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San Gimignano

Next stop, San Gimignano. It takes its name from the Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano. In 1348 San Gimignano’s population was drastically reduced by the Black Death Plague. The construction of their towers dates back to the 11th and 13th centuries. The architecture of the city was influenced by Pisa, Siena and Florence. Wikipedia has […]

Certaldo Alto

A friend told us we had to visit Certaldo Alto. I am glad we listened. It was a little hard to find. Actually it was easy to find sitting up on the hilltop. However, it was tricky to figure out how to get there. Originally an Etruscan-Roman city, it was a fief of the Alberti […]


We got an early start Saturday morning and took off for Tuscany. The Autostrade out of Bologna quickly turned into more than just getting passed by big Mercedes and BMWs at high speed. It became a game of tunnel, bridge, tunnel, bridge as we approached Firenze. The hills of Tuscany make building roads a lot […]


Renting a car in Italy is a fun experience. You’d better be in a relaxed mood. We decided not to have a car for our time in Milano (which was a good move). This morning when we checked out we headed directly for the central train station to pick up our car. We were originally […]


Well it was a planes, trains and automobiles day. Fortunately without most of the drama, or John Candy or Steve Martin. It was a long day. We left Mpls. at about 8:00, airport delays and all. We flew NWA/Delta on an Airbus 330 (one of them that didn’t drop into the Atlantic). We were in […]

Getting it all together

The Internet has certainly transformed travel. You can visit your intended location with Google Maps and get a feel for the area with either the satellite or street view (e.g. I was really surprised how much of the Lake Como in Italy you can see from Google’s street view of the area). TripAdvisor is a […]

Our Itinerary

Well it is finally set. We fly into Malpensa airport A, take the train into Milan Central to stay near the Duomo for a couple of days. Then we drive to Bologna B (I wonder if anyone can sing the Oscar Meyer theme song like Jack?) for the night. We then will wind our way […]

Le Torri (part deux or should I say part due)

From the top of the mountain Unfortunately I did not take this picture. I say unfortunately because if I had, I’d be there. It won’t be long now. We leave September 2nd and we are psyched. Once we get an itinerary fixed, I’ll post it.


I’ve been working hard to capture a nice shots of these beautiful birds. Here are a few… This one was right down near our beach early one morning. They really spook easily when you walk up to to say hello. Even when you walk, really really, slowly. Venturing out in a canoe and drifting over […]

Digital Darkroom

I am having a lot of fun getting back into photography. My latest adventure is recreating my old wet darkroom experiences to digital. Here is an example using HDR (high dynamic range) processing.