Spring has finally landed in Rome yesterday and many of us were still hesitating between keeping the coat on or taking it off. I even saw a tree which was not sure what he was going to do. As all the trees in the street had chosen to carry red leaves, this one had both red leaves and bright green small ones on the same branch, with pink flowers on the red side and white ones on the green side.

 

 

 

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Bomarzo under the rain

March 17, 2011

I went to Bomarzo yesterday to meet the owners of the “Parco dei mostri” (Monsters’ grove or garden of wonders) to talk about a photographic project I would like to do there. The weather was really bad, grey, rainy, almost winter. I was very curious to see how the garden looks like at that time of the year : the light was very dull but the garden is also mysterious with very few colors except the green of the moss, so I took a few pictures.

If you have never been to Bomarzo, which is near Rome, this is an incredible garden (open to the public all year round), made by Baron Vicino Orsini in the XVIth century. It is very famous for its “mouth of hell” and was re-discovered at the end of the 1930’s by Salvador Dali and the surrealists; I read also that Italian film maker Michelangelo Antonioni made a documentary about it  but I can’t find it  (if someone has got a copy, I am interested…).

 

 

 

 

 

On the Aventino hill

March 10, 2011

I wanted to take a few pictures at night of the “giardino degli aranci” (the garden of the oranges) which is located on the top of the Aventino, one of Rome’s seven hills. I thought it was going to be open in the evening like last year when Pope Benedict XVI came for the Ash Wednesday service in Santa Sabina basilica near the garden. Unfortunately, this year, despite the visit of the Pope in the afternoon, it was closed. I could only take a very simple large shot from the street and one of the garden’s outside wall with a blue line made by the light of a scooter that passed by during the long exposure. Then I went to the end of the street on the “Piazza dei Cavalieri” designed by Giambattista Piranesi at the end of the 18th century and had a chat with the soldiers who patrol around the embassy of Egypt.

 

 

 

 

I went to Paris this week to visit friends and family and stopped in the area where I used to live, the Buttes-Chaumont, on the top of Belleville hill, to have a look at the “jardin partagé”, the community garden, located at the corner of Rue Fessart and Rue Clavel. The garden is still in a winter mood and the graffiti painted on its wall needs some renovation, but I am happy to see that it is still there. The place is lent by the city of Paris for a few years before they make a new building (good news as my friends told me it should be a nursery school) to encourage community gardening and education while fostering neighborhood social connection.