A Moment of Hope #5

We are living in some scary times right now. I am old and have lived through others but this one is somehow different and maybe more frightening. So until it is over each day I plan to post an image that provides calmness and a moment of zen. We all need a lot of moments like these right now.

I am a spiritual but not religious person. Dogma is not my thing. However religion gives many people hope and to not allow people to attend services must add an additional level of anxiety. So I am pleased to see that most religious services are available online.

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Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

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.

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

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.

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

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

Napoleon’s House on Elba

In the Treaty of Fontainebleau, the Allies exiled Napoleon to Elba, an island of 12,000 inhabitants in the Mediterranean off the Tuscan coast. They gave him sovereignty over the island and allowed him to retain the title of Emperor, while his wife and son took refuge in Austria. He only lived there for ten months before he escaped and raised an army while marching to Paris. Eventually defeated at Waterloo and sent to the island of St, Helena in the Atlantic Ocean where he died.

His house on Elba was small but tucked into a peaceful hill near the enter of the island. The house is in the process of being refurbished but much of the furniture and art was sold off by Napoleon’s sister to pay off family debts.

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

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Napoleon’s House in Elba

Italian Statues Part Two

One of the great things about European cities is the collection of beautiful statues in each city. We also have beautiful outdoor sculptures in The United States but not done by Michelangelo or Donatello to name a couple of the more famous ones. The statues in Italy are amazing. Every city, every courtyard, every plaza is full of beautiful out door sculpture, some famous some not. Here are some more from out recent tour in Italy.

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

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Statues Part One

One of the great things about European cities is the collection of beautiful statues in each city. We also have beautiful outdoor sculptures in The United States but done by Michelangelo or Donatello to name a couple of the more famous ones. The statues in Italy are amazing. Every city, every courtyard, every plaza is full of beautiful out door sculpture, some famous some not. Here are some from out recent tour in Italy.

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

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture

Italian Sculpture