Being postman in Venice, or at least an inexperienced one, may be a kind of nightmare. Streets repeat with some regularity its names are not numbered consecutively. Corresponds, more or less, to the order in time when buildings were raised. The scheme is shared, with the same pattern in each city sestiere –district -. Not surprisingly, after have seen number 500, turn a corner and found number 2000. Or just facing a 500 is found a 700 in the opposite facade in a street that has no more than fifteen gateways. For example, the number 1918 exists in Pignater Street, in the Fondamenta de la Tana, in Bollani courtyard or in the campo San Fantin, in different sestieri. Read more See the pictures
In the years when the Dodecanese was administered by Italy, two architects landed on the island of Leros with the task of developing a new city to house the personnel and services of the naval base. Those were the heydays of rationalist architecture and Art Deco. But also those of Mussolini fascism. Read more See the pictures
Niccolò Tommasèo was a linguist, journalist and essayist, forerunner of the irredentist movement that advocated the incorporation of the eastern Adriatic territories to the 19th century Italy unification process. His featured work was the making of a comprehensive Italian dictionary. His nickname came after a statue raised in Venice. Read more See the pictures
Few kilometres south Christchurch, almost in its outskirts, stands a large volcanic crater open to the sea in its south side. Kai Tahu for Maori, Banks, in recognition of Joseph Banks, naturalist aboard James Cook’s Endeavour, who in February 1770 was wrong to believe that it was an island rather than the peninsula actually is. In the cove, a perfect natural harbour, sits the quiet town of Akaroa which houses its six hundred inhabitants. Read more See the pictures
Ybshm or Iboshim was the name given by the Phoenicians to Ibiza. It means the Island of God Bes, a dwarf and paunchy god that was imported from the East, from the Egyptian pantheon. Bes was a benevolent and protective god associated with good luck, which seem to adore the new idol worshipers who, in season, cram discos and nightclubs, the current temples of Ibiza. Read more See the pictures
Happy New Year 2021
To all and everyone of the 357.016 readers that have browsed 2.345.707 pages along this 2020 it's now over.
Thanks for your time and let 2021 be a greater and better year.
Venier dei Leoni palace overlooks the Grand Canal waters between Da Mula Morosini mansion and the damn Ca Dario. It does not stand out precisely for its height, it is the only one on one floor among its neighbours, however, it houses an outstanding collection of contemporary art, that of Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), whom the Venetians fondly called l’ultima dogaressa, the last duchess. Read more See the pictures
Each time I look at her silently I have the same sentence in my thoughts: my Goodness, she’s so good! Before I have been watching quietly, catching every small detail, with the certain imminent hedonistic pleasure, with the same calm with which she becomes full, and knowing the subtle and deep colour she reflects in the gloom, a dark ruby shadow. The ceremony how I gently bow her with the left hand while the right gently caress. The patient waiting before slowly bringing her closer to my lips. The nice black velvet bitter taste that transpires. And it all started with a muffled scream among the crowd. Read more See the pictures
On this month of August 41 years have gone from the first of the visions of Paris, a simple envelope with its stamps and postmarks printed in a small post office near Étoile. Follows the urge to evacuate the bladder periodically in the French capital and the memories that pile up one on top of the other, sometimes in no apparent order. They are particular visions. They are my visions of Paris. Read more See the pictures
Malacca and Sunda Straits or simply the Straits, separates peninsular Malaysia from the great island of Sumatra and concentrated most of the trade between India and China, between the East and the West. Even today it is a major naval artery where piracy is still present. One hundred and ten incidents were reported in 2004. The British Empire tried to control its waters through three major ports: Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Read more See the pictures
The word Satori, in Japanese, means understanding, comprehension. Also, in Zen Buddhism is applied at the time of deep and ultimate enlightenment. A clairvoyant instant related to creation and discovery. And that happened in a taxi! Or maybe the reason could have been the Brest foggy streets, or a waiter who firmly felt that Paris was rotten or a Mozart requiem heard in Saint Germain des Prés. Perhaps it was everything. Read more See the pictures
Farhat Hached square distributes a little bit the city human traffic. Send some to the station where they took trains to the nearby Monastir or farther and away, towards Tunisia. Others expect traffic lights change to speed towards the northern beaches or Port el Kantauri and yet there are those who, without haste, head their steps to the streets of Sousse Medina, the pearl of the Sahel. Read more See the pictures
The Bank House is a small bed and breakfast strategically located on the main street of Beer. The affable Bob Pearse every morning gently bend over backwards to serve the full English breakfast, i.e. two eggs any style, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes, usually parboiled or fried. Coffee or tea. The house has three rooms for guests, so in season is easy to find in the window next to the front door and under the Union Jack and Devon flag, a sign stating simply: no vacancies. Read more See the pictures
When in the tenth century Sigfried Count exchanged some lands in the Ardennes for a rocky ledge between the Alzette and Petrusse rivers to build a fortress, he couldn’t imagine how it would grow. Bastions and casemates turned the rock into a gruyere that would be nicknamed the Gibraltar of the North. It is Luxembourg.
