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Posts from the ‘Italy’ category

Thursday Doors; The Hidden Doors of Italy


 Italian Door

New Doors Set into Old Door Opening

 Italian Door

Italian Door Blocked Up

Blocked Up Italian Door

Blocked Up Italian Door

 Italian Door

The Wrought Iron Italian Door Covering

New Very Narrow Italian Door

New Very Narrow Italian Door

Today for Door Day I thought we might look at some more of the fascinating Italian Doors! Sometimes when I am looking for doors I come upon doors that look like there have been different doors in that spot in the past and new doors have taken their place for whatever reason. I always wonder what was the previous door like? Some have an arch where the door would have been and some entrances have been bricked up!

 Italian Door

Italian Church Door Within a Door

Then there are the doors within the door.  I see these quite frequently at churches. The main doors are massive and quite heavy, so there is a little door in the big door, making it easier to pass through. Look for the pull, that is still above your shoulder! The heavy, giant, door usually has a bolt system on the inside. Is it to keep out unwanted guests?

 Italian Door

New Italian Door

And then there is the door that looks like it is in the mouth of a grotto!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next week!


Monday Window: Montisi, Italy

 Montisi, Italy

Montisi, Italy

Is this a window of a house or a prison?

 Montisi, Italy

Montisi, Italy

This window is in a small park. Is it for puppet shows? There are always interesting windows to look for!

For more photos of windows, by fellow bloggers, just look at Monday Window!

Thursday Doors: The Medici Family

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

Here we are in Italy, this time in Florence, seeing fantastic doors!

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

The Medici Family was an Italian banking family, and political dynasty that produced three Popes of the Catholic Church, and two Queens of France. The family ruled Tuscany from 1513 until 1737. We find their symbols,(balls) first displayed on their crest, then prominently displayed on buildings all over Florence and Tuscany, which were financed by Medici money. Some say the balls represented coins, others say medicinal pills that recalled the family’s origins as doctors or apothecaries. This door represents everything that the Medici family represented: the Popes, the Queens, The Dynasty! Balls, balls, and more balls!

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Ball, Florence, Italy

Here is another interesting door! This one can be found at one of the churches sponsored by the Medici family. Do you know what this door was used for? The poor would knock on the door and receive scraps of food!

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door at the Duomo, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door at the Duomo, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

I hope you have enjoyed our walk through Florence today seeing some of the Medici Doors! If you go to Tuscany be on the lookout for them!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next week!




One Word Photo Challenge: Bulbs

A Bulb in Rome!

Bulbs in Rome!

This photo has everything I love; Rome, a Porch, the Terre Cotta Peach Color, an Icon, old pale blue Shutters, Flowers, a mix of old and new……..And the bulbs of Light!!

Look here to participate the One Word Photo Challenge presented by Jennifer Nicole Wells!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Fish menus celebrated in Corniglia, Italy! What a beautiful display of letters!! Enjoy!

Fish Selections in Corniglia, Italy

Fish Selections in Corniglia, Italy

When In Rome………….



I Loved the Umbrella Trees!

As we finish up the Traipsing Through Tuscany tour, I learned two things on this trip to Rome. First, always ask how many flights of stairs there are to the abode you plan to stay in and two, never cut in line when it is raining and there is an older Italian woman waiting in an informal queue or in the shadows. Well, it is never proper to cut in line, but first know if there is a line and where it might actually be. I did witness the results of such a blunder or was it simply a tired wet Italian woman not to be put off?

Arriving in Rome, we took a cab to the B&B.  Pushing open the heavy oak door, after being buzzed in, there were immediately two flights of stone stairs to reach a plateau area of tables and chairs on the roof of the building we had just walked up. The hostess met us here and took us to our room, in a remodeled villa, up another four flights of stairs, in another building. So everyday in Rome it was up and down six flights of stairs twice and sometimes more. I did not look forward to the end of the day and since we had opted to stay out a little further in the “burbs” there was also a trek each day to the metro station before the exploring began.  The B&B room was new, elegant and very chic, but I would take the room with the nuns at Santa Brigida Convent over this. (See “Off to Roma” post)

We took several walking tours with Art Viva; “Rome in One Glorious Day,”  the “Masterpieces of the Vatican and St Peters Tour” and “The Original Walking Tour.”  BEWARE, wear your most comfortable walking shoes! We walked well over ten miles, the first day, during the tour alone! I would also take the tours over several days with rests between. They were EXCELLENT and we learned a lot, but we were really pooped at the end of the day and then there were those “STAIRS” to look forward to! 

