My wife, Laurel, and I recently visited Italy for a two week journey. We traveled with only our backpacks. We started in Florence where we found our favorite gelato. The architecture was astounding — some of the best you’ll find in the world. Next we boarded Trenitalia to Lucca. The historic Lucca city center is encompassed by medieval walls, and the city within seems untouched since its original construction. This was my favorite city in Italy. Tourists do not seem to have discovered it yet. Lucca is a lovely destination for walking aimlessly and enjoying a picturesque Italian town.
Next we ventured to Bologna, a very large and more “modern” city. It’s a college town with a younger crowd and far larger than Lucca. It was too busy for my taste, so we used Bologna as a hub from which we took day trips to Modena and Parma. Modena is known for its food for a reason. Laurel and I enjoyed some of the best pasta we’ve ever tasted at Ristorante da Danilo. Parma was largely non-descript. It wasn’t as photogenic as other cities, but we spent an afternoon wandering.
Our last stop was Ravenna on the east coast. Ravenna is known for its tile mosaics that date back to 400 AD (maybe earlier). The mosaics are truly awe-inspiring. And our last stop was again in Florence where we perused the crowded city markets for gifts before returning home. Italy was a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime journey.
I captured our stays in each city with my Nikon FM2 camera, Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AI-s lens, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI-s lens, and Ilford HP5 Plus film. Photos were pushed two stops to ISO 1600, developed in Ilfotec HC at 1:31 dilution for 14 minutes, and scanned with an Epson v850.
Panorama of Tokyo, Japan captured from our room at the Park Hotel in Shiodome. Tokyo tower in foreground with Mount Fuji on the horizon. October 2016.