Guest Diary #1

On the occasion of doing 100 posts and 100 comments on my blog am very happy to introduce to you all my super talented friend Tanvi Sanghani who’s sharing some amazing pictures from Italy and Greece.

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Tanvi is a globe-trotter who travels with her lens and a firm hand. Her pictures are stunning, as you will see, and her love for landscapes, immense. In this one special post, the pictures, and well, Tanvi do all the talking!

Starting off with Tanvi’s travel map..

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1. Rome

“Carpe Diem” ~ Horace

As Horace so wisely said “carpe diem”, when one has only half a day in Rome, to re-explore the Flavian Amphitheater is indeed seizing the day.

The Colosseum is rightly coined as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built with stone and concrete, this elliptical amphitheater was the largest one of the Roman Empire and could accommodate between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts and executions were held here.

2. Vasto

“A well balanced equation”

According to tradition, Diomedes, the Greek hero founded this town of Vasto, a town and comune on the Adriatic coast in southern Italy.

A must visit for all those who crave an unspoiled Mediterranean experience – Refreshingly quiet beaches and the blue Adriatic Sea in the East, with mountains tucked away in the west.

3. Grotte di Castellana

“Water! Every drop counts”

The magnificent Stalactite and Stalagmite formations of this limestone grotto (cave) that goes 70 meters below ground are witness to this! The finest formations can be viewed in Grotta Bianca (The White Cave), where everything is sparkling white! Not advisable to people who suffer from claustrophobia – but otherwise, another must see!

4. Gargano’s Coast

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” ~ Isak Dinesen

Driving along this coast, you will be amazed at how vivid the blue waters and how white the beaches are! This peninsular region is still partly covered by an ancient Foresta Umbra.

We spent a day driving along the coast, and stopped at an organic farm deep within the forest to feast on homemade delicacies and brewed wine. The spread was so elaborate that we took almost three hours to do justice to the fine Italian cooking. And as per the Italian tradition, we polished our meal, with a few shots of the bright yellow Limoncello Liqueur – an immensely popular Sothern Italian digestif.

5. Florence

“Life offers you a thousand chances. All you have to do is take one.” ~ Under The Tuscan Sun.

Ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence can indeed take your heart away! Florence is the capital and the most populous city in the region of Tuscany, Italy.

Three of my favorite spots in Florence were –

The Santa Maria del Fiore aka the Duomo di Firenze – one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve seen and the symbol of the city.

Giotto’s Tower adjacent to the Duomo, that gives you a magnificent 360-degree view of the Duomo once you climb the 414 steps!

Ponte Vecchio – the oldest and the most famous bridge on Arno – the only Florentine bridge to survive the WW2. Viewing the sun set from this bridge is quite a magical experience!

6. Venice

“Words can’t express what you mean to me” ~ Puff Daddy

118 little islands in the Venetian Lagoon, separated by canals and yet connected by bridges form the city of Venice. The only way to get around this pedestrian-one of a kind-city is by using water taxis or walking.

No words can do justice to describe the romantic charm of this city, so I’ll just let my pictures do the talking!

7. Athens

One of the oldest cities in the world. The cradle for western civilization. The birthplace of democracy.

It is known for the Parthenon (the Temple of Goddess Athina) in the Acropolis (Upper City), The Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Hadrian’s Library and so much more!

Out of all these places, my favorites were:

The Acropolis – because it stands at a height of 512 feet and gives you a splendid 360 degree view of the Attica region and the Aegean Sea (on a clear sunny day).

The Monastiraki Square – that gets its name from few remains of the ‘Great Monastery’. This square is extremely vibrant and has a perfect blend of the old and the new – the ruins of ancient monuments, the Tzistarakis Mosque as well as the upbeat flea market!

The Plaka – aka the “Neighborhood of the Gods” due to its proximity to the Acropolis. It’s known for its labyrinthine streets filled with souvenir shops and little eateries that serve authentic Greek delicacies, and neoclassical architecture.

8. Idra (Hydra)

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” ― Christopher Paolini, Eragon

When you say Greece, one of the first things that come to one’s mind is Santorini. By all means, Santorini is gorgeous, but the Saronic Island of Idra is just as beautiful. It has a crescent-shaped harbor, around which is centered a strand of restaurants, shops, markets, and galleries. Steep stone streets lead up and outwards to the gentle slopes of the island from the harbor area, and are filled with little white houses, blue doors and windows!

9. Corinth

The ancient city Corinth, or Korinth (Greek: Kórinthos) was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth and was occupied from at least as early as 6500 BC. The highlights of these ruins are the Temple of Apollo and the Fountain of Pierene.

In present day, Corinth has become an island as the Corinth Canal cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland. It connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic (Aegean) Gulf.

The pictures are art (sigh!) and Tanvi, can be reached at tanvisanghani@gmail.com!

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4 thoughts on “Guest Diary #1

  1. Excellent photos, some of which are poster worthy!
    Nice travelogue too, informative. You should add your best and worst experience on this trip too, which can feature under ‘Tanvi’s recommendations!’
    Keep writing, keep clicking!

    Like

  2. Nice platform to introduce budding talent. Pictures were poster like. Crisp writing about the places in the pictures. Way to go! Hope to see more!

    Like

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