After one day out, exploring, touring, eating, and walking, it started to pour.  We looked to hail a cab and got in a queue behind a group of six at a taxi stand.  A cab stopped, the six piled in and out of nowhere an elderly woman flung herself at the back cab door, pulled it open and in no uncertain terms, in rapid fire Italian and gestures, ordered the occupants out of the cab. When they didn’t get her message she flew to the front door of the cab and told off the cab driver as well. The cab driver told the occupants they would have to get out, and they did.  The old woman with her wet, soggy pull-cart of groceries jumped into the cab and off it splashed. We left the queue and walked in the rain to the metro station, realizing it might be easier just to take the metro. Soaked through and through, my shoes squeeking, I again had the STAIRS ahead! We did enjoy our time in Rome, but would to do it differently the next time!  Live and learn! That’s what traveling is all about! Here are some of my favorite pictures of Rome!  Enjoy!


For more information on Art Viva Tours Look HERE!

Traipsing Through Tuscany- San Casiano dei Bagni

Today head south through the beautiful Tuscan hillside to the village of San Casiano dei Bagni.  The village was discovered by the Etruscans and known for the abundant (42) thermal springs which were later developed by the Romans. There are still  5 star spas to be found here!

The Drive to San Casciano dei Bagni

The Drive to San Casciano dei Bagni


San Casciano dei Bagni, a hill town overlooking the Val di Paglia, springs from a thick woods of oaks, chestnuts and ancient pines. The medieval village reveals a labyrinth of narrow roads winding around a church. Today the main entrance from the south, the “Porta,” leads to the Piazza Matteotti, where there are spectacular views of the valley below. There is also Ristorante Daniela, located right on the piazza. I was drawn to the charming cave-like ambience. Greeted by Daniela herself, we were delighted with the specialties of the house. Our meal of Tuscan ham, cheeses, homemade soup and pasta, was washed down with good local wine. Enjoy a day in San Casiano dei Bagni!

 Ristorante Daniela is located at 6 Piazza Matteotti, San Casciano dei Bagni, Italy.


Traipsing Through Tuscany – Monticchiello



Under a Tuscan Sun Road

Under a Tuscan Sun Road

Monticchiello is a very small village on the way to Pienza. I love the zig-zag road with the tall skinny cypress trees, just like in the movie, Under a Tuscan Sun! Asking about these trees I found that the Cupressus Sempervirens are known in Italy as the Italian, Tuscan, or Graveyard Tree. The tree is known as a symbol for mourning and associated with death because it fails to regenerate when cut back too severely. It’s branches were also used to fumigate during cremation and were also suitable to making wreaths.  They are often planted around cemeteries because their roots go straight down rather than spreading out, so little damage is done to the graves sites. Arriving in the village I am surprised to find a new sub-division of homes being built on the outskirts of town. It looks out of place, but I can see why one would want to live here.  The beauty of the village is the landscape; soft, rolling hills, dotted with the cypress trees, under a bright lapis lazuli sky and the warmth of the sun.  It is exactly what you imagine an Italian landscape to be. You can relax and slow down. No one is in a hurry here.  The older village consists of pale ochre colored stone houses with pastel colored doors, surrounded by manicured gardens. The Church of Santi Leonardo and Chrisoforo dates back to the last half of the thirteenth century, with a structure of a single nave and three apses.  It has a Gothic facade adorned with an oval portal with a rosette. Going up the hill there is the ruins of the Cassero Tower, from days long past.  This is the place to be to get away from it all.

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