US, South Dakota: Black Hills – Keystone – Mt Rushmore or Great faces – Great places

Black Hills are only one-hour drive from Badlands National Park. The name comes from the native Lakota Paha Sapa meaning hills that are black, because they look dark from distance. And this is not because the hills are dark, but because of the green vegetation standing out in the middle of the plains. Coming from the eastern grasslands, we could see Black Hills rising from afar, where the pine forests and the granite peaks create a distinctive landscape from what we’ve seen until now. One of the oldest mountains in North America, these hills are actually the highest mountains east of the Rockies with its highest peak little over 2,200 m.

Black Hills Continue reading

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IT, Florence: Firenze pass – Santa Maria Novella – Santa Croce- Accademia Gallery – Uffizi Gallery – Ponte Vecchio

“Italy is the garden of Europe

Tuscany is the garden of Italy

Florence is the flower of Tuscany”

Falling in love first time is about charm, attraction, fascination, obsession, purity, innocence. But falling in love a second time for the same city, same places, same sky – or maybe different – or just with different eyes but same heart (or same heart but different eyes?) is much more than I can describe in these few words, I probably will never be able to..

God was the first sculptor. He made the first figure: man.”

David Continue reading

IT, Rome: The Colloseum – Roman Forum – Piazza Navona – Terme di Caracalla – Via Appia Antica – St Sebastian Catacombs

As Virgiliu said “it’s the most beautiful thing”, Aristide named it “the capital of all nations”; Atheneu made a “summary of the world”, Ptolemeu the sofist called it “The city of all cities”, most of the people named it “The Eternal city”.

In a lifetime, the human being is continuously trying to find its own purpose on this Earth. Very few of us can truly say they found their own intent in this life. Our own hobbies, various jobs we go through, the books we read, the places we visit are the real proof we continue to search until the final moment.

This is how I felt when my own fate took my steps through Rome, feeling like I was born again. I could see how the modern life, present at every corner, is blending with the ancient ruins, making me thinking where we came from, and what we’re looking for. I realized that almost 3000 past years means almost nothing, I realized how ephemeral the Continue reading

IT, Florence: The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flowers – Climbing the Dome

Visiting a church after another church gave me the possibility to discover or rather to rediscover the sacral dimension of our humble existence in this world. This was a unique chance one can’t have pretty often in a life.

If the first 2 churches visited in Florence were big, impressive, majestic and representative in their own way for the renascence period, going to The Cathedral, named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore was a real surprise. The simplicity was stunning, the size was incredulous, the richness of the outside decorations had nothing in common with the indoors modesty.

Cathedral outside Continue reading

IT, Venice: Wandering through The Old City – St Mark’s Basilica – Doge’s Palace – Grand Canal

Understanding the beauty is totally different than understanding the beast. Once you have a preconception, it is very hard to remove the inoculated idea from the back of your mind. Most of the time, these preconceptions are born from jealousy, or just simply as a reason of personal denial. One should not have any preconception until one’s own eyes and heart are giving the whole picture to the brain to process the reality. And even then, we still have no guarantee the brain will process correctly the information, but we should hope for better.

Rumors that the canals in Venice are actually stinking came to me from different directions, but my refusal to believe or to think about this drove me to the idea that probably the smell was from some other time, season, or even space. And so it was. I was actually amazed to notice that even though most of the walls at the contact with water were slimy, with more or less green hanging weed, the surroundings were not smelly at all, even with the heavy heat I felt on my head from the sunny, and a little bit too hot Italian Sun. Continue reading