A Passion for Stairs (Part II)

After a long break since the first part of this series, I’ve decided to continue showing you how my passion for stairs has made them the main characters in many of my travel photos from around Europe. With no further ado, I give you:

1. Cordonata Capitolina in Rome unites Piazza d’Aracoeli to Piazza del Campidoglio. It is actually the monumental ramped staircase leading to the Capitoline Hill and the surrounding palazzi, and it’s famous for being designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Due to the width of the stairs, it allows visitors to gradually ascend the hill in slo-mo, which makes it not tiring at all. At the base of the Cordonata there are two black statues of Egyptian lions, while at the top we can admire the statues of Castor and Pollux.

Cordonata Capitolina in Rome

Cordonata Capitolina in Rome

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Home is where you feel you belong

There’s this saying “Home is where your heart is.” that I never managed to grasp completely. Maybe because my heart is here, there and in many places, because pieces of it live in family and friends, people who are close and in others who are far and away, or maybe just because it’s torn between places I’m in, have been or long to go to. Allow me to say that home is where I feel I belong! The feeling of belonging is no mathematics, so no precise equation can give the final answer – you belong here 100%, but rather is a mix of heart and gut feelings. For me, home is and has been that small Romanian city I grew up in, I know and I live in, the one I take pride in, on whose streets I feel like in my backyard, whose people I understand and relate to in more than one way, where my family and most of my friends are and where every stone and corner triggers a memory. The city I leave very often and that seems even more beautiful every time I return! It’s called Craiova and I invite you to a photo tour (by yours truly) through this lovely city! I’ll save the explanations for when you’re visiting it in person. 🙂

I love Craiova!

I love Craiova!

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Ohrid Travel Guide. Part II: The Old Town

After taking together the road to Ohrid, we have finally made it to this beautiful Macedonian town. If we were to follow the logical sequence of events, I’d now have to write about the next thing we usually do when we get to a destination, which is finding accommodation. However, before all that, I’d like to charm you with the beauty of the place and only after to bore you with the logistic details (accommodation, food, clubs etc). So the second part of this little Ohrid travel guide will lead us through millenia of continuous civilization, overlapped on what we now know as the old town. Let’s start, thus, the tour of the town, and I’ll be your guide for its whole duration.

First step is to arm ourselves with a map of the town. Because I’m a big fan of maps I find on the internet, I recommend you to print this map and take it with you. In Ohrid I identified four main attractions that you shouldn’t miss: the old town (situated on a hill), the port, the Riviera (a low, asphalted waterfront) and Carsija (the main walking & shopping street). All four unite, according to the map, at the entrance in the harbour (the central area of the city), where we’ll start climbing to the old town. Don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes, something to cover your head and a bottle of water (if you’re visiting during the summer), your camera for taking pictures and your attention to listen to the history and legends. 🙂 Continue reading

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Happy National Day, Romania and Romanians!

As you could probably understand from the title of this article, December 1st is the National Day of Romania, the country where I was born and where I live. Though this holiday was set after the 1989 Revolution, it actually talks about a major event that affected the course of my country’s history 95 ago. On December 1st, we celebrate the unification in 1918 of the regions of Transylvania, Banat, Crișana and Maramureș with Romania. The Great Union was enacted by the coronation, 4 years later, of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie in the city of Alba Iulia, the same city where the National Assembly had declared the Union in 1918.

Below is a map of how the Kingdom of Romania – also known as Greater Romania – looked like in 1918, after the Union. Today it lacks Bessarabia and the southern part of Dobruja.

Map of Greater Romania in 1918

Map of Greater Romania in 1918

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A Passion for Stairs (Part I)

Looking back through some old photos from my travels around Europe, I realized I had a bunch of pics of, on or in front of different types of staircases, be them indoor or outdoor, famous or unknown, straight or round, spiral or circular (helical). I found over 20 such images, which I decided to share with you just to check if I’m the only traveller with an obsession for stairs or not. Here are the first 5, according to my personal top:

1. Spiral stairs inside the Vatican Museum, designed by a famous Italian architect and engineer, Giuseppe Momo, in 1932. The staircase is shaped like a double helix: it contains two intertwined spirals, one of which leads down, while the other goes upwards.

Spiral stairs inside the Vatican Museum - view from above

View from above

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