The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #18


A reader writes:

Well, I imagine most of the guesses pouring in are going to be centered around Europe, particularly the Mediterranean. While I’ve traveled there, I don’t think I’ll be able to compete with European Dish readers on their home turf, so my strategy is to cross my fingers and hope it’s South America. I’m going to guess Quito, Ecuador, taken from the lovely Centro Historico district (Historic Center / Old Town), making the hill pictured possibly Panecillo?

Another writes:

This picture appears to be in Central Chile, based on what I believe is the Chilean white palm tree in the picture. I’m going to guesstimate farther and say it is a Spanish colonial city of the region, being Valparaiso or La Serena. I’ll take a stab and say the photo was taken in Valparaiso, Chile. Now I’m going to hear that I’m completely wrong, right?

Yup.  Another:

Finally, a VFYW photo that resembles somewhere I’ve been!  I don’t do the google searching like most of the people who win this thing; I just go with the images stored in my brain from the places I’ve been.  And this looks like a hill I saw in Amman, Jordan.


When I saw this photo for the first time, I immediately said Jerusalem, as the color of the stone reminded me of all of the buildings I saw when I was in Israel last month.  If I had to pick neighborhood, I’d say East Jerusalem, about a mile outside the Old City in Silwan where there have been recent riots.


Locarno, Ticino, Switzerland?  That’s my guess because I would rather be there than here, in Plain City, Ohio.


“My guess is that it is the Carrera marble cliffs/quarries in the background which would place it near the coast in western Tuscany, maybe 75 miles west of Florence. It could be mild enough for a palm tree to survive.” I received this email from a friend with whom I play the VFYW contest but is too shy to enter.  I’ll forward the prize if he wins!


My thinking and research path:  Mediterranean terrain, climate, and architecture.  Crete?  The green shutter in the building opposite photo’s POV looks like one in a photo from Sardinia; slatted green shutters predominant in Italy not Greece, Malta, or France. Towns in Sardinia have red roofs and colorful buildings.  Calabria is drier and buildings and roofs are grayer in tone.  Calabria was strongly influenced by Greece.   I Google Image “mountain villages Calabria”:  Cardeto!  Close enough?

Close. Another:

Citta` di Licata, Provincia di Agrigento, Sicilia, Itali?  Having spent many years in southern Italy and Sicily on my father’s archaeological digs, I wondered if there would ever be a view posted form an Italian location I might recognize.  I certainly didn’t dare hope one would turn up in the contest itself, and so soon!

The rock formations, vegetation, architecture (tile roofs, new stucco over old, new windows in old walls), active TV antenna, houseplant varieties and display choice, closed window blinds, laundry, coloration, all scream Sicily.  As do, especially, the smoke from burning roadside garbage (I guarantee it), and the old, red-stuccoed villa on the hill within its walled garden – a trapping of old money not so often seen in the Mezzogiorno on the mainland.  Sicily combines poverty with old wealth and new in a way that other places in southern Italy do not.

We lived in a house like that – a summer folly of years gone by, unchanged in the dry climate but no longer chic, abandoned by that time, the garden reduced to palms, cacti, and thorns.  Our garden did support a lush and ancient mulberry tree, whose roots, we later found, were wrapped around the sewer pipe that fed out into the tuffa soil and ended, no need for a tank in that dry, dry land.  The faucet water came in from a cistern supplemented by truck from the town below.

But I googled every available angle and couldn’t find the exact spot.  So maybe it’s a different town – I’ll be very interested to read the guesses on Tuesday! If it’s not Licata, at least your photo has brought back memories.

On the right island. Another:

It looks just like the small town of Pezzolo, the Sicilian town my parents immigrated from.  But if it was a picture of Pezzolo I would know it in a heartbeat, and I would even know who took it (hell, I’m related to all of them).  So I’ll just choose a place an hour away, at random – Maletto?  If I lose, so what?  At least I got to mention my parents tiny town Pezzolo.  Look it up! It’s fantastic.

Getting really close. Another:

This is the first time that I try what seems like the obvious thing to do with the Dish readers: Google street view. My husband thought about Sicily, which prompted me saying, “There are no palm trees in Sicily”… which was disproved two seconds later with a quick Google images search  :-)  Anyways, I couldn’t find the street that would give the view from the picture, but I had a lot of fun traveling through the streets of Ragusa, which definitely has tons of green shutters, tile rooftops and beautiful red flowers in the balconies, just like in the view! (I should visit some day, since my family comes from Sicily.)

Just 5 miles off! Another:

This looks like Sicily. The city is big enough to have lots of houses, but not so big that they are apartment buildings (at least in this area). The cliffs in the background are a clue, but is it a city on a hill or just a hilly city? I’m guessing the former. For one, that would explain the lack of apartment buildings. There’s probably no waiting list for a city in the mountains. So I think it’s Modica, Sicily (although not in the heart of the city).

One other reader guessed Modica (out of about 100 entries), but the reader above was first to submit an entry, and gave a more detailed description – congrats!  (The runner-up will definitely win a Blurb book in the future if he ties with other readers.)


“A” marks the spot: