Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #109: Under the Tuscan Sun

Amy is hosting our Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week and she has chosen a marvelous theme –“Under the Sun,” inspired by the book Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.  As many of you know, Tuscany is one of my favorite places, so this week, I’ll feature 4 beautiful cities in province of Tuscany–Florence, Arezzo, Lucca, and Siena–at different times of the day.

The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.~Wallace Stevens

Morning in Florence

The sun in Florence casts a golden glow on the city, warming the bricks, wood, and stones.  Here you can see a shuttered window in the neighborhood of Santa Croce, outside the historic center.

Siena at Noon

Siena’s Piazza del Campo is a magnificent bowl-shaped meeting place in the center of the city.  Here, visitors and students chat with friends, eat at the cafes and visit the famous medieval landmarks Torre del Mangia and the Duomo.  The red brick paving is set in radiating lines, fanning out from the Palazzo Publico like spokes in a wheel.

Florence in the Afternoon

In the afternoon, the Giardino delle Rose in Florence is filled with locals, students, and some tourists who relax on the grass and admire the flowers.  As you can see, the sunlight slanting down from the west, casts deep shadows.

Florence in the Late Afternoon 

The shadows lengthen throughout the afternoon and into the early evening.  This park borders the Arno River which splits the city into two sections.  When I took this shot, we were walking on the Oltrano (the other side of the Arno), opposite the historic center.  This was one of my favorite walks.  The light in the morning and evening was wonderful.

Sunset Conversation. Florence, Italy

Here’s another example of the golden light–striking a mail slot in a building in Florence’s historic center.

Arezzo in the Late Afternoon 

Arezzo is often overlooked by tourists, but as you can see, it has many fine example of traditional Tuscan architecture.  This doorway, framed with potted plants, is especially beautiful.

Lucca in the Late Afternoon 

I’ll end my post with this shot of Lucca, a wealthy and historic city also in Tuscany.  The ancient fortified walls are still standing.  Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the walls and walk along a pedestrian path around the city.  At one point we spotted a mansion that was so beautiful we had to climb down and take a closer look.  The Palazzo Pfanner has been converted into a museum with a public garden and even a small hotel.

I hope you enjoyed this visit to Tuscany with its outstanding natural beauty and beautiful golden light.  No wonder why so many creative artists have found inspiration there.  It is one of those magical places where nature, architecture and people create a harmonious whole.

As I end this post, I’ll leave you with Frances Mayes description of dawn in her book Bella Tuscany:

Dawn is the sweetest time on earth. In the last moments of dark, the bird chorale begins. One of us wakes the other. Listen, they’re starting to sing now. So many, a rising cloud of birdsong, a lift, an ushering-in. Then the sky—no rosy finger of dawn but a suffusion of rose out of indigo, the quietest light on the hills and the rushing songs of the birds still rising over the absolute world unto itself. ~Frances Mayes

A special thanks again to Xenia for hosting last week’s “Sanctuary” theme, which inspired marvelous posts.  They gave us a wonderful breath of serenity and joy.  Our sincere thanks to all of you who participated in the challenge.

Please join us this week for Amy’s LAPC #109–Under the Sun.  Remember to link to Amy’s post here, and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find your post easily.  Next week, it’s Tina’s turn to host challenge #110, so be sure to visit her site, Travels and Trifles.

I’ll end my post with the hope that you all stay well, stay safe and keep creating!

72 replies »

  1. Wonderful post Patti – how great that you were able to showcase some wonderful Tuscan sun during a week when the challenge was modeled on it! One can imagine being there from perusing your images. I especially loved your closing image and have a hard time imagining the wealth of the original owner to have had such a glorious spot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tina. I dug through my archives for this one! Palazzo Pfanner is gorgeous. I’d love to spend a few days there at the hotel. Couples were reading on the lawn and they looked so content! It’s a beautiful spot. A bit of paradise!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely adored your post Patti but then no one can capture the different shades of Tuscany like you do . Reminded me of all things I loved out there. My only regret , I don’t remember seeing that Posta in Florence. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sheetal. I was thinking of you as I worked on this post!! I’m delighted you enjoyed it. There are always more things to discover in Florence, aren’t there? While we were there, I read that there used to be little windows where people could buy a glass of wine. I wasn’t successful finding any of them, but I’ll look again!