In Roman times, the hot springs invited the creation of a town, Aqvae Calidae, today Caldes de Malavella. Its waters continue to be exploited, both for treatments and for bottling water. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, they attracted the attention of wealthy families who built summer residences following the architectural currents of the time: Art Nouveau or Modern Style. Read more See the pictures
Thirty years have gone since the fall of the one hundred fifty-five kilometres of concrete wall that split for almost three decades the current German capital. Before November 9, 1989, the day the border between the Federal and the Democratic Republic was opened, no one would believe that the Berlin wall could be put up for sale. Read more See the pictures
Athenian Acropolis faces a large green area which, in the heart of the Greek capital, becomes a relaxed space where walk away from the urban bustle and beneath the shade of holm oaks and cypress trees. It is Philopappos Hill. From here there are privileged views over the Parthenon, Athens and even up to the waters of the Saronic Gulf, in the Aegean. Read more See the pictures
The Portuguese capital has five tram lines in its public transport network, some of them equipped with old cars that have been reset to keep them fit. Among them the most classic is the one that follows the line number 28, able to ride up the hard slopes on the way to Alfama neighbourhood top hill. Read more See the pictures
On the screen, private Braeburn, dizzy, vomits on the barge wet floor. McCloskey mocks while Sergeant Randall puts them in place. Me, the private Bill Taylor, observe them indifferent, thirty seconds left to open the front door of the boat and land. It's just a video game, but the real facts happened 75 years ago, a June 6, at seven o'clock in the morning. Read more See the pictures
Corbera d’Ebre swirled around Muntera hill protected by the mountains of Cavalls and Pandols. The Battle of the Ebro devastated the town routing most of the inhabitants. Today, as Belchite or other scenes of the Spanish Civil War before, the ruins have remained to keep the memory alive. Read more See the pictures
Founded in New England in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The arrival of Puritan settlers, the Tea Party, the Revolution War… protagonists of the birth of a nation now lie in some of the most respected US graveyards. These were the first three. Read more See the pictures
West of the capital, Kathmandu, and geographically in central Nepal, Pokhara has become an almost mandatory stop over for mountaineering expeditions on the way to Annapurna’s summit but has its lake, Phewa, to promote activities related with tourism. It enjoys a subtropical climate few kilometres away from the highest peaks of the Himalayas, but not long ago the place was known as Hepatitis Valley. Read more See the pictures
Aegina is an island not too big in the waters of the Saronic Gulf, near the Greek capital, Athens. The British Museum occupies a prominent space in the Bloomsbury neighbourhood, in the heart of London. Seventy gold jewels from the Bronze Age link both. The link is the Aegina Treasury history. Read more See the pictures
The dead flies’ haikus are nothing else than a rehearsal, a playful test, but with a marked nihilistic and punk character. No, punk is not dead. Flies, with their morbid appetite for the stinky, come to tell us that there is no future, and if finally, there is, it will not last long, until the end of summer as much, at the end of the life of a fly. This exercise takes from haikus a little bit of the form, a lot of the brevity, however, these haikus try to take the spirit and not only the look of surprise, a bit of the Japanese aware.
