The Window Watchers – San Gimignano, Italy 1996

This photo was taken in San Gimignano, Italy. San Gimignano is a beautiful Italian hill town not too far from Florence. My friends and I spent the night here. We stumbled into town around lunch time, but we got caught in a torrential downpour. The inclined roads literally became rivers. Two of us were trapped in a hat shop and helped the owner rescue the outside displays before they got washed away. I got a great deal on a hat.

After the rain passed we went looking for food, but most of the restaurants had already closed for a break between lunch and dinner. We found a little place far off  the beaten path that still had staff milling around, so we walked inside. They seemed pretty surprised to see us. Maybe they forgot to lock their door or maybe they figured they didn’t need to because no one was ignorant enough to show up at that time. However, they seemed to take a liking to the three drowned rats in front of them. They accommodated us and our giant backpacks and proceeded to feed us one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Three words – Wild Boar Bolognese. Nothing like it. One of my best memories.

I like this photograph because it combines architecture and people. And did I mention I might be obsessed with shooting photos of people in windows. I pretty much can’t pass up this kind of shot. Perhaps it’s something about the geometry in the scenes. Lots of windows equals lots of lines. When you add people hanging out of the windows my nostalgia meter goes off a little bit. These scenes always remind me of the shots taken in large American cities like New York before World War II. People hung out of the windows, hung out on stoops, children played in the streets, and everyone dressed better – my image of a photographer’s paradise. A lot like Europe was for me in the 90s.

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2 Responses to The Window Watchers – San Gimignano, Italy 1996

  1. Pamela Phillips says:

    Bellissimo! Makes me want to be there, NOW!

  2. Pam Phillips says:


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