Umbria

Knights, Dames and More in Foligno, Italy - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

They say it’s in the air. I call it ambiance that I can smell with eyes. In about two weeks, an ancient Italian town of Foligno will be where your eyes meet good-looking Dame and Messeri.

Historical-Parade-before-Giostra-della-Quintana-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Historical-Parade-before-Giostra-della-Quintana-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

To put out such a medieval setting is no walk in the park. But, I can attest that final touch-ups proved to be fruitful.

Final-Details-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Final-Details-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Tidying-Up-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Tidying-Up-Before-the-Historical-Parade-Foligno-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Can you believe this much fuss has to do with horses? If you allow me a chance, I can explain.

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We Walked into a Movie Set in Bevagna, Italy - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

When we stepped into this small town in the Umbria region of Italy that afternoon, we felt we walked into a movie set.  Every one seemed to be playing a role that belongs to the medieval era.    

Two-Senior-Women-Hand-Spinning-Cotton-Yarn-Bevagna-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Two-Senior-Women-Hand-Spinning-Cotton-Yarn-Bevagna-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

The golden light basking on the "set" does nothing in persuading me otherwise.  As we drew closer to the drama that unfolds in front of them, we became part of it.  In Bevagna, they don't show you what life in Medieval time was like, they live it.

Medieval-Drama-Bevagna-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Medieval-Drama-Bevagna-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

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Paradise, lost... - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

This medieval town stole my heart.  Yes, it took a hair-raising journey to get there. Yet, in a matter of two days, I was in love.

I was in love with being waken up by the melodious soun
d of the sheep jingling by our window in the morning, the galloping horses grazing in a scenery that can only come from a set in a movie, the mountains that move in lines that dance, and the mystical play of light and the ever-rolling-and-ever-dispersing clouds...  

Shepherd-and-His-Sheep-Castelluccio-di-Norcia-Umbria-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Shepherd-and-His-Sheep-Castelluccio-di-Norcia-Umbria-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

On the morning of our departure, when I put away my camera one final time and turned around, tears rolled down my cheeks.  I thought I was sad from the good-bye.  My heart longed to come back to be close to this paradise again, soon.

Two weeks ago, when the earthquake struck central Italy, I was in a country with restricted access to news in the world.  When I finally got back to free land, my heart trembled at what had happened - The town was reduced to rubble (in face, the ground is now as much as two feet lower), the already difficult road was shaken to be almost impossible to drive on, and the Apennine Mountain surrounding the Grand Plane (Piano Grande) showing crack line running across it.  

Castelluccio di Norcia, may you rise above the shambles and be rebuilt with more charm in your heart.  May your people stay strong and, hello, horses and sheep of this beautiful land, may you stay safe and resilient in the sub-zero temperatures.  I wish to see you all again soon, in the town that appears to be perched above the cloud!    

Village-of-Castelluccio-di-Norcia-Perched-above-the-Cloud-Umbria-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Village-of-Castelluccio-di-Norcia-Perched-above-the-Cloud-Umbria-Italy-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography