UnBanking Ffrees ! :-) by Marco Secchi

More than a year ago I opened a Debit Card account with Ffrees;  at the time seemed a good idea for transactions on the internet and abroad. I have had Credit and Debit cards probably for 35 years and I never had any issues with stolen identities or unauthorised charges.

Everything went well with FFrees until last week when on my statement I discovered several unauthorised charges. I called the company straight away reporting the issue.

From that very second I felt the guilty one, whatever the woman on the phone was saying was to make me feel insecure, distressed and guilty. In her view after checking their records the card was used giving the CC numbers, Security code and my address.  How was that possible?? Did I leave the card somewhere unattended? Did I pass to someone my details??

I am not an easy guy and started straight away a campaign from my Twitter account mentioning not only the  way Ffrees treated me but as well the companies involved.  The Financial director of one of the Companies calle me more or less 20min after my Twitter.... was Saturday lunchtime, he was very apologetic managed to log into the account, gave me some informations and refunded me straight away.

The other two companies were more difficult. Badoo at today has not responded yet and CGBilling in use sent several emails, so I managed to discover my card was used

Cardholder Name: AJ Garcia
IP Address:

They were helpful until........I asked a refund at this moment ....they disappeared!

Today I contacted and checked for development with my Debit Card Company  and they sent another unhelpful, unfriendly letter. Once again they made me feel I was  the one causing the problems. Why was I bothering them?? Was I really sure? Was I aware that :  "An investigation normally takes between 3 – 7 weeks but we cannot guarantee this. Please be aware that, should the investigation find that you authorised a disputed transaction, an administration charge will apply for each disputed transaction and the transaction will not be refunded"

Once again Twitter came to my help and I complained about their attitude towards me.

In less than 10 minutes someone from their call centre and this time very apologetic calls and after trying to tell me the same story as before and hearing my arguments decide to call the next level up.....and in 2 min gets back to me advising that I will be refunded in full by the end of the day and if I wanted a new card,

Sorry Ffress but I am Unbanking you!  :-)


Casatella Caseificio Zanchetta by Marco Secchi

Casatella Trevigiana is an artisan, DOP, soft cows' milk cheese from small farms in province of Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy. The origin of the name comes from the dialect Casatella Treviso, meaning "house or home" and refers to any product, cheese, bread, sausage, polenta, made in the family, and as such regarded as authentic and healthy.

Nowadays, Casatella Trevigiana is produced throughout the year thanks to mechanisation. It is a mild-flavoured cheese and is creamy, simple and delicate. It incorporates the features of tradition and innovation that make it one of the most popular dairy products with its fresh and nutritious qualities.

The Casatella from Caseificio Zanchetta includes a variety with Olives and one with Sun Dried Tomatoes..... both are fantastic!

The Caseificio Zanchetta is in Casale sul Sile not only sells Casatella but also wonderful cheeses and Salumi, Ham and Milk!!


This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

My Fav Hotels in Venice by Marco Secchi

A #bench at hotel #cipriani in...

A #bench at hotel #cipriani in… (Photo credit: MarcoSecchi)

You can certainly spend a great deal of money on a hotel in Venice. A night at the Gritti Palace in high summer will set you back at least £750. But for the same amount you could enjoy an entire week in most of the hotels listed here. You won’t get the same status, or quite the same service, or the same superb location, but you will still find a decently sized room, lots of character and a warm welcome.

Cà del Nobile San Marco 987, ria terà delle Colonne (528 3473; cadelnobile.com)

This hotel is just off one of the thronging routes between St Mark’s and the Rialto. Interestingly, it’s in one of the lowest points of the city: if you visit during acqua alta, you’ll be able to watch water bubbling up through the cobblestones below. Lots of stairs and no lift mean that it’s not for the unfit. Price from £79

Domus Orsoni Cannaregio 1045, Sottoportego dei Vedei (275 9538; domusorsoni.it)

In 1291, Venice’s glassworkers were banished to the island of Murano. Today, only one glass foundry remains in the city: Orsoni. Located in the Jewish Ghetto, and set in a delightful palazzo overlooking a private garden and the foundry, the Domus Orsoni channels the Orsoni family’s heritage in five rooms, resplendent with glass-mosaic-tiled walls and mosaic art works. Price from £71

Locanda Orseolo (Corte Zorzi; 041 523 5586; www.locandaorseolo.com; £160).

Step inside the hotel and you might be in a compartment on the Orient Express: elegant, enveloping, and richly coloured and furnished. But it’s the warmth of the young team at this equally young 15-room hotel that makes it really special – Matteo, Barbara and their brothers, sisters and friends. In the morning, Matteo dons an apron and cooks pancakes and omelettes to order, Barbara serves and everyone chats. The comfortable bedrooms are being transformed to echo the ground floor, complete with hand-painted murals and canopied beds. Secure one and you’ll have a real bargain.

La Villeggiatura San Polo, 1569, Calle dei Botteri (524 4673; lavilleggiatura.it)

A short hop from the Rialto markets, in an area buzzing with restaurants and residential activity, La Villeggiatura is an elegantly tasteful home-from-home. Tea and coffee-making equipment in the spacious bedrooms, and gently attentive service, add to the pleasure of a stay here. Price from £71

Hotel Centauro S Marco Calle della Vida Cpo Manin (www.hotelcentauro.com/)

Located in the historic centre of Venice just a stone’s throw from St Mark’s Square (five minutes walking distance), the Centauro Hotel offers elegant, welcoming accommodation from which you can enjoy the city’s art and culture. Housed within an ancient palace from the 1500’s, the Centauro Hotel has Venetian style furnishings from the 18th century and 30 comfortable guestrooms. Rooms have air conditioning and satellite television, some have canal views and those on the top floor have a private terrace from which you can enjoy panoramic views over the rooftops of Venice.

Al Ponte Mocenigo This is another charming 16th-century palazzo, so tucked away that you could walk right past and never know it was there. You will find one entrance down a very narrow alley just up from the San Stae vaporetto stop; the other is on the opposite side, over a small bridge. Officially it is a two-star hotel, but frankly it rivals many establishments with double that number of stars. The very smart, high-ceilinged rooms are in Venetian styles and colours. The best are numbers five and six, on the first floor overlooking a tiny canal to one side (they are classed as “superior” doubles and cost £128 in mid-season).


This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Gasthof Prissianerhof in Tisens by Marco Secchi


During a short break in the area I went a couple of times to Prissianerhof, I was with my wife once and with relatives a second time
Not only the ambience was very appealing also the price performance ratio was excellent!
The Restaurant, it is also a Pension so has room, has a small nice car park anyway parking is not a problem in Pressiano.
The menu and wine list is well chosen and clearly for everyone.
With my wife we had a fantastic Kaiserschmarrn and a Ravioli with Finferli we also had a nice Strudel.
On the second day in my circle of relatives there were no complains. All were satisfied to the utmost with the food.


Especially noteworthy was the service: friendly, attentive, courteous and unobtrusive, and very professional.
In a next stay in Merano I will definitely visit again restaurant Prissianerhof!
This restaurant is especially recommended.
Many thanks for the pleasant hours :-)

Gasthof Prissianerhof
Via principale, 76 | 39010 Tisens
Tel. +39 0473 920828 | Fax +39 0473 927319
www.prissianerhof.com | info@prissianerhof.com 


This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.


Falger Restaurant in Voellen (South Tyrol) by Marco Secchi

The Falger is a restaurant situated in the small village of Vollen (Foiana) in the heart of the South Tyrol region, it is very close to Lana and in between Merano and Bolzano

As you enter the place you are welcomed by a really setting, a delightful marriage of antique cut bricks and elegant modernity. Sitting in any table you have a wonderful view of the dining room. They also have a very nice outdoor terrace with grapes,

The menu offers a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes. I had the Ravioli with Mushrooms while my wife tried the Kaiserschmarrn. They were both exquisite. It all was followed by a delicious strudel served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. 

All the products were fresh and the dishes had the warmth of home-made food. The chefs take great care in selecting the best quality ingredients. 

The service did accompany the high quality of the cooking. Waitresses were friendly, helpful and very attentive. One of the owners was always around willing to exchange some kind words with all her clients.

The price is very good value for money I had a pleasant dining experience with food of the most exquisite flavours. For this reason we did went back and I highly recommend going to the Falger restaurant.

Famiglia Tribus - Mayenburgstr. 7
39011 Foiana pr. Lana - Alto Adige
Tel.: +39 0473 568010
Fax: +39 0473 557263



This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Ona Bag Prince Street by Marco Secchi

I believe you can never have an excess of camera bags  and I trust that everybody needs to have an OnaBags. The quality is unparalleled and the look is at the same time advanced and fantastic. While pricey, these sacks will endure forever. 

The trendy and cool outline of the new ONA Prince Street camera bag bounce out at you promptly. Upon closer examination you understand it is not just another pretty bag, it is as well an exceptionally tough, down to earth messenger bag for a reduced DSLR or full mirrorless camera pack. It comes in two styles - waxed canvas with full-grained cowhide trim, or full calfskin. In both styles the fine materials and workmanship of the bag is truly evident. 

The general configuration is genuinely essential with three dividers (more accessible as extras), two substantial extending front pockets and a back laptop or tablet space. Two front calfskin straps shroud the real metal catches that are effortlessly secured or un-affixed with one hand. The straps are movable to take into account extension. 


At $269 for the waxed-canvas model and $389  and in my view the the cost is completely justified by the workmanship and materials notwithstanding the in cool great looks that is going to improve as the bag age.

On the off chance that you are searching for a strong, fundamental travel bag with a great deal of style yet very few superfluous fancy odds and ends, the ONA Prince Street is something to consider for either a little DSLR unit or mirrorless camera framework. 

I use mine easily with the two leicas and 2 extra lenses and works great!


Weight: 2.6 pounds 

Outside measurements: 12.5"L X 10"H X 4.5"D 

Inside measurements: 12"L X 9"H X 4"D

Hotel Kvarner Opatija by Marco Secchi

The first hotel to be built along the Adriatic Coast in 1884, Hotel Kvarner Opatija is a historic property often seen as the standard for elegance and sophistication of hotels in Opatija. 

Some of the more memorable visions of Opatija are on the grounds of Hotel Kvarner. The Crystal Hall is an awesome architectural sight and the largest of its kind in Opatija. It is an ideal setting for personal events like weddings or business summits. The newly-renovated terrace, situated above the Lungomare promenade, is the perfect spot to hold your outdoor event with its offer of magnificent sea views. 
Villa Amalia is in Kvarner's immediate vicinity and villa guests can use all the amenities of the historic hotel, including the outdoor swimming pool and private beach. 

Close to the city's most famous landmarks, Hotel Kvarner offers excellent accommodation on the Opatija Riviera. 
Built in neoclassicism style, the architecture of Hotel Kvarner really stands out. The façade has been restored to its original masterful appearance. Large windows allow for wondrous sea views. The highly-detailed interior recalls style of the past.  

Hotel Kvarner breathes history and class.

It is for me one of the best hotel I have ever experienced! The location is just wonderful, right ON the coast with its own "beach". 
The service was excellent and so were the rooms. Air conditioning work very well although it was well above 30 degrees outside. We had a lovely view over the sea from our room, and our own huge balcony. Loved it!
Every night there was some kind of music on the large patio next to the restaurant, lovely to have dinner and listen to great music meanwhile!
Th the dinner buffet as well as the breakfast is great!

  • Ulica Pava Tomašića 2, 51410 Opatija
  • +385 51 710 444


This post has not been sponsored. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Plansarija Logarski Kot by Marco Secchi


The Plansarija Logarski Kot is located in the lovely Logarska Dolina Valley, we were staying in a nearby hotel and went twice for lunch.
Food is fresh, genuine and well prepared and served . Staff is attentive
Has a nice garden with tables and a superb view of the Mountains
They have a very nice terrace as well with a lovely Slovenian Alps atmosphere.

This traditional Alpine dairy is located in the upper part of Logar valley near the road that leads to the waterfall Rinka. From the hut it offers a breathtaking view of the Planjavo, Kamnik Saddle, Brano and Turkish mountain. It has a domestic ambience of a  mountain village hut  with a nice  fireplace and serves  traditional delicacies from Solčavsko. The menu offers rustic cold meats, cheese plate, mushroom soup, charcoal kettle, curdled milk with buckwheat porridge, cottage cheese dumplings, rolls .