      • Ok ! This has to be telepathy because I was just reading about these medieval plague era ‘wine windows’ revived in Florence. A bar ‘Osteria della Brache’ put it up on its Instagram page. I am so excited about your trip and can’t wait to read of your adventures in Florence . Maybe the Florentine Boar magic will work for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! We are thinking along the same lines! I hope you can go back, too. …But tell me what the Florentine boar magic is! I haven’t heard of that.


      • I am sure you’ve seen it but probably didn’t pay attention. It’s a small bronze fountain of a boar at the market place selling bags etc . You put a coin in its snout and let it fall in the grate below. Also rub its snout making a wish to come back. Needless to say, it is popular and a whole lot of fun too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You captured natural beauty and beautiful golden light of Tuscan. I’m delight to take this special tour with you, Patti. I love Siena at Noon and Florence Arno walk especially. Ah… Lucca. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful selection of images ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ I had that book once upon a time, but I gave a lot away to Oxfam when we last moved. I especially love the Arezzo photo. Tuscany is one area of Italy I would love to visit, preferably in a quiet time and Lucca could be a good place to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jude. Thank you! It’s hard to hold onto a lot of books. I’ve given away quite a few and tried to keep just the ones I absolute need. I’m down to 1 bookcase, which is pretty good for me! I hope you do get to Tuscany. It’s well worth a visit. The small towns are wonderful, which their own personalities.


  5. What a terrible post Patti. So many photos that show life in a place I love and miss so much. I wonder if I shall ever be able to return. One day perhaps we could have aperitivo in a plaza. So love this post 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely, John. Those weathered stones have stood the test of time and highlight its passage through the ages. I love the layers of history there, the mingling of the past and the present. I’m delighted you like the images too. As you can see, I’m inspired by Tuscany!! I’m sure, being a lover of history, you are, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful images Patti with the warm Tuscan sunlight behind you! I especially love the Giardino delle Rose and the view beyond. Hope you are keeping safe and well too 💖

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you kindly dear Patti, there were so many lovely responses and Abrie’s video/film premiere was priceless! 😀 Lovely to hear the garden is mainly for local people to enjoy and here’s hoping it will stay that way. Wishing you a happy week ahead and thank you again for inviting me to guest-host last week, it was a lovely experience 💖 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love Tuscany too, though I’ve not been there for too long. The flowers in half pots against the gorgeous stone and brick wall charmed and fascinated me. You see the passing of time as you look around the frame.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful images, Patti, especially that doorway. My wife and I planned our first trip to Italy that was to happen in April. Of course, that never happened. I’ll have to be happy with images on the Internet. We are going to try again in 2021, but we’ll see whether or not that happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m so sorry, John, that the virus interrupted your plans. But your trip will happen, I’m sure of it. Not as soon as you’d like, but it will happen. We’re in the same boat in terms of canceling trips. We’re hoping to “re-do” 2020 as soon as it’s safe. It’s still unclear when that will be🤔


  9. Wonderful photos. Glad you worked in both Lucca and Arezzo. They are not big and great, but they are nice and charming. That wonderful door from Arezzo was exactly the kind of thing you remember these places by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, IJ. Thank you! I wanted to include some of the less traveled places. As you say, they have their charm, too! Florence is getting so overcrowded, the locals are complaining. It’s such a mixed blessing–tourist dollars are needed but their way of life is disappearing. Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey, Florence looks okay under the sun! Yeah, I know I’m underselling that by a fair mile. And that only reminds me there are many parts of Italy I’ve not yet been.


  11. Patti, I really enjoyed your tour of Tuscan. Sadly we only spent a day there, mostly at a vineyard, and that was certainly not enough time. Arezzo in the Late Afternoon is so lovely, the colors, architecture, nature and age, all blend together so beautifully. It’s a hard picture to forget, my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, too bad, Sylvia. I hope you can spend more time there on another trip. Thanks so much too for your kind words about the images. I am really inspired by the beauty there!


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