A Nap on the Steps of the Duomo di Siena

A trip down Memory Lane.

I’ve been so immersed in digital wizardry for so many years that I often forget about my vault of 35mm slides that captured my Italian travels decades ago. But today, I came across a neglected folder of my favorites (ones that I had spent days scanning to protect them from the march of time). Mind you, I spend less and less time reminiscing about the past and instead I focus on seizing the present moment.  But, I like mining my past for the nuggets of gold while letting the other “stuff” fall away. I can be inspired by what previously has crossed my path.

Revisiting The Duomo of Siena.

It’s been well over ten years since I last visited this magnificent church, hands down my favorite church in Italy. Until today, and until rediscovering this file of images, I’d forgotten about one of my favorite photos of all time, which is the image featured in this post.

I love capturing the contrast of a deep, magnificent history with contemporary life (well, contemporary for twenty years ago).  While I was furtively snapping this photo, I wouldn’t be surprised if other people, more reverently inclined, were aghast at the brazen display of this young, affectionate couple plopping down on the marble steps and taking a snooze.

Photography in a different era.

This photo reminds me of the “old days” of traveling with film and always being afraid that the airport Xray machines would hurt my film. Then there was shooting and not knowing if I had the shot in the bag. No, I had to wait until I was back home in the States and had the film developed. These days, with the magic of digital, I know if I have the shot. I kind of miss that excitement of the later, big reveal, but I’m not thumbing my nose at today’s immediate gratification.

Is this photo as crisp as I would normally like? Probably not. But, I still love it. I love the moment, and that’s what counts.

Duomo di Siena, ItalyWise

Looking Up into the Duomo di Siena. © Jed Smith

My favorite dome.

Siena’s most important church has a spectacular dome, in my opinion. Instead of a mass of swirling saints and angels making their way towards the Almighty, this dome is filled with gold stars against midnight blue. This dome lifts my spirits like none other. It’s been far too long since I’ve been to this church, and I plan to return again soon, camera in hand, and ready to capture the scenes that present themselves.



By |2019-06-24T17:11:03+02:00June 24th, 2019|Color|2 Comments

About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Kevin June 25, 2019 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Jed! Interesting to see your photos…even the ones from the “good old days”! 🙂 That first photo reminds me of the time that Amy and I took a nap on the grass at Janiculum Hill. We were so freaking tired, and feet so sore, from beating the pavement in Rome…and well…you gotta do what you gotta do! And that dome is truly spectacular! Hope to get a look at it in person some day!

  2. Angela Paladino June 25, 2019 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    This image might be a novel. Quite a moment in time for this couple. Sure made me wonder about them today. Thanks Jed.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to use this website you consent to our cookie usage and privacy policy. Ok