August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
So there’s this color virus spreading around the travel blogosphere, and apparently I’ve been infected by none other than Madame Ivory Pomegranate herself (thank you, Kristin. It is always a pleasure swapping pixels with you). Carefully selected travel bloggers are invited to post five photos that celebrate the colors red, blue, white, green, and yellow. It’s a contest you see. Run by the good folks at Travel Supermarket.
I live in a small beach town called Terracina on the West Coast of Italy. Loadsa color here, which I’m happy to bring to you. Except I keep thinking of the old ad copy, “Skittles: Taste the Rainbow” which, in turn, makes me hungry for preservatives and artificial coloring. My feet may be in Italy, but my taste buds are in America.
Without further ado, my five colorful photos.
When I first moved to Terracina two years ago, I didn’t have any friends, so to fill my time, I walked up and down the lungomare. Up and down, then back and forth the 3km stretch. I watched the sea. I looked back towards the Maga Circe. I looked up towards the Temple of Jove. And every so often, I hit an old beach shack sign, a relic from the days when my parents lived here. I always loved this sign for Lido la Stiva the best. It’s fairly close to my apartment, so in those early days when I didn’t know where the hell I was, the colorful vintage sign was a beacon reminding me that I wasn’t all that far from my new home.
This is an alleyway in Sperlonga’s ancient quarter. Sperlonga is another beach town dotting the Riviera of Ulysses, and has held resort status since Roman times. The Saracens invaded during the middle ages, and you can see their mark in the historical centre’s blue-and-white architecture. The city’s white beaches are stupendous. The cavernous grottoes are marvelous – you hold your breath inside, lest the Cyclops come thundering through. And I once got really drunk at one of the clubs.
This was a tricky one for me, because quite a few of my favorite photos from my beloved city of Terracina involve red. A lovely plate of bruschetta on a red tablecloth. A rooster stalking through a pomegranate grove. But I keep coming back to this shot of the Maga Circe at sunset, lit up as if by a flame.
What I love about the Maga Circe – the Circeum Mountain, in English – is that she’s alive. No, really, hear me out: each morning, when I leave the house, I look back towards where she floats in the Tyrrhenian sea. Some days, she’s shy – hiding behind the clouds. Other days, she’s feeling sassy and you can see her jagged shape clear against the sky. Each sunset is different – sometimes she glows, other times she’s subdued. This photo was taken during winter – as you can see from the absence of umbrellas on the shore. I’d never seen anything like that sunset. Which is another thing I love about the Maga Circe. She’s never the same.
I have an obsession with Fiat 500s, so I take my camera with me wherever I go, just so I can catch them in the act of being parked. There are an infinite number of specimens in my area – Yellow Hard-Top Garage Gracers, Red Cloth Top Curb Huggers, Teal Convertible Beach Combers – but I’ve always liked this one: the White Topped Carnevale Stalker, found in Pontecorvo. Even with all the Carnevale float madness surrounding it, my eyes still go straight to the Fiat.
One of the things that fascinates me most about the area I live in is that all of the cities have strikingly different ancient quarters. The ancient quarter in Sperlonga is moorish; white and blue, whereas the ancient quarter of Gaeta is mingled with medieval stones. The ancient quarter of Terracina, however, is my very favorite – and not just because I live here. I still remember the first time I passed through. It was nighttime. The orange street lights were glowing. The massive, pink-hued municipal piazza loomed before me, marked over with SPQT. My cousin caught my gaze and laughed: “You’re enchanted!” And I was even more so when I visited the ancient quarter during the day. Its two thousand year-old buildings are painted in ochre and green, a color combination that has become one of my favorites. I love visiting the quarter during the day, hiding in the narrow alleyways, and simply looking up at the green shutters. This photo was taken during that first daytime visit. I had no idea then how many times I would traipse through the quarter on rickety high heels, how many thimbles of limoncello I would drink on its hidden terraces, and how many times my heart would break at the sound of an elderly man playing his violin on the cobblestones.
All right. That’s enough out of me. Who will I color-infect next who hasn’t already been infected? We’re such an incestuous lot, us travel writers. All right, then. I hereby infect:
Cheri at Writing Through the Fog
Danielle at Narrative Disorder
Mike at Mike’s Ryukyu Gallery
Sharon at Nickelmoon
Nick at Delicious Chaos
Or should I say, I infect them… again.