My #EXPOTuscany: Move in Cortona, Under the Tuscan Sun

Ever since I watched the “Under the Tuscan Sun”, I’ve been thinking to visit the place where the movie was filmed. Yes, “Under the Tuscan Sun”! It may not be the best movie about Tuscany, but the scenery is something I never get rid of.

I cannot recall the full story of the movie, but I remember there is a lot about the wide countryside. Cortona welcomed us with tons of fields of sunflowers. I couldn’t let this chance slip away, which means I convinced my tour mates to stop the car and take photos with those babies.

Yes, with only 38C outside, I still bothered to get off the car and place myself among the sunflower ocean for a photo!
burying myself in sunflower ocean

After a goodnight sleep, we headed to Cortona On The Move (COTM2015) the next day. In total, there were 15 photographers’ exhibitions hosted in 7 different locations. To see all of them, we really needed to move our as*. The subject of #COTM2015 is “fotografia in viaggio” (travel photography). I think it has double meanings: exhibitions of photos taken by photographers in voyages; exhibitions bringing visitors around on voyage.

Our first stop was a fortress on top of a hill, where hosted 5 photographers’ work. The car dropped us there, and we got to count on ourselves for the rest of the day. Don’t think the fortress is like a well preserved castle for tourism, surrounded by gardens. Sorry this is not one of the precious architectures by the Medici family. Contrarily, it is a place that has been abandoned for hundreds years before being rediscovered. In reality, none of the venues for #COTM2015 is art gallery. They are either unusual spots, or places that had been left behind for many years. I must say for me this is the coolest exhibition ever! As much as I love taking photos, I am not a professional photograph who can tell the tactics and skills behind a fine art framed picture. To me, a serious exhibition in art gallery would be like an atheist walking into the Basilica in Vatican: I am more for the ceiling rather than the preach.

Walking down from the hill, we had witnessed some beautiful but unpopular spots for tourism: forest stretching far beyond, small alleys with laundry hanging above, old building which use to be the most popular place and now with few people passing by, etc.

Goofing off by leaving my professional teammates with the photos, while I went out to appreciate what offered by the town.
post 66 cortona 10

And I can’t close this post without a few words for one of my favorite exhibitions in #COTM2015, the “MAYBE” by Phillip Toledano. This is one of those art exhibitions that brings out an inner-conversation of me.

All the pictures are the potential future Phillip himself. In search of all these possibilities, he consulted fortune-tellers, tarot card readers, palm readers, etc. “I worked with a skilled prosthetic expert, so I could physically become my future selves.” By going beyond the present, and shooting his unknown future, Phillip is challenging the idea that “photography is about the past”. And it makes me think: How do I see myself in 10 years? And how did I see myself 10 years ago?

For sure I never have thought to come to Italy and live here as an expat. And writing a blog? Are you kidding! Since I constantly failed Chinese exams in high-school, I am so afraid of writing. No way for me to have a blog in a language not even my mother tongue!
Me in front of one of the photos MAYBE

If it was not for Cortona On The Move 2015, I may have ended up visiting the square, walking on the famous street, dining in downtown as a usual tourist. Don’t get me wrong, I still did all these things though, but I had more takes after this trip combining art and travel. Thanks to Cortona, a beautiful place offering movie scenery and stories. Arrivederci e a presto!

Night in Cortona
Night in Cortona
Looking at Cortona, I start to understand the actress in Under The Tuscan Sun, why she moves here despite all the cliché

See more information about #COTM2015 here:
… and the show is still on!

#EXPOTuscany is a series of blog posts featuring my latest blog tour “Tuscany Among The Stars” by Visit Tuscany. More content can also be found here:

One thought on “My #EXPOTuscany: Move in Cortona, Under the Tuscan Sun

  1. Pingback: My #EXPOTuscany: Two Summer Specials in Florence (A Fortress and A Tower) | Stai Al Borgo

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