About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Italy Part Duo, ( Tuscany )

Duomo Siena   

Morning at the Villa, Tuscan
We are rushing along on the high-speed train from Bologna to Milan on our way to Lake Como, in this blog I will be featuring pictures from our wonderful, nearly week-long stay in our hill-top villa in Tuscany.  The area is magical enough with endlessly rolling hills, vineyards, and compact hilltop villages, but the real magic was that we got to share all this, along with amazing food, with the kids, their significant others and friends.  

Golden Dawn, Colle Bianco, Tuscany

Piazza del Campo, Siena
The villa was perfectly situated with views in all directions.  Every morning I got to open our bedroom windows on the hills spotted with isolated villa.  I somehow wanted to breath it all in and never let it go.  We shared the house with Abigail and her boyfriend Grayson, Jeremy with his girlfriend Gina (Napolitano, can’t get more Italian than that), and we were excited to include Grayson’s brother Cuyler and his wife Kerry.  We all had cars to explore independently, but we generally got together for Breakfasts and dinners.

Rosette Duomo Museum, Siena
Torre del Mangia, Siena

Olive Road, Trequandra

Steggiano, Tuscany
As I said previously, it has been difficult to find time to work on the thousands of images that I have captured so far.  It has taken late night efforts to get about thirty pictures onto my Italy 2017 Gallery.  I must keep working because I know that when I get home I will be slogging through hundreds of fall foliage images, assuming there is any color back home.  Perhaps I will have more time to return to Italy during the stick season and the bleak winter.  

Last Harvest, Castello di Potentino
Wine Tasting Lunch, Castello di Potentino

Porta Santo, Pienza, Tuscany
Charlotte, Castello di Potentino

Here are views of Tuscany.  They include our tours of Siena, Montalcino, including the best lunch of our lives overlooking the village, the magical valley vineyard of Castello di Pontentino, and many other hill-top towns including San Gimignano, Pienza, and San Quirico D’Orca.   


Many of the best pictures came from the verandas of our villa with amazing sunsets and peaceful sunrises.

Morning Mist from our Villa

Lyonel, Cupan Vineyard, Tuscany
Tuscany was a lovely quiet respite between time spent in the busy cities.  Florence and Bologna were wonderful, but the combination of spectacular beauty and the special family time will likely make Tuscany the highlight of our trip.

Family Lunch, Montalccino

This is only a taste of the classic beauty of Tuscany.  Next week, we return to great Italian cities as I will post images from Florence and Bologna. Of course by then I should be back in New England, frantically trying to get ready for my Fall Foliage Workshop, so who knows what I will be writing.
In the meantime, check out my slowly growing Italy 2017 Gallery.

Jeff Newcomer

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Italy Part Uno, Rome to Tuscany

The Vatican Across the Tiber River, Rome

Piazza Trilussa Bubbles, Rome

While preparing for our trip to Italy, friends invariably said, “Italy, I bet you will get some great pictures!”  My snotty response was usually, “I hadn’t thought of that.  Perhaps I should bring my camera.”  Funny- I seemed to have fewer friends.

Abby, Karry, Cuy and Grayson, Tuscan Sunset
We are now about ten days into our three-week tour, and sadly approaching the end of our six days sharing an idyllic hilltop villa in Tuscany.  We are sharing the house with our children, their significant others and friends.  We have been so busy, dawn to bed, that I have had almost no time to process the over 2000 images (so far) nor to write about our experiences.  This evening, I am sitting on our veranda, sipping an Aperol Spritz, overlooking the rolling Tuscan country-side, while a local chef is preparing

Jeremy & Gina,
Morning on our veranda

dinner for the crowd.  I miss the autumn colors back home, but the food, the wine and the constantly changing evening light is reasonable compensation.  I’m trying to write, but I have decided that my travelogue should focus on the images and not on lengthy descriptions of out adventures.  I am desperate to spend most of the limited time available on processing and posting just a few of the pictures that will tell a more elegant story than my poor prose.  I will be editing these images for months to come, but I’m excited to get to just a few of my favorite samples of the tour.

Roman Forum

For this first blog I will cover our few days exploring Rome.  This is my first time in Italy, so of course, we had to tour the Forum, the Coliseum and the Vatican.  All terribly touristy places, but necessary.  Of course we had to see the Pantheon, the Spanish steps and the Trevi Fountain.   

Testaccio Window

More fun was a food tour of nine eateries in the Testaccio district of the city, led by a wonderfully knowledgeable local chef, and, the next evening, a dinner in the home of “Chef Barbara”.  Of course, food and drink has been an essential part of this trip.

Vatican Dome

After four days in Rome, traveled by train to Florence and from there, took a rented a car for the trip to our Villa in Tuscany.  Let me say that again, Our “Villa in Tuscany”.  It was just as magical as it sounds.  A lovely house, on an isolated hilltop, with a 360-degree vista across the undulating country-side.  We were here after the harvest, and the fields revealed less vivid greens, and more plowed earth, but it was still breath-taking.  The weather was perfect and each sunrise and sunset offered its own unique character.  We spent our days wandering the narrow winding roads and visiting the classic medieval hill towns.  Beautiful, but I struggled to avoid the frequent gaggles of tourists that tried to fill my pictures.  I would frame the perfect image and then a group would move right in front, holding their selfie sticks high in the air.  Much of my time was spent waiting for the people to clear, but it gave me more time to appreciate the beauty, besides, I was probably blocking someone else’s view. 

Colle Bianco, Our Villa in Tuscany

Enough talk.  Enjoy the pictures.  I look forward to sharing many more views of Tuscany in my next article, as I try to find time to work through all the images.  It’s a great problem to have.

In the meantime I will continue to add to the trickle of images in my Italy 2017 Gallery on my web site.


Jeff Newcomer