Castello, Mesagne. summer of 1993
My love of photography began a long time ago, high school to be exact and I just celebrated by 20th year high school reunion so you know how long this has been a part of my life now. I love photographing anything and everything, regardless of where ever I am, I can find something worth a click. With three little kids, most days my pictures consist of mainly their smiling-maybe-not-always-smiling-faces and my usual day-to-day as a stay at home mom - recipes, crafts, etc. We go on adventures, take day trips and spend time with family, all very click-worthy and quite often become a blog post.
A little more than 20 years ago, my family moved here permanently from Italy, and we began traveling back to visit during our summer vacations. My nonna was still alive and with a multitude of cousins, zias, zios and of course, friends, there was always a reason to return. The summer of 1993 remains quite fresh in my mind and I believe this is really when I began photographing all things Italy, most specifically, Mesagne. One my my first cameras, a gift from my parents, was an awesome burgundy, rectangular Kodak camera that I would love to find someday but unfortunately with my moves, is probably long gone. But it is with this first camera that I started what was an occasional hobby now turned complete passion.
One of my favorite places to visit and photograph in Mesagne, is the castle. Yes, our town, like many Italian towns, has it's very own castle. Castello Normanno Svevo to be more exact that is an 11th century medieval structure that is now home to a museum of artifacts found in the vicinity from weapons and armor to urns and statues plus a whole lot more. As far as medieval museums, it's pretty extraordinary when you think about the items with reference to age and how well they are maintained and preserved. There are several floors to the museum and an open piazza in the center that now is a staple venue for weddings and film nights. I become quite click-happy when visiting the castle trying to get every angle, both obvious and obscure not wanting to miss a single detail.
The color and material preserved so beautifully on these doors in the castle.
Looking up from the inside of the castle's piazza.
Viewed straight on, taken a few years back most likely in the afternoon. I can tell by how bright it is and that there are zero cars crossing in front of me which is a rarity on this busy street.
I love this angle of the castle because you see so much of it and has quite the presence. After all these years of seeing it, I'm still in awe over how impressive it is.
My girls, ever the little princesses, love visiting the castle and museum.
The castle is situated at the bottom (if you're looking at the map below) of centro storico, the base of the heart. It didn't take me long to realize that centro storico is in the shape of a heart. Mesagne's early city planners were romantics. I'm sure there was a valid reason for this but I'm going to stick with my theory for now.
Besides visiting neighbors, friends and family, the castle is one of my favorite first stops upon arriving in town. Many, many fond memories of having this as my backdrop as a child, later teenager and now adult. The perfect spot in town to begin your photographic journey.