Cherry Blossoms

Hi everyone!

The world is kind of crazy right now, so I’ll take you virtually to the cherry blossom festival in DC. Unfortunately, this year the festival is closed and police are blocking all of the paths to the tidal basin, so these pictures are from last year!





Here are a few black and white photos!



Have you seen cherry blossoms? Are you as excited as I am that spring has arrived?

Thanks for reading!



A Squall in Acadia

Hi everyone!

Last summer I went to Acadia Maine.

One afternoon, I was standing on the deck of the cabin eating some raspberries, and enjoying the nature around me.


Then, I noticed some large clouds approaching and took out my camera to get a few cool shots.



Within a few minutes, the storm had reached our cove and I rushed inside to protect my camera.  The rain pounded against the glass windows and the wind blew the deck chairs onto the lawn.

After a few minutes, the short little squall disappeared leaving us with a clear sky!

Have you ever been caught in a short storm?

Thanks for reading!





Hi everyone!

Today’s post will be full of pictures from Oltrarno, a residential neighborhood across the Arno river from the main part of Florence with palaces and cathedrals.  We took a walk around this neighborhood before visiting the Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens, where the important Medici family eventually lived.

Oltrarno is known for its artisans and quaint roads.

Some workers….


Fruit from a local market.



We got some strawberries and they were really yummy!

A side street.




Flowers in a window box.


A scooter.

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What do you think? Did you like this photo+caption post?

Thanks for reading!

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Hi everyone! Today’s post is pictures of Pisa!

We left the Florence train station mid-morning.


Pisa, which is most known for it’s leaning tower, also has a large church and baptistry built in the Medival ages. Surprisingly, they do not look gothic, which was the traditional style of the time.  They have more of a Renaissance appearance.


This is the front of the baptistry.


This is the front of the church.



This is a view of the Church and Baptistry from the top of the leaning tower!


And now for the leaning tower! It really does lean!


The tower will not fall over because they have poured cement into the ground underneath!

Look at the amazing ice cream! 😉


Actually, a nice tourist gave me an ice cream cone which was perfect for a funny photo!  It was super hot so if I’d had any gelato it would have melted in seconds!


I did get to go up the leaning tower!!!!! My favorite part was climbing it because I had a weird sense of vertigo, as the stairs were somewhat leaning too! (you can’t really see it in this photo.


To reach the top level, I had to climb a small spiral staircase!  Because so many people use them they are slippery and quite hard to walk on.


Here is some cool architecture at the top.


The view was great! We were hoping we could see the sea from the top, but it was too far away.


On the top, I sat on the side that was leaning.  After a while, we climbed down and went back to Florence.

Do you like the photos? Which is your favorite? Have you been to Pisa too?

Thanks for reading!

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Florence’s Duomo

Hi everyone!

So today I’m posting pictures of Florence’s Duomo, which is Florence’s main Cathedral.  I’ll be doing a series of posts on Florence! I can’t wait to show some of my two thousand photos with you guys! (yes, I did say two thousand :-))

This is the outside of the Duomo.  The Duomo has four main buildings; the cathedral, the baptistry (octagonal building in the front), bell tower, and a museum called the Opera del Duomo.  The first three are in this picture.


The all three have a marble facade. The next one is of the cathedral.


Here’s an interesting one of all three (it does cut off the top of the bell tower).



My favorite of the Duomo sites was the bell tower.  It has the best view of the city and the dome, and it is less crowded.  There are all lots of places to stop on the way up because there are quite a few steps to climb.

Here are a few pictures from the bell tower.



The cool one above is from one of the small windows in the stairs.

The picture below is the metal case that you walk through at the top of the bell tower.


I did take some awesome landscapes but I’ll be posting them in a separate post.

The inside of the Cathedral is unimpressive except for the huge fresco on the inside of the dome. The picture was taken from a balcony as I walked up the dome.  I really like the figures at the top that look like they are coming out of their niches.


The climb up the dome was really cool! There were a ton of long spiral staircases that made me feel like I was in a medieval castle!

DSC_6396.jpgI didn’t think it was scary because I’ve been up to the top of St. Paul’s in London, which was much scarier (the top was really narrow and the rail was low!)

This picture is from the top of the Dome looking down! One of the best parts of the dome was waving down to part of my family that didn’t go up!


The drop was really steep.

There are really neat arches at the top.


I really like the red terracotta tiled rooves.


The baptistry was neat but I don’t really like many of my pictures.  The mosaics on the ceiling are in the byzantine style and very two dimensional.

Here are a few pictures from my way down.


This is a pipe from the walls.  I’m experimenting with black and white… not sure how it turned out.


The museum was worth it especially because they have both of Ghiberti’s doors, which are from the early 1400’s and went on the baptistry.  Many people say the doors ‘opened’ the era of the Renaissance.

These were his first ones.


And these are his gates of paradise. (sorry for the weird bending illusion! They are flat doors in truth.)


Here is a picture of the Duomo from far away.  I took the picture from the top of Palazzo Vecchio.

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And that concludes my Duomo post! What did you think? Have you been to the Duomo? Which picture was your favorite?

Thanks for reading!

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Venice, City of Waterways

Hi everyone!

Yes, Venice Italy! I can’t believe I went there either!!!! I took a million pictures but I narrowed it down so that you wouldn’t have to look at all of them. 🙂

When we first arrived, we road in a water shuttle from the airport but, because I was so tired I didn’t take any photos.  We did ride on the Grand Canal, which is the main canal, in a water-bus a day later.  I got some great photos and here is my favorite.  (Yes, if you noticed I did make some of my pictures more vibrant but hopefully, they still look natural!)


The Rialto Bridge is a pretty famous landmark and it was the only bridge that spanned the great canal for many years.  Thankfully now there are a few more bridges to span the canal but we still did not cross over from our side because it was so much of a hassle.

Here is a picture I took from the top of the bridge.


Here are a few pics of the all famous gondolas. We didn’t ride in one but they were awesome to photograph from the many small bridges.




Here’s a pretty waterway near a huge church.


Venice is a city of waterways, but it’s also a city of super narrow alleyways!  I found the majority of the paths were actually narrow alleyways for pedestrians only.  Most are smaller than the one pictured below.


A few churches had interesting fronts.



Venice also has a leaning tower! It’s really leaning so, I would not want to climb it. :-0


St. Marks square is full of tourists and pigeons.  I don’t really care for pigeons so we didn’t feed them.

The bell tower at one end, which you can walk under is really interesting.  On the top, not visible in the picture, there are two statues that move and bang a giant bell.


St. Marks church is a Byzantium style church and the ceiling is covered in gold leaf mosaics.  They are beautiful especially in the light but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any pictures.  I did get a picture of the outside.


Here is the square at sunset.


The giant tower was a watchtower so the Venetians could see approaching enemies in the old days because abound the 1300s it was the main trading port in the Mediterranean Sea.

Venice was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget! The unique atmosphere and roads will be forever picturesque in my mind!

Do you like the photos? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

~ Sapphire