My love affair with doors and doorways continues. Back in 2017 I shared my fascination with Indian doors and now it is time to showcase the Italian equivalent.
Maybe I have a ‘thing’ for countries starting with the letter ‘I’?
In August and September last year I spent 40 days walking the length of Italy. Spending this amount of time on foot meant I moved slowly through the countryside and innumerable villages, towns and cities, moving even slower by the end of the each walking day.
Without fail the sight of a weathered and worn door would make me pause and wonder at its story.
What life and activity has it seen?
What joy and sadness has passed under its lintel?
Has the life behind it been a good one? A fulfilled one? Or one full of struggle and grief?
Sometimes the doors look unloved and abandoned. Why have the owners moved on from this building and the care and maintenance of it is no longer a priority?
My hand is tempted to reach out and brush the rough surface and pick at the loose and peeling paint. Maybe it is just a desire to see the multiple layers and colours of paint, the stamp of each owner as they painted the door to reflect their own tastes.
The temptation is also great to push on the old door and hear it creak open, perhaps dragging and catching on the well-worn stone floor to reveal more degeneration and decrepitude.
But, I resist the urge to trespass.
Other times the brass knockers glimmer in the early morning sunshine and look warm and smooth to touch. Life continues in abundance in these homes. They have an importance in society or at least an image to uphold.
We are important.
We care about how we are perceived.
We are affluent and well-to-do.
All of this is in my own imagination and from flexing my creativity. Perhaps a little too much imagination if I am giving inanimate objects personalities and histories?
But, that’s what happens when you walk slowly and give yourself time and space to let your mind roam free. It’s also what happens when I am tired and footsore after 25km and I desperately need something to distract myself.
I love that something so simple can say so much about the building and the lives of those inside.
Or maybe that is just me getting carried away yet again.
What carries you away?
August & September 2018
#italy, #history, #architecture