S: Italy - Slovenia - Croatia 2011 Chris Gavin Jones
BC: CHRIS GAVIN JONES
FC: Italy - Slovenia - Croatia | By Chris Gavin Jones | 2011
1: The adventure begins...
3: Our journey begins in our home away from home in the quaint village of Paderno Del Grappa. | Nestled in the upper Veneto region, it was a great base to explore the rest of Italy and beyond.
4: Views from our apartment in Paderno Del Grappa! It was a great location, but unfortunately it rained almost every day.
5: Thankfully the weather cleared for the formal faculty dinner, which was held at a local agritourismo restaurant with stunning views!!
6: We found wonderful hiking trails just minutes from our apartment. Leading all the way to the top of Mt. Grappa
9: On a clear day you can see the Adriatic Sea in the south with Venice, and the Appenine Mountains in the southwest. | During World War I, a series of battles were fought between the armies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy for control of Monte Grappa. Today, it serves as a monument for the 25,000 soldiers killed during those battles.
10: Naples Founded around the 9th century BC as a Greek colony, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Originally named Parthenope, and later Neápolis, it was among the first cities of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples' historic city center is the largest in Europe, covering 4,200 acres, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Over the course of its long history, Naples has been the capital of duchies, kingdoms, and one Empire, and has consistently been a major cultural center with a global sphere of influence. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous sites of great cultural and historical significance, including the Palace of Caserta, and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
12: Naples might very well be the wedding capital of the world, with dozens of couples getting married at the various historic sites throughout the city on any given weekend.
15: Extremes are something Naples does impressively well. Grimy streets hit palm-fringed boulevards, crumbling facades hide baroque ballrooms, and cultish shrines flank cutting-edge clubs.
16: P O M P E I I
18: The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that lasted for two days in the year 79 AD. The eruption buried Pompeii under 13 to 20 ft of ash and pumice, and was lost for centuries before its accidental rediscovery in 1749.
21: V E N E Z I A
24: We met Marcia during our trip in 2009 when she was host at the hostel we stayed in. She always had a smile and took time off to show us the hidden treasures of Venice. By chance we were both back in Venice two years later and we enjoyed reconnecting once again!
27: la Biennale di Venezia
28: For more than a century, la Biennale has been one of the most prestigious art exhibition in the world. Since its beginning in 1895, it has promoted new artistic trends in the contemporary art world.
29: Can you see the soldiers?
30: Crystal of Resistance is the title of Thomas Hirschhorn's work for the Swiss Pavilion at Biennale. The exhibition is articulated around the motif of crystal: “It’s the very first time I’ve worked with this material. I find it very interesting because it’s very mundane but has countless uses. There are crystals inside the ear, in mobile phones, on jewelery, in glass. I also like its esoteric and philosophical connotations. Paul Klee used to think that crystals represented perfection in art.”
32: French artist, Christian Boltanski, installed a large scaffold with an oversize film strip that shows the faces of babies shortly after their birth. The film strip runs at high speed until it randomly stops and selects one to be displayed on an LCD screen. In each of the two side rooms a large digital clock counts up the world’s population.
35: While seeing Venice was great, there is no doubt that our favorite part was spending time with Marcia again. | And with la Biennale behind us, we extended our car rental and headed towards Slovenia!
37: Piran, Slovenia is a beautiful town along the northern Adriatic coast,which seems like a small version of Dubrovnik. The quaint town has a rich history and strong multicultural atmosphere, which makes it a special place to visit and enjoy. The town itself resembles a large open-air museum, with medieval architecture and rich cultural heritage. Narrow streets and compact houses give the town its beauty and special charm.
39: In the heart of the city, a majestic cathedral (with its Venice-like campanile) presides over the elegant 19th century town square. Once an oval-shaped inner harbor, the newly-filled town square houses a statue of Giuseppe Tartini - a well-known native of Piran, who made a name for himself as a violin virtuoso, composer, and one of the leading figures of the 18th century Italian violinist school. He was born in 1692 in a house not far from where we stayed, which, too, had incredible views of the square below!
41: As usual, Chris manages to take the most amazing pictures ever seen by anyone, anywhere, ever!
42: Pop Art in Piran? One of our favorite experiences was discovering the Pop Art Museum, which held a world-class exhibition in an old school house. It showcased work from a private collection, and included works of art by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, John Chamberlain, and Robert Rauschemberg.
45: Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park is the country's largest. Situated in the mountainous region of central Croatia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was founded in 1949, making it the oldest national park in Southeastern Europe!
47: The national park is famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface. A result of the confluence of several small rivers, the lakes are all interconnected and follow the direction of rivers' currents. | The lakes are renowned for their distinct colors, ranging from azure to green, grey, or blue. The colors change constantly, depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water, and the angle of sunlight.
48: After spending several days exploring the Plitvice Lakes National Park, we headed south to Trogir, where we spent the next several days enjoying the beach and exploring the ancient Roman ruins in nearby Split.
51: For over 2,000 years, Trogir was a town of strategic importance. So it's not surprising that over the years it has been home to the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and even the French - all of whom have contributed to the cultural heritage of the city. But it is, perhaps, the profusion of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture, as well as the magnificent cathedral at the town center, that inspired UNESCO to name Trogir a World Heritage Site.
52: Fort Kamerlengo is situated on the southwestern edge of Trogir, at the ending of the town's walls. The Genoese built a nine-cornered tower at the end of the 14th century to house their navy on the Adriatic coast. Venice, immediately after occupying Trogir in 1420, expanded the tower into the strong Fort Kamerlengo. Several phases of construction can be seen in the fort's walls.
54: Split is one of the Adriatic's most amazing seaports and Croatia's second-largest city. Not only does this 1700-year-old harbor have its share of historic monuments, museums, and galleries, but is also near worldclass beaches and only 45-minutes from Trogir. Diocletian's Palace is the gem of Split - it is one of the best-preserved Roman royal residences on the planet. Built around 295 AD, the structure is more like a city, housing sixteen towers, three temples, and an emperor's mausoleum.
57: The importance of Diocletian's Palace far transcends local significance because of its level of preservation and the buildings of succeeding historical periods, stretching from Roman times onwards. The Palace is one of the most famous and integral architectural and cultural constructs on the Croatian Adriatic coast. It holds an outstanding place in the Mediterranean, European, and world heritage.
59: Our final destination was Paklenica National Park, which is one of Croatia's most diverse national parks, and is a world-famous rock climbing destination. Located in the southeastern part of the Velebit mountain range which runs along the central Dalmatian coast, Paklenica National Park is home to one of the largest forests in the Mediterranean. Can you spot the climbers in the two top pictures?
60: T H E E N D
63: Thank you for the wonderful trip!