Saturday, January 09, 2016

Vintage Italy

I found some scans that I did long ago, from vintage slides of Italy. It's a whole other country! In Yurp! It's been a long time since I visited that land, but I have fond memories.

Let's start with this lovely shot of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Wikipedia describes it as a "medieval stone closed-spandrel segmented arch bridge over the Arno". It dates back to Roman times, though it has been destroyed by floods and rebuilt. I'm sure it was quite a feat of engineering in its day, and is distinctive because of the many shops that still line the bridge.

Doing a brief search on the internet, I found this modern photo that makes it appear as if Florence hasn't changed much in the last 60 years. 

This next photo is from Saint Mark's Square in Venice (you can see part of the cathedral in the back to our right). Right in front of us is one of three mast-like flagpoles with ornate bronze bases. The pigeons that are swarming that nice lady are an unfortunate part of life in this piazza. Rats with wings, I calls 'em! Even the local Venetians are looking less than thrilled.

And finally, let's go to Milan, for this fun vintage photo featuring the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II. That kid looks like he is right out of Central Casting for an Italian schoolboy. The Galleria is described as "one of the world's oldest shopping malls". It was completed in 1877.


Nanook said...


Undoubtedly the Natural Arch Bridge in Nature's Wonderland was inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, just without all that 'housing'. And I'm certain at some point in the not too distant future the young "Italian schoolboy" in the last photo will finally be able to declare: Long pants, at last-!!

Thanks, Major, for our mini-peek abroad.

K. Martinez said...

The Ponte Vecchio image looks postcard perfect in both color and composition. The Piazza San Marco image looks like a movie still as everyone looks like an actor model and all are placed artfully around the ornate base. These are extraordinarily good photos. Wonder if they were taken by a professional photographer. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Modern Florence seems a bit blurry and desaturated. The whole world is slowly dissolving before our eyes since the discontinuation of Kodachrome.

Otherwise, I can only "like" what Ken said above. This is a really nice set today, Major. Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, hmmm, I didn’t make the link between the Ponte Vecchio and the Natural Arch Bridge, but now that you say it, it’s so obvious! It’s all a big conspiracy! Maybe NOW people won’t laugh at me because of my tinfoil hat.

K. Martinez, I am pretty sure these are just better-than-average tourist photos… I don’t know about you, but they make me want to go to Italy RIGHT AWAY. I’m sure George Clooney will let me crash at his pad at Lake Como.

Chuck, the contemporary photo of Florence was a rather tiny image that I enlarged in Photoshop, wo that’s why it probably doesn’t look so great. But I agree, the world doesn’t look as good now as it did back then. ;-)

Dean Finder said...

I'm told that the feed sellers have been banned from St. Mark's Square. Tourists have to buy seed from shady sellers on streetcorners like drug deals.

DrGoat said...

The pigeons were thick as thieves when we visited my
cousin in Venice a while back. Don't blame them for
banning the seed sellers. Had the best hot chocolate
in a little cafe across from the train station. Made
my hair stand on end. Didn't need any coffee.