The hut is open from May to October, for groups but throughout the year. The cottage has 7 rooms (5 / 2, 1/4 and 1/8), with a total of 22 beds. The offer includes overnight stay, half board, bed & breakfasts, lunches, dinners

Planšarija Logarski kot

Logarska dolina, 3335 Solčava

T: +386 (0)59 958 692  |  M: +386 (0)41 21 00 17



Villa del Papa - Lucca by Marco Secchi

Featuring an impressive outdoor pool surrounded by a landscaped garden, Villa del Papa offers warm and luxurious accommodation with Tuscan style furnishings. WiFi is free in all areas. Each accommodation is located on the ground floor and comes with elegant furniture, wrought iron beds, and tiled floors with colourful rugs. The good size private bathroom includes free toiletries.

Near to mountains, the Apuan Alps and San Rossore Park, the hotel provides a peaceful setting. Guests can enjoy the picturesque gardens with table and chairs and stone walkways.
In addition, The villa's restaurant, La Quercia, is located 100 metres away and offers discounts to guests. Breakfast can be added to your booking, and can be enjoyed at the next-door café, or at the Moriani patisserie 100 metres away. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a 15-minute drive from the property. The bust stop, with service to Lucca and Pisa, is nearby.

Supermarkets and shops are in front of the property  You'll find these well-maintained apartments in the middle of a nice town just 8 km from Lucca to be most welcoming and comfortable.
You'll have a good pool to share and a lovely private terrace with outdoor furniture.
These charming apartments are in a country setting, yet in the town. They are set in a large private park in a wonderful garden with a large swimming pool.

Via Barsotti, 98
Santa Maria Del Giudice 55100


Plesnik Hotel - Slovenia by Marco Secchi

Located in Slovenia at the head of the stunning Logarska Valley is the 29 room Plesnik Hotel offering quality, comfortable accommodation in an attractive alpine building with outstanding views in the midst of pristine and tranquil mountain scenery. The hotel offers a good restaurant with superb cuisine including traditional dishes of the Solčavsko region as well as international specialities. There is also a wide selection of wines and other beverages.
From the terrace, you can experience first-class cuisine while enjoying a beautiful view of the valley and the mountaintops.

The hotel has a fantastic pool and wellness centre.
The public spaces at the Plesnik are really nice. A beautiful terrace outside of the restaurant that looks onto the mountains, a nice lobby with red leather sofas, and generally well-maintained outdoor and indoor spaces.

We stayed for three days with my wife mid July. The hotel is nicely chalet style decorated and all the staff were quite helpful .
We had a room that faced the mountains, with small balcony. I'd recommend because the view is magnificent.

Breakfast and dinner are served buffet style or you can have a la carte menu they use local and fresh produce, it is very well prepared and lovely!
A wonderful place to get away from it all in comfort.

Ask for Nina Plesnik and mention my blog!

Address: Logarska dolina 10 3335 Solčava
Phone: +386 3 839 23 00
Fax: +386 3 839 23 12
e-mail: hotel@plesnik.si


Acqua Alta Bookshop in Venice by Marco Secchi

If you like to shop, there is something unbelievably enticing with regards to a completely independent and privately owned bookshop.

Particularly if it's full of magical nooks and crannies as well as with a mysterious old books scents, especially if there doesn't seem to be any reasonable order or logic  for the mayhem that lies inside the store.

 To all of this you must add a special location being on a typical Venetian canal and now you've got a good competitor for the most wonderful bookshop. That is without any doubt what the handwritten sign says in front of the Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice which means "High Water Bookstore".

Using stacks of books, encyclopedias, guides, fanzine, comics etc  to fill every possible space including a full-size gondola as well as few boats and outdated bathtubs, this shop's for sure has a quirky personality. Some of the outdated guides, just like old encyclopedias and books have now become part of the building, acting as stairs, wall space, seats.

Acqua Alta has for sale brand new as well as second hand guides and books.

The owner is 73-year-old Luigi Frizzo, has travelled the world before he made the decision to open the shop with his friendly four cats! 

 People and Street Photography in Black and White

HOW TO LICENCE THIS PICTURE: please contact us via e-mail at sales@xianpix.com or call London +44 (0)207 1939846 for prices and terms of copyright. First Use Only ,Editorial Use Only, All repros payable, No Archiving.