Tras la Sombra del Maltés (Following the Maltese Shadow) is the written aftermath of the collection of photographs that reproduced the same backgrounds Corto Maltese, the famous adventurer created by Hugo Pratt, walked by. The collages exhibited then, and that can be seen on this website, combined about thirty vignettes with the pictures of the real places. As in a chase of the Maltese steps, deferred in time, almost after one century, photographs and vignettes were assembled. To these are added the story of the historical events at the time when the adventures of Corto happened: Caporetto’s last battle, the day the Red Baron died or a dark riddle in Venice, in addition to an inquiry about the true characters appeared in the comics and the particular toponymy that Pratt used in the city of the lagoon, Venice.
This one is like a polyptych, a multifaceted appreciation of the city of the lagoon, searching history, fears, characters that have passed through, an uncertain future, visions, experiences, bewilderment, traditions, topics... However, all this has not been circumscribed just in the city, narrations have spread around as did the very Serene Republic itself: by mainland up to Milan and Florence, Ravenna or Lake Garda; eastward through the former possessions of the maritime republic, from Friuli, Trieste, the Istrian peninsula and Dalmatia to the ancient city of Ragusa, today called Duvrovnik. The epilogue, which is not such, adds in a certain random way some stories from three Balkan capitals: Zagreb, Sarajevo and Bucharest.
Welcome to World in Words
Someone asked me to write about travels in a website. To suggest addresses or places of interest where to fill the stomach, tips on the best or worst way to move in a specific place, which monuments or cities are worth visiting or not... I thought about these kind of guides, more or less documented, more or less properly made, there are already more than enough. I thought it was worth to write about travel or simply about places when there was a story to be rescued, to recall names or situations that deserve a place among bends made of ink. Or whether I simply could describe modestly and with some admiration. The only condition I've required about my own texts is having lived or been witness, with some delay sometimes, to what is told in all of them... and the evidence are photographs, although exchanged onto bridges amidst the fog. I sincerely believe I have finished discovering much more than what I've seen recreate narrating than which lasted in the seconds I spend taking the shoots.
As a kid he enjoyed playing with a green plastic shovel in the sand of the beach. Until one day he burned his skin with the sun. Since then he hates the sand, he hates the sea, he hates the sun and he hates the beach. He wanted to be a hippie but he was fired for eating the flowers. He wanted to be punk but he was fired for eating the piercings. He didn’t conclude most of the studies he started and remained a little more than the statutory time in the military service due to his exemplary behaviour. A literature teacher would guide him appropriately in his career, approving the subject under the unwavering promise that he would never in life devote himself to anything that had the slightest relation to the letters. Today he is journalist, writer and editor. Avid reader has reviewed on many occasions Andy Capp and Calvin & Hobbes strips, particularly those of the first. His contradiction sense is stronger than him, rootless looking for his roots he stares upwards, he is an unbelieving atheist thanks to God and, convinced nihilist, he succeeded as a washed-up loser. Today he is happy, but in the search of a new kitchen.
Hugo Pratt paid a special attention at the time of create his scenes into the comic pages. Some of the landscapes and views, particularly urban ones, are sometimes obvious, easily recognizable, others need to sharpen the senses even with impossible angles to interpret the reality that only the artist is able to capture on paper.
Venice is lavished on Pratt vignettes, beginning by chapters of The Celts, the first pages of Corto Maltese in Siberia and, obviously, in the Fable of Venice. No wonder because the master grew up there and recreates the city in his frames. That’s why most of the work reported here comes from Venetian vignettes.
The first part shows Corto Maltese assembled pictures, from The Ballad of the Salt Sea to Mu, including the untimely The Early Years. The second part uses the sketches appeared in the guide published on Venice: The Secret Venice of Corto Maltese, in which Guido Fuga and Raffaele Vianello evoke restorative walks and stops at the Venetian labyrinth in Pratt company.