Italian lakes, Florence, Tuscan towns, and Portofino
This next bunch are related to Chinese Boxes locations. I do not have pictures of Prato (not much to see there) or Livorno (a big commercial port above all), but despite not being a fan of Florence, have even dug up a few pics of it (mostly of the Duomo).
The immediate draw of making a Boxes picspam was, ironically, the mention of a Lake Como restaurant in Chapter 1. I love Lake Como more than Lake Lugano; I figured Switzerland was a more likely place for Bruce to settle down in, and Lake Como, especially my favourite spot there, a town called Varenna (not featured here), gets a bit too touristy for this privacy-seeking couple, but I could not help sneaking in a mention, and hence, a few photos. This is the location of the dinner restaurant in Ch 1 - the place itself is just beyond the left-hand edge of the picture.
See the white marquee in the middle of the pic next to the red (former) boathouse? That's the place. Somewhat pricey, but really elegant and with tremendous food.
I was stupid enough never to have taken a picture of the restaurant in all the times I've been there, but here is a picture of its lawn.
...and here is a close-up of the house on the left hand side of the frame two photos up, taken in just the (azalea bloom) season they'd see it in, ie early May.
Same spot, right time of day ;)
...wrong season (mid-winter), but I love the lighting.
And here are the views they'd be looking at from there - these were probably taken in different years and at different times (I tried to arrange them in order of deepening dusk), but from pretty much the same spot, give or take a couple of dozen feet. The sunlit town on the right hand side is the famous and over-touristy Bellagio on the mid-lake peninsula.
This is a different lake - Maggiore near Locarno, where they were going at the end of Chapter 2.
And here is the inevitable Florence ;) looking from the city centre side across the Arno. Alfredo sull'Arno is just beyond the left hand edge of the frame on the ground floor in the row of buildings opposite.
The Duomo, at various angles and times
...and more miscellaneous views
The following are pictures of the Tuscan towns they are mentioned as visiting in Chapter 7 from their base in Florence while waiting to see Alfred.
The first two are the only "bigger-picture" views of beautiful Lucca. I have plenty of snapshots of churches and various town corners, including a curious oval square built around the foundations of a Roman amphitheatre, but Lucca being flat defies panoramic shots :/
Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli, seen more or less the way it should be, without the huge crowds (this was late October a few years ago, IIRC; the season helps). They would have seen it at dawn rather than dusk as shown here, but I hope that the effect would be similar.
Siena, much hillier than the other two towns - even the main square is at an angle!
San Gimignano, with at least fourteen medieval towers surviving - and that's only counting the tallest ones. The local noble family heads clearly had some sort of thinly veiled virility contest going on :P ...but the result is fantastic.
And here we get to Portofino, where the guys, by then knee deep in trouble, spend the last few peaceful days in Chapter 11 while waiting for the container tracker signals to move. The picture from the cliff opposite toward the end of this sequence (which has pictures from at least three trips IIRC) shows the curving shape of the harbour, and also its overall tiny size - hence Selina's remark toward the end that they'd be moored outside the harbour for the sex marathon they'd be having on the Falcon :P
This is it for Chinese Boxes; the next ones will be tied in with Plus ça Change chapters and will feature locations other than Italy and Switzerland.