Address: Sestiere Castello, 5176/B, 30122 Venezia, Italy

Phone:+39 041 296 0841

Open dayily · 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

On the obsession of Dept of Field by Marco Secchi

English: DOF scale detail on a Nikon lens

I'm in a good mood generally, and not going to rant, but sometimes I get the impression that some photos have super shallow DOF because the photographer can get it, regardless of artistic value or purpose.That kinda reminds me of a friend of mine an excellent Scottish Musician that he told me  that an awful lot of (usually younger) players, seem to think that playing fast is an accomplishment worthy of wonder in itself. It just isn't music... as shallow DOF sometimes isn't photography.

Consider the irony here. For most its history, among the greatest technical challenges of photography was obtaining even adequate depth of field. From extreme lens movements to big lights, tiny apertures, long exposures, and multiple flash pops, photographers bent over backwards simply to get enough of their subject into focus.

As is often the case, people tend to follow trend so if shallow DOF is "in" then masses are going to follow until something else takes it's place. With more dof, one has to take more care "Arranging all those in-focus elements into coherent form".......definetly adds to the challenge of the shot and I suppose brings out the additional skills of the photographer.

How did we go on before "fast lenses"......we either accepted the BG or simply didn't take the shot!

These days, it's that for "professional looking" photographs they should buy fast lenses and then use them at their widest apertures. I've begun hearing them criticize slower lenses and smaller sensors for their lack of "depth of field control." That term once meant something more subtle  now it seems to have become merely shorthand for "Right, let's see how shallow this thing can focus." It's all about blur, baby, blur!

Really low DoF does get tired quickly but a lot of portraits wouldn't be the same without it. When looking through some sets of photos I can't help but think "Yeah, alright, you have bought a 1.4 lens, I get it"

The current photography hobbyist obsession seems to regard minimal depth of field as a hallmark of a memorable image, some of us relics from the film age might argue pretty much the opposite. The richest photos the ones we return to again and again, seeing more each time most often work in layers. They show more rather than less, taking in the full spatial depth of our world rather than just one razor-thin slice of it.

Creative Meditation by Marco Secchi

I have blogged before about cretive bock or self confidence crisis.....and If you depend on your creativity for your living, then your most valuable piece of equipment is not your computer, smartphone, camera, or any other hi-tech gadget. “In a modern company 70 to 80 percent of what people do is now done by way of their intellects. The critical means of production is small, gray, and weighs around 1.3 kilograms. It is the human brain.”

VENICE, ITALY - JUNE 21:  Whirling Dervishes of the Galata Mevlevi Ensemble,declared UNESCO World Heritage, perfom under the guidance of Sheikh Nail Kesova at Auditorium Candiani on June 21, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The whirling dance associated with Dervishes, is the practice of the Mevlevi Order in Turkey, and is part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema which is only one of the many Sufi ceremonies performed to try to reach religious ecstasy (Marco Secchi)

So what are you doing to maintain this precious resource? You probably give it plenty of stimulation – books, movies, music, nights out, interesting conversations with offbeat people.

What works for me is daily meditation. Every morning or early afternoon I spend 20 minutes sitting on a mat, focusing on the sensation of breathing, doing my best to be present and aware, and trying not to get tangled up in my thoughts. It makes all the difference for the rest of the day. And I’m convinced it makes me a better visual artist. I also listen every day to meditation music from my iPhone while I am moving around or shooting.

Meditation is a doorway between our inner and outer worlds. Between “reality” (the seemingly solid world that we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch) and an elusive “something else” we sense beneath, between and beyond what those five senses can grasp.

Meditation offers enormous benefits for everyone, and a set of particular benefits for those who are engaged in a creative activity like writing.

Focus. Concentration is essential to outstanding creative execution and performance. The simple act of focusing on your breathing day after day, will gradually improve your powers of concentration.

Patience. Meditation can be incredibly boring. For once in your life, you’re not trying to do anything or think anything, just sit there and pay attention to your immediate experience. And you will encounter all kinds of resistance to doing it. Zen priest Steve Hagen says, “If you can get past resistance to meditation, nothing else in life will be an obstacle.”

Calmness. At first, you’ll be surprised, maybe even horrified, to discover how busy your mind is – a non-stop stream of mental chatter. But if you stay with it, you should gradually find that your mind settles down as the months go by.

Clarity. Like calmness, this can be gradual and intermittent to begin with. But you are likely to notice moments and even periods of mental clarity, when you see things clearly and your mind is sharper than usual – which makes problem-solving and decision-making easier.

