The final instalment of doors from Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy, where I (not so recently any more) spent a week with my family on our summer holiday. ‘Citta’ was the nearest city to where we were staying and is a place that we have visited many times over the years. This area of Italy is a particular favourite of ours, but this is the first time I have visited with a ‘door chip’ inserted. There is a little more to some of these doors than first meets the eye.
This door was the entrance to some apartments and played host to tons of small tags and graffiti. Most of the other doors on this main shopping street were not afforded the same attention.
There are many views and scenes in Italy that unsurprisingly remind you of some of the great Italian artists – the door below and the archway leading up to it and all the colours and shadows screamed Giorgio de Chirico to me.
I did a little research on the next door, because there was something about it that was rather special. It is in fact a door of the dead, and thanks this post on the fabulous website Experience Tuscany and Umbria, I can tell you a little more about it. The door dates back to medieval times and would usually be set to one side of the main dwelling entrance. It was only ever used for taking a deceased body out of the home in a coffin, after which the doorway was bricked up on the inside to prevent death from returning. I believe that many of these doors can be found in old Italian houses.
The final door is another rather peculiar one which was in the wall of the crypt of the Cathedral of St Florido and Amanzio by the exit. It was an iron gate, not very special in its own right but it was what lay behind it that was a bit creepy.
I have been to catacombs and many crypts and have seen many skeletons and relics and expect this kind of thing in Italy, but this display was simply weird. The cellar room had a scene reminiscent of Pinocchio, presumably something for children to look at, but in my view the stuff of nightmares. Interesting nonetheless.
And that’s it from Citta di Castello…more Italian doors soon.
This is the second instalment of doors from Citta di Castello in Umbria and a nice reminder for me of our recent summer break – I must try to hang on to that holiday feeling for as long as possible to see me through the winter. Some nice ones here, I hope you enjoy them.
I hadn’t realised that I had taken so many pictures of doors in Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy during a recent holiday there, so I have had to break down this post into manageable chunks. This is chunk 1. Enjoy.
This week I offer you another little gallery of doors from a recent trip to Umbria Italy. This set of doors are from a small hilltop town called Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, nestled between Arezzo to the west and Citta di Castello to the east.
We used to visit this area quite frequently in the 1980s and 1990s and I recall the town forever playing host to a couple of large cranes. These were lovingly (and slowly) restoring the whole town and some of its buildings. The cranes have gone now, thank goodness.
Some doors are the originals, but you might notice that the feature image, for example, is a faithful reproduction. I love the way this little town has retained its heritage without giving in to the trappings of modern urbanisation (apart from the rather unnecessarily ugly interpretation board below).
This week I have a rare treat for you…doors from Cortona. I spent last week on a family holiday to Umbria in Italy and this first set of doors is from a day trip we took to this Tuscan town set on a hill top in the province of Arezzo. Close your eyes and imagine the heat, sounds and the smells of this medieval town. Perfect.
I saw this door yesterday, while on a short walkabout looking for (yes…predictably) street art. The door is situated at the bottom end of a walled garden belonging to a house called Field House – the words can just about be seen engraved into the keystone at the top of the arch. That was all I knew about the place, so I set to work…thank you Interweb.
The House, which is Grade II listed, was built in the early part of the 19th century, and when it was first built, there was not much in the way of other buildings in the immediate vacinity.
You can see Field House in the map above appearing as a square in the centre of the picture – the garden is still intact today.
Not an awful lot has changed by 1855, but the map is a little bit more detailed. There is a small outbuilding in the bottom corner of the garden.
By the 1880s there is a major change and many new houses have appeared, especially to the north of Field House. Urbanisation, population growth and the impacts of the industrial revolution will all have contributed to the spread of housing in the city.
By the 1900s the area had become swamped by the growth of the city, however, the walled garden has remained and is a small oasis and time capsule of how things were.
I took a peek through the door and the garden is no longer a grand garden with organised flowerbeds, but is laid out as a split level lawn…looking very yellow due to the lack of rain with one or two trees. The outbuilding is no longer there.
Great to understand a little more about what lies behind a door.