doors, the spectacular interior of the Duomo will stop you as you look up at the incredible architecture and beauty of this church. Also known as Cattedrale di Santa Maria, this church was built between 1215 and 1263. It is one of the most stunning churches in Italy (which is saying something since there are so many incredible churches in Italy). From the mosaic floor and striped marble columns, sculptures, artwork and the architecture itself will take your breath away.
This church is on the hillside below the town of Cortona. Built in the 1500’s it can be seen from several locations inside the town’s walls. Many mornings you will find the church shrouded in fog that sits in the valley and slowly the dome emerges as the fog dissipates. This is just one of many visual delights that we found as we spent over a week in Cortona.
The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) has been crossing the Arno River in Florence since 996 AD. The current bridge was built in 1345 and has always been a place for merchants (butchers in the middle ages jewelers today). In the morning you will often find scull boats being rowed along the river. If you want to have Florence all to yourself go out early in the morning.