Creates conditions for Insight. You’ve probably had the experience of suddenly realizing the solution to a problem, even though you haven’t been consciously thinking of it. Or you may have experienced a moment of inspiration, when a new idea flashes into your mind unbidden. If you’re practicing meditation regularly, expect this to happen more often.

Perspective. When you spend time just being present and observing your breath, thoughts, feelings, and moment-to-moment experience, you start to realize how trivial most of our daily worries really are. Even in the midst of the daily grind, you can let go of the small stuff, and keep the big picture in view.

Getting Started

The kind of meditation I practice is a mixture of concentration (Samatha) and insight (Vipassana). Samatha practice is simply about focusing on your breathing, in order to develop concentration and calmness. It’s the best place to start, given how busy and unfocused our minds typically are. Vipassana is so simple it almost sounds like doing nothing at all – it’s about being very aware and present to your immediate experience, noticing your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the sounds and sights around you.

To learn how to get started, read the Introduction to Insight Meditation by the monks at Amaravati monastery.

Or you can try to listen to one of the Mantra and chant, The one below is westernized and commercialed version but the traditional has been one of my favorites for a long time, Here

What is in My Bag n1 by Marco Secchi

The following is my typical full Leica Bag

Ona Bags The Prince Street in Smoke

Leica M 240

Leica M246 Monochrom

Voightlande 21 mm f1.8

Leica 35 mm Summilux f1.4

Leica 50 mm Summilux f1.4

Leica 90mm Summicrom  f2

Half Leather case Angelo Pelle

Straps by Peak Design

Think Tank memory cards wallet

Tile Tracking Device

S Daniele Prosciutto by Marco Secchi

In the pre-Roman era, San Daniele del Friuli was an important Celtic settlement, thanks to its special position en route to Northeast Europe. The surrounding area contains the remains of various “castellieri”, the typical Celtic constructions used as watchtowers.

The Celts, a relatively non-migratory people, devoted to agriculture and with minimal warlike tendencies, were the first to use salt to preserve pork, of which they were major consumers. They built the foundations of the extraordinary rural culture which the Romans put to expert use later on.

In the era following that of the Celts, the oldest San Daniele settlement is Roman, from the 1st century AC: a villa positioned right on the summit of the hill.

The Romans were very familiar with ham: evidence of this can be found in the ancient merchants’ road to Rome, the present Via Panisperna, named after “panis” (bread) and “perna” (“perna sicca”: ham), and in a butcher’s memorial stone found in Aquileia (UD), which boasts a Prosciutto di San Daniele complete with trotter.

Fast forwards to the 1920 the first ham factories were established: the domestic cellar was transformed into the centre of a true autonomous production activity. At the end of the 40s, the ham factory had become an industry, and from the 60s its development resulted in some of the production companies contributing to the formation of the national and international prosciutto crudo market.

Leica M (Typ 240) by Marco Secchi


My favorite camera is obviously the Leica, the latest addition to my collection is the M or 240 Type. I shoot most of my portraits, features and reportage using this camera with either the 35 1.4 Summilux or the 50mm 1.5

The Leica M 240 is a digital rangefinder camera with a full-format 24 x 36 mm sensor. As the world’s most compact full-format system camera, the Leica M 240 extends the legendary heritage of the Leica rangefinder M System and unites over 50 years of continuous technical improvements to the system with the best in cutting-edge digital technology.

The Leica M is a digital full-frame 35 mm rangefinder camera. It was introduced by Leica Camera AG in September 2012, and is the successor to the Leica M9 range of cameras. The M uses a 24-megapixel image sensor. The camera is the first M model to feature movie recording, and the first to have Live View—which allows the scene, as seen through the lens, to be composed.The M is compatible with almost all M mount lenses and most R mount lenses (via an adapter). All Leica M cameras are handmade in Portugal and Germany.

The M uses a CMOS 24-megapixel image sensor designed exclusively for Leica by the Belgian company CMOSIS. The sensor contains 6,000 by 4,000 pixels on a 6 x 6 µm² grid, and is made by STMicroelectronics in Grenoble.

The M supports most M-mount lenses, and with an optional R-Adapter, the camera can use almost all Leica R-mount lenses.Live View allows owners of R-lenses to use an optional electronic viewfinder.

The camera uses a MAESTRO image/video processor which is based on the Fujitsu Milbeaut. It has specifically-designed rubber seals (to protect against dust and water spray).

Venice Real Osterie by Marco Secchi

A selection of Venice Osterie where you can get wonderful food for 30Euro or less! La Frasca

This is a small restaurant with just the owner and his chef. Pleasant, no-frills trattoria on a quiet residential square. For a taste of tagliata di calimaro (sliced grilled squid) with arugula or pomodorini tomatoes with strawberries and violet artichokes, wend your way up quintessential calli to La Frasca. Far from the maddening San Marco crowds, this tiny eatery nestled on a remote campiello charms before you even taste the seafood sampler of grilled seppie cuttlefish, canoce mantis shrimp, excellent baccalà mantecato, or sarde in saor. Wines are an important part of the meal here; ask for a recommendation from the ample list of predominantly regional selections. With limited indoor seating, La Frasca encloses and heats their outdoor terrace to accommodate winter diners.

Address: Corte de la Carità, Cannaregio 5176, Venice, 30121 Phone: 041/2412585 Vaporetto: Fondamente Nove No lunch Mon. and Wed.

Dalla Marisa

Signora Marisa is a culinary legend in Venice, with locals calling up days in advance to ask her to prepare ancient recipes such as risotto con le secoe (risotto made with a cut of beef from around the spine). Pasta dishes include the excellent tagliatelle con sugo di masaro (in duck sauce), while secondi range from tripe to roast stuffed pheasant. In summer, tables spill out from the tiny interior on to the fondamenta. Book well ahead - and remember, serving times are rigid: turn up late and you'll go hungry. There's a €15 lunch menu..

Cannaregio 652B, fondamenta San Giobbe Vaporetto Crea or Tre Archi Telephone 041 720 211 Meals served noon-2.30pm Mon, Wed, Sun; noon-2.30pm, 8-9.15pm Tue, Thur-Sat. Closed Aug

Trattoria Ca’ D’Oro

“This picturesque osteria [informal restaurant or tavern] has a well-stocked cicchetti [small plate] counter plus small tables in the back if you order from the menu.”—Michela Scibilia, author, Venice Osterie. One of the oldest wine bars in the city and also known as Alla Vedova; popular with locals and travelers barhopping along Strada Nova; serves Venetian classics and is famous for its polpette (meatballs).

Cannaregio 3912; tel. 39 041 528 5324.

Osteria al Garanghelo

“One of the ever decreasing number of old-time Venetian osterie.”—Ruth Edenbaum, author, Chow Venice: Savoring the Food and Wine of La Serenissima. This simple, casual restaurant is low-key and local; cicchetti (small plates) up front and tables in back; wines by the glass; menu includes a vegetable antipasta platter, seafood starters like sarde in saor (Venetian-style marinated sardines), and pastas.

Close to Rialto market. San Polo 1570; tel. 39 041 721 721.

Dai Tosi (37)

If you're stuck for somewhere to eat after a visit to the Art or Architecture Biennale and are in the mood for cheap and cheerful refuelling, this neighbourhood trattoria-pizzeria, in a residential street that always seems to be festooned with laundry, should fit the bill perfectly. In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice. The pizzas are fine and filling (try the gorgonzola, radicchio and walnut topping), and they also do a good range of Venetian and pan-Italian pasta dishes. This is a good place to come with kids, who can work up an appetite in the play area near the Giardini vaporetto stop. Beware of mixing this up with another nearby namesake restaurant; if you're in any doubt, ask for 'Dai Tosi Piccoli' (Little Dai Tosi).

In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.
In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.

In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.

