Monday, October 31, 2016

Pink umbrella

A little rain is to be expected, but the hope is it will not last too long or dampen the spirit.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Under the dome

An earlier post mentioned Brunelleschi’s Dome that sits atop the Florence Cathedral (Il Duomo di Firenze), and here is a view looking up into the dome. There are many things about this dome that are remarkable. The dome caps an octogonal hole that is 150 wide that was open to the elements for over a hundred years. The original builders of the cathedral did not know how to complete the crown that would start atop 180 foot walls. This was 600 years ago, long before architecture or engineering was a science and construction was more of a trial and error affair.

After much discussion and a competition Brunelleschi was chosen for the task, a man with no formal architecture training. He was by trade a goldsmith.

National Geographic has a series of articles and graphics that provide a lot more detail of this fascinating accomplishment.

Shown in the above photo is the fresco that was later added inside the dome. The credit for that work goes to three men, Vincenzo Borghini, Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccaro.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

From behind

Everyone shoots a picture of Michelangelo's David from the front, but you don't see many from the rear. The crowd does like the view from all sides, and stand in line sometimes for hours for a glimpse. We were lucky to have a pre-arranged tour and no line.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Two wheels

Us Americans love our automobiles, but although there are plenty of cars in Italy, there are also many people who choose to travel on two wheels. I suppose there are good reasons: easier to traverse small and busy streets, and also the cost of fuel. My rough calculations tell me the cost of gas is almost three times as expensive in Italy as I pay at home. And I expect the same is true in most of Europe.

On the open roads the motorcycle riders make frightening maneuvers, often passing cars on narrow streets on blind corners and at high speed. But somehow it seems to work. We did not see any traffic accidents in our two weeks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Down the street (via)

OK, maybe this is a tourist snap, but it is still a nice photo of the view from our hotel room balcony. Of course what is down the street is the Duomo di Firenze, the Florence Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world and topped with Brunelleschi’s famous dome.

Monday, October 24, 2016


I did not post any images in the first two weeks of October because I was traveling. We started out in Toronto (see the previous few posts), then flew on Lufthansa though Germany (Munich, see above), then on to Italy. We had two weeks in Italy: Florence, Rome and Sorrento/Amalfi.

Over the next week or so I will be posting images from our travels, but I will do my best to avoid the obvious tourist snaps and instead focus on details that I found interesting and is in keeping with my blog statement.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Gucci and Popeye's

Unusual mix. You can't always pick your neighbors.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Have a seat

Continuing from the last post... how do you get shoppers to shop longer? Provide a well designed and comfortable seat for the shoppers spouse. These images are from a new Nordstrom's that recently opened in downtown Toronto.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fashion trio

Shopping for fashion is more than the for-sale product... it is the total emersion in style. The shopping experience is really the product.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

BMX Park

BMX (bicycle motocross) are those little bikes that are used for competitive racing or showing-off fancy jumps and stunts. This park was build in Toronto for a major competition and is now open to the public.