On my last trip home, I decided to bring my Leica M3 back with me to Afghanistan. There's nowhere to process film in Kabul, but I miss photography, especially the analogue process. I had a chance to practice on a recent trip to Italy, and I'm now waiting (with bated breath) for the 5+ rolls of film to be developed and sent to me. The photo above was taken in front of Castell dell'Ovo in Naples where I was trying to get some good shots of lovers meandering along the Lungomare.
I spent last week in beautiful Lombardy on Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como. Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy and the largest in Southern Switzerland, and is surrounded by the Pennine, Lepontine, and Lugano Alps. Friends of mine have a lovely villa along the shore, and we spend our time there swimming, sailing, and hiking in nearby villages. Lake Como is a bit less rustic with its many grand lakeside villas and palaces, and with a sophisticated ferry service that links many of the small villages surrounding the lake. While Como feels slightly overrun with tourists during the summer months, it retains the charm and beauty that poets and writers have long praised. Virgil, said to be a native of the lake region, referred to Lago di Como as "Our greatest lake." Shelley, too, considered it to "exceed anything I ever beheld in beauty." D.H. Lawrence called Lake Garda "A lake as beautiful as the beginning of creation," and Henry James declared, "One can't describe the beauty of the lakes, nor would one try if he could."
I was in Como this time for the wedding of two friends from grad school. The wedding mass took place at the charming Sant'Antonio Abate chapel in the bride's hometown of Casnate just outside the city of Como. We spent the evening along the shores of the lake at the neoclassical Villa Parravicini. The day after the wedding we took a long boat tour of the lake from Como to Bellagio. Taking a cue from Henry James, I tried to capture some of the beautiful scenery - including the impressive villas and hotels along the way - in pictures instead of words. You may recognize Villa del Balbianello, Villa Carlotta, and Villa d'Este in the album here.
I’m charmed by places like Oggebbio. There is a sense of quiet respite and quaint comfort foreign to big cities, and the eccentricity of local customs that neither conform to nor are informed by rules or modern customary practice.Read More