Address: Castello 738, Secco Marina, 30122 Getting there: Vaporetto stop Giardini Contact: 00 39 041 523 7102; trattoriadaitosi.comOpening times: Mon, Tue, Thu, midday-2pm; Fri-Sun, midday-2pm, 7pm-9.30pm Prices: pizzas from €5, pasta dishes around €12 Payment type: credit cards accepted Cuisine: Italian, pizza Reservations: not necessary

L'osteria Ai Assassini

Peak Design System by Marco Secchi

I’d almost given up on finding a good camera strap solution for the way that I work but luckily I found Peak Designs .  The problem for me is that I often don’t want to have a strap on the camera at all, sometime I just like to use a cuff or a clutch and why notalight strap.   Most strap solutions gravitate towards using big bulky padding of some sort and that makes them both expensive and cumbersome to carry around for the small number of times I find myself looking for a new one. .  I’ve got several straps in my gear closet but all of them gather dust.  They are just too big and overly complex with these slider mechanisms that people seem so fixated with.  I guess if you walk around 12 hours a day with a camera on your shoulder then it might seem more useful but for the way I work it’s just not necessary.  Thing is though,  there’s always some point where I wish I had a shoulder strap with me.  Up until this point though I hadn’t seen a solution that gave me what I wanted.

The Micro Anchor system is the key to making the Leash easy to use and versatile.  Each Anchor is rated to hold 100lbs so you can easily carry your camera kit or even a supertelephoto lens.  The Leash and the Cuff both come with 4 Anchors.  Once you slide them into clip on the Leash and give it a tug you’ll hear it click into place.  To detach the Leash you have to push down on the Anchor and slide it back out of the clip.  It’s a secure system that I loved and trusted straight away.


There’s also an anchor point on the adjustment buckle for the Leash.  This means that you can create a loop for tethering your camera to either yourself or a static object like a railing if you are shooting from a building.  If you are carrying a backpack you could also tether the camera to your bag to save it if you ever dropped it.  Speaking as someone who has often found myself peering over the tops of buildings, lookouts, bridges and cliffs, this is an awesome little feature that I’ll be using a lot.


This post has received discount on Media samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

15 things +1 (I try) to avoid in Street Photography by Marco Secchi

  ..I have specified I TRY  to avoid .... ....

  1. Using more than one lens per day for street photography.  I prefer a 35mm or occasionally a 50mm
  2. Checking the LCD screen after taking photos on the streets (Chimping)
  3. Letting criticism affect me negatively. Rather, I try to use it to empower me to find weaknesses in my work.
  4. Leaving the house without a camera
  5. Spending a lot of time looking at photos online ; rather I spend more time shooting
  6. Forgetting how lucky I am to be able to go out and take photos everyday
  7. Mixing my digital and film photos in a project
  8. Letting the number “likes” dictate whether a photo is good or not
  9. Taking a photo of someone on the streets without saying “thank you” or smiling at them
  10. Hesitating before taking a street photograph
  11. Shooting to please my critics
  12. Recommending lenses longer than 50mm for street photography
  13. Making excuses when a photo doesn’t work. It is shit end of the story
  14. Taking photos without emotion and without your heart
  15. Uploading photos online until letting it “marinate” for few weeks

+1.  Comparing myself to other photographers

Ponte degli Scalzi - Fismonger - Leica M2 35mm HP5+ 400 Asa
Ponte degli Scalzi - Fismonger - Leica M2 35mm HP5+ 400 Asa

How to Rescue a Wet Camera by Marco Secchi

Scotland, Saltcoats 23rd November 2006 Extreme weather condition with strong gales and rain are battering the West Coast of Scotland NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 19
Scotland, Saltcoats 23rd November 2006 Extreme weather condition with strong gales and rain are battering the West Coast of Scotland NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 19

It has happened to me a couple of times covering bad weather in Scotland, to friends and colleagues, even a couple of days ago to one of my Venetian colleague.

Your precious camera meets the water...either in the form of a big splash or heavy torrential rain.

I have managed to recovered my cameras at least 2 times and I have strictly used the following method

  • As soon as it happen switch off the camera, remove the battery, remove memory card, I would say this is the most important action.
  • Do NOT turn the camera on  ever....you may risk to short circuit important parts
  • As soon as you can, make sure there are no traces of moisture visible on the camera.
  • Find a container big enough to hold the camera and a couple of bags or more of rice (Yes RICE)
  • can be a Tupperware container, half fill it with  rice  and then place the dead camera body on top of the rice with the mirror facing down.
  • pour more rice on top of the camera until it is completely covered with about 1 inch of rice above the top of the camera body
  • placed a tightly fitted lid on the container and place it a dry cupboard for at least  one week.

After about a week of drying out in the hermetically sealed rice box you should be able to switch on the camera and scroll through all the menus..,.. if this is the case I would place the camera again in the rice for 4 or 5 days  or leave it near but not too close to a radiator.