The Tuscan Island of Elba

Our cruise ship, The Azamara Pursuit was a small luxury cruise liner. Because of that we could visit smaller ports that can’t be reached by the large cruise ships.

When The Pursuit docked in Portoferraio it was the largest ship in the harbor and the only cruise liner there on that day. This made our stay on Elba more enjoyable. Portoferraio is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful and filled with shops, cafe’s and beautiful beaches.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Portoferraio

Portoferraio

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore Part Two

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. It is one of the Churches referred to as The Vatican Beyond the Walls. Eve though it is outside the Vatican it is part of The Papal See and guarded by the famous Swiss Guard instead of the roman police.

The inside is astonishing and has one of the most beautiful ceilings in existence. It is very large with many different areas for worship and truly one of the most beautiful and accessible churches in the world.

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The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore Part One

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is a Papal major basilica and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy. It is one of the Churches referred to as The Vatican Beyond the Walls. Even though it is outside the Vatican it is part of The Papal See and guarded by the famous Swiss Guard instead of the roman police.

The inside is astonishing and has one of the most beautiful ceilings in existence. It is very large with many different areas for worship and truly one of the most beautiful and accessible churches in the world.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome

This church, Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, was fascinating for a number of reasons. It was built in the ruins of the Diocletian Baths of Ancient Rome. There are fenced off ruins right next to the basilica but visitors are not permitted. Recently I post about magnificent pipe organ.

Here are some other images from one of the churches known as the Vatican Beyond The Walls

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Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

Tempio Maggiore Firenze Part Two

If you stand on the Plaza of Michelangelo and over look the city of Florence you will notice immediately the dome of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo. If you look to the left and a little further back you will see another smaller dome. This is the Tempio Maggiore or The Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy.

Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Although Jews survived in Tuscany better than some other areas of Europe they were still persecuted and second class citizens There was a Jewish emancipation in 1848 of the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The temple was built in the moorish style and designed to fit in as worthy counterpoint to the famous Catholic dome

Comparisons aside this temple is a magnificent structure and museum. It has a fantastic history and had been miraculously preserved and maintained. Sadly, as with most synagogues around the world security is noticeable and you can not take a camera inside. However they do allow you to take photographs with your cell phones.

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Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze Part One

If you stand on the Plaza of Michelangelo and over look the city of Florence you will notice immediately the dome of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo. If you look to the left and a little further back you will see another smaller dome. This is the Tempio Maggiore or The Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy.

Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Although Jews survived in Tuscany better than some other areas of Europe they were still persecuted and second class citizens There was a Jewish emancipation in 1848 of the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The temple was built in the moorish style and designed to fit in as worthy counterpoint to the famous Catholic dome

Comparisons aside this temple is a magnificent structure and museum. It has a fantastic history and had been miraculously preserved and maintained. Sadly, as with most synagogues around the world security is noticeable and you can not take a camera inside. However they do allow you to take photographs with your cell phones.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Smokers

I started smoking when I was about 15 and quit when I was 45. When you are a kid you think smoking makes you look cool or tough. Everyone smoked. Even doctors smoked. Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant smoked. Women smoked and somehow it seemed sexy when they did.Tough guys smoked, bad guys smoked. Then the times changed at least in the USA. However when you go to Europe you see a lot more people smoking and I had some time to observe this on our last trip.

What used to look cool or tough now looked sad. People looked nervous while smoking or did they smoke because they were nervous?
Did smokers always look this unhappy and nervous? Did I hen I smoked? Do you if you still smoke?

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Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers