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I’m sure you know I have an obsession and take hundreds of photos of the wooden doors in Italy. There is a certain kind of pull that resides deep inside of me. For years, I thought it was just a “me thing.” Until I started posting some of my captures on social media.
I was fascinated to find out how many people have this same passion. The amount of comments I receive when I post one is overwhelming. But there is so much more to these photos. I immediately think, who selected the door? Most likely it isn’t the current owner. But how long ago was this door chosen, and why?
Color of Doors
Oh, these doors… of course, an important aspect of this architectural beauty is the selection of the color, if painted. Italy has its fair share of color selections but mainly in the sea towns of the peninsular. We found oodles of shades of blues and greens when in Puglia. Generally, they remain their natural color and are stained to protect against the weather. Generally speaking.
There are times Gary is well down the road waiting for me to catch up. I’ve stopped to take another snapshot. Click, click. When taking that photo capture, I am also pondering why was the hