Thursday, June 04, 2015

Umbria - Scenery and Churches

Part 3 in my blog entries about our trip to Umbria... the scenery.

Starting in Rome, there are churches, statues and sculpture everywhere, but I have been there a few times and captured a lot of it.  However, I never get bored looking down the river at the Vatican.  The rivers in both Paris and Rome are wonderful.  I love the wide walkways on each side, the flood walls, and the majestic trees.  St Peters is a nice anchor to have at the end.
This fountain was close to our hotel.  I kept walking by it without taking a shot, but finally decided I liked the dark shadows in the early morning.

Italy is a beautiful country and Umbria is its rolling heartland. It's full of historic little towns and flowing green farmland.

Every couple of miles, you run across the next walled city on a hill top.  When the Romans conquered the area, they moved people down into the flats, where they wouldn't have such fortresses.  When the Romans got run out, everyone went right back up the hill.
There are still stadiums and theaters scattered around.  Not bad for 2,000 years old.
Another great  contribution from the Romans, water.  This is a huge aqueduct. Think about how long we went before construction like this started again.  Lots of people have no idea how far ahead the Romans were when it came to building infrastructure like roads, water, sewer, ....
This is the source of the aqueduct's water.  I was handholding the camera, trying to take fairly long exposures to smooth the water.  This was the best one I got. 
The town of Perugia has a lot of buildings in its hilltop location, but not much parking.  The best alternative is to park in one of several big parking garages and then take several long escalators to get up into the city. On the way back down, I decided to get artsy and take some shots where I zoomed in when the shutter was open. Kind of interesting.
Another town, another hilltop castle....
This was the town of Gubbio.  In another blog entry, we will talk about a race up that hill with a 400 pound "candlestick".
We went in a lot of churches and I have to say it was simply overwhelming.  It is one thing to go into the Vatican museum with high expectations, but every one of these little towns had at least one magnificent church and sometimes several.  It wasn't just the building.  It was the paintings and the sculpture inside them!

Here is a series of photos of church ceilings.  I will leave it to you to guess which were from big famous churches and which were from little local ones. The only clue is the crowd in one of them.

The rest of the church wasn't bad either.
We stumbled into this little church while they were having a service.  It must be pretty cool to be a priest in a place like this.  You have to feel at least a little closer to God.
I could go on with dozens of photos of incredible buildings and artwork, but part of the challenge for me is that they actually  became repetitive.  Tough to say with such fantastic sights,  but after a while you start looking for something other than the Virgin Mary, Jesus and their entourages.

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