Whenever I browse the Destination Guide, my eyes are inevitably caught by the entry for SolAria, so much so that I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d have to pay the island a visit.
Built by Maveryck Breen, SolAria seeks to reproduce an oceanside Italian / Mediterranean village suitable for SL photographers and romantics. Covering slightly less than a full region (there is an area of grassland to one side which apparently belongs to another group), SolAria achieves its aims exceptionally well.
The arrival point is a raised piazza overlooking a sheltered harbour. Here you’ll find a fountain, the local trattoria and footpaths and steps leading both up and down and between and around an assortment of houses and shops.
For the romantics, there are places to dance or to sit together and watch the world go by and waterside walks which, for the inquisitive or those prepared to get their feet wet, might lead you to more than might at first meet the eye. Merfolk in particular might well feel at home in at least part of this build.
Everywhere appears open to explore, and despite the compact size of the build, there is a lot to see once you start exploring – such as the park on the headland, the busy dockside at one end of the island, complete with ornate bathysphere, and two fortifications facing one another across the island, with a church sitting in between as if keeping two ancient families from sparring with one another.
This is a build which really is best enjoyed when running in deferred mode; great care has been taken with the lighting, and while there is no windlight pre-set I could determine (I received no pop-up asking me if I wished to accept local windlight), a late evening setting can really emphasise the beauty of the village with the street and house lights.
For the SL photographer, the island is a real delight, leading itself to a whole range of windlight settings which in turn can produce stunning images. There is even a modest gallery in the village where pictures of the village are on display.
If I’m honest, there are perhaps one or two places – notably inside some of the buildings – where the texturing could do with a little more attention in terms of scaling / repeats, but this is a minor niggle on my part. Certainly, I recently spent a happy afternoon wandering and camming around grabbing snaps and twiddling with windlight – as I hope the slideshow below shows!
(view slideshow full-screen)