Photos and the City

destination photography & travel

When I went to Venice this spring, La Serenissima wasn´t the main reason for me to travel there – I was lucky enough to attend a workshop by Sue Bryce Education at Castello Ceconi in the Pielungo, about 2 hours from Venice. We stayed in the little town Maniago, about a 45 minutes drive from the Castello and enjoyed a very scenic bus ride every day and pizza & wine at the local pizzeria every night.

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Castello Ceconi was built in the late 19th century by the Fruili entrepreneur, Count Giacomo Ceconi. Born in 1833 in Val Nespolaria to humble surrounding, he came to Triest in 1851 to learn the business of building & construction. Being a very good student he soon got special assignments. In 1857 Ceconi started to work on important railway connections, uniting Klagenfurt and Maribor, Verona to Tirol and others in the Habsburg Empire, building the station buildings.

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In 1879 he got the Austrian citizenship and started the construction of the Arlberg Tunnel, which opened in 1884.
He continued his work until 1900 building the port of Trieste and various ports on Sardinia.
Getting the title „Count“ required getting a residence in Italy. Ceconi decided to build a villa near his native village and even started to spend more time in the Pielungo.
Constructed in neo-gothic style Castello Ceconi also incorporates medieval and Renaissance elements. Ceconi was also a huge advocate for reforestation and almost 2 million of seedlings were planted on his land.
An elegant building at the foot of the Dolomites surrounded by a lush forest.

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After Cecconi’s death in 1910, his family sold the Castello and the forest. In 2007 Graphistudio bought the villa and the adjoining forest and started a throughout renovation of the building to open it for photographers from all around the world to learn, interact and grow – The Graphistudio Accademia. And I´m lucky enough to go back there in May 2018 for another workshop.

After our three day workshop at the Castello we even had the opportunity to visit the actual production site. Graphistudio offers high-end photo albums, prints and folio boxes for professional photographers handmade in Italy.

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I´ve been looking around for the perfect products for my clients for quite a while and finally found the ones I love! Luxurious handmade boxes and passe-partouts that keep your precious images not only safe but are a beautiful way of displaying them.

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Refreshed and awakened by my tea time at Glenarm Castle I decided to make my B&B in Bushmills the next stop and explore the rest of the coast from there – it was only about an hour away. Approaching it I was greeted by the stunning White Park Bay beach and by some cattle having a nice walk on the beach.

I found my B&B via the Northern Ireland tourism site and was super happy with staying there. It was right in the middle of everything, Bushmills or the Giant´s Causeway were just a short ten minutes drive away. The view was lovely and on the second night there was a meteor shower and I´ve never seen so many shooting stars in my life! The sky was clear, there was no light pollution at all and I almost run out of wishes!

Just some minutes from the B&B is (was) Dunseverick Castle  – or at least the remains of this castle built somewhen before the 5th century AD and was visited by Saint Patrick in the 5th century where he baptised Olcán, who later became a Bishop of Ireland. The castle was destroyed in the 1650s – today only the remains of a gate lodge still stand.

A little further up the coast is Dunluce Castle located on the edge of the cliffs (and when a part of the kitchen went down into the sea the lady of the house decided it was time to move.)

Built in the 13th century it got into the hands of the McQuillans family in 1513 who were the Lords of Route until they were displaced by the MacDonnell in the late 16th century. Dunluce Castle became the home of the Chief of the Mac Donnell clan until 1690 when the MacDonnells were diminished.
Adjacent to the castle the town of Dunluce was built around 1608 by Randall MacDonnell but razed to the ground in the Irish uprising of 1641.

It may have contained the most revolutionary housing in Europe when it was built in the early 17th century, including indoor toilets which had only started to be introduced around Europe at the time, and a complex street network based on a grid system. 95% of the town is still to be discovered. (Dunluce Castle)

25 metres under the castle is a huge cave in the cliffs, the Mermaid Cave.

My trusty companion for these few days on the Causeway Coast.

And the view from my room at the B&B.