View Full Version : Sweden, Denmark, Germany & Italy

Tori Nelson
26-May-2010, 15:19
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping I can get some advice and information for a trip I'm taking this summer.
This is my first time to Europe so I know I will probably experience sensory overload after just a few days but I'm going to do my best to acclamate quickly so I can do some quality shooting. I will be 10 days based in Sweden with a few days over in Denmark, then into Germany for 3 days and finally into Italy for a little over 2 weeks.

Unfortunately I'm leaving the 8x10 home and am going to have to be happy with the 6x6 Hassleblad and an 80mm lens (might be able to rent a longer lens to bring).

I would love suggestions on areas to visit and maybe some out of the way places to shoot. Also, I'm wondering if it would be smarter (and less expensive) to buy film along the way or just bring as much as I can with me?

Any other suggestions or travel tips would really be appreciated as I am a total neophyte when it comes to European travel.

Thanks, Tori

26-May-2010, 15:28
Sweden, Stockholm.
Denmark check out Kobenhavn (Copenhagen).... definitely check out Christiania (pronounced kris-yena) but it's a no-photo zone.
Germany, Hameln (Hamelin) for the fable and old buildings, Berlin for the arts. Too many places to name. Pick any major city.
Italy, see Venezia (Venice) and Pompeii/Herculaneum and Vesuvius. Roma (Rome) for the Colosseum. Firenze (Florence) is apparently nice too. Pisa they say is good for the tower.

27-May-2010, 01:27
I'd recommend some of the less-traveled areas for a more immersive experience - everyone's photographed Venice, but if you are close to Venezia, go through Padova and past Vicenza (where I used to live) to Marostica - the piazza is a huge chess board where they reenact a human chess game from back in 1454 http://www.marosticascacchi.it/a_2_EN_9_1.html . The town is encircled by a wall that climbs steeply up the hill behind the main piazza. I've clambered all over that place and even roamed in the catacombs beneath the town (which are, of course, strictly off limits - hey, I was in the Army, soldiers/sailors have no rules)

Or Montecchio Maggiore, where the two castles from 975 were the inspiration for the Romeo & Juliet legend. This is also in the province of Vicenza (in the Veneto, or venice, region).

Actually - don't just drive through Vicenza - visit the Teatro Olimpico - one of Andrea Palladio's most famous works. The stage will prove to be the most unique you've ever seen and I'm sure you'll burn a roll in there :eek:

Germany - depends on which town you will be in/around. Just look around, you'll find plenty to shoot. Bring plenty of lenses!

Have fun! :cool:

David Hedley
27-May-2010, 02:12
Unless you have a particular wish to visit cities, I'd avoid most large Italian cities in the summer, as the heat and number of people can verge on the intolerable. Turin would be my first choice of city. The Italian Alps, or the Dolomites, or the Tuscan or Umbrian countryside would be alternative suggestions, especially if you have 2 weeks at your disposal.

3 days in Germany limits options, but if you're on your way to Italy, I'd suggest Heidelberg, the Black Forest, or even possibly Bayreuth (if you like Wagner, not that you'll get a ticket for any performances). Alternatively, some of the architecture in Germany is astonishing, particularly in Berlin, which also has excellent art museums and music. Or you could visit the Bauhaus in Dessau.

27-May-2010, 02:47
Italy: the embarrassment of choice is huge, I'll just mention two of my favourites:
Venice is certainly worth a visit. There are hordes of tourists, but the good thing is that they almost exclusively move along one street (Strada Nuova) between the train station and San Marco, plus Rialto bridge. As soon as you move off that axis, you are almost alone.
Siena is a fabulous little town, surrounded by the most gorgeous Tuscan campagna. An extra little trip should be made to San Galgano, a magnificent cistercian abbey (http://www.castellitoscani.com/sangalgano.htm).

If you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Milano, we could meet for a coffee :)

If you are on your way to Italy via Basel, I'd recommend a little stop at Weil am Rhein where you can find the Vitra Museum with its beautiful architecture.

27-May-2010, 02:56
What Claudio said. By the by. Get up early (6am +/- an hour) to explore Venice or similar. When I saw it first thing in the morning it was beautiful. Moreso because no tourists. That said, Venice looks better when it rains.

David Hedley
27-May-2010, 03:08
If you are on your way to Italy via Basel, I'd recommend a little stop at Weil am Rhein where you can find the Vitra Museum with its beautiful architecture.

Yes, Vitra is an interesting place - here is a photograph I took there recently with the Toyo;


If you're heading down to Italy that way, you could also think about stopping in Strasbourg, and seeing some of the Alsace-Lorraine (Colmar, Ribeauville, and so on).

But we'll have to differ on Venice in the summer!

Sascha Welter
27-May-2010, 03:23
Yes, Vitra is an interesting place - here is a photograph I took there recently with the Toyo;

Tori, maybe you can borrow David's Toyo, it seems to have a magical button that makes it take great pictures. I didn't see anything special when I was in Bayreuth, but then I didn't have David's Toyo to see things through ;-)

Other than that, I second the suggestion to get up early... even more so since it won't be me having to follow that suggestion.

Enjoy your trip!

27-May-2010, 05:31
That said, Venice looks better when it rains.

Well, Venice is best in November ;) with rain, fog, and high water :)

31-May-2010, 23:30
Five places come to my mind immediately when discussing photogenic places in Sweden (since you are planning to stay there for quite a long time).
1. Stockholm, at its best in the summer. Plenty of nice-looking older architecture and wide waterways that allow the possibility of grand vistas inside the city.
2. The island of Gotland. A bit of an excursion, but something of a world in itself, complete with walled medieval city, ancient fishing villages and curious coastline.
3. The west coast, if you have time enough to get yourself out onto the smaller islands
4. Any of the more mountainous areas in the north, but I would say these look their best when fall color has set in. Also quite a detour.
5. The Skåne area, which is conveniently close to Denmark, whether or not this is relevant depends of course on how you are traveling. Heavily cultured landscape, nice and rather varied coastline, many cities, small and large.

1-Jun-2010, 02:06
Claudio, I saw it a week or two after meeting you. Late October, raining, flooded streets, early morning with no tourists. It was amazing. Much better than in the summer.

Tori Nelson
15-Jul-2010, 07:32
MEA CULPA!!!!!!!!!! I thought I had posted a reply to thank all of you for your answers. Let me do so now... Thank you! Some very good suggestions.
Since I first wrote this I have nailed down all the travel arrangements and the cities where we will be staying. We will be gone 33 days which I thought would be a lot of time but now I'm thinking I need more. : - ) I suppose that would always be the case.
There is one city we will be staying overnight and I am not sure what to see while there. Does anyone here know anything about Mainz, Germany. We will be arriving by train from Amsterdam around 3:30 pm on a Sunday and leaving the next morning. Not much time, but maybe someone here knows a "Must See" place or a restaurant that shouldn't be missed? A bar?
Thanks again guys! I will start making regular posts on my blog once the trip starts but since all the pictures I can post will have to be digital I can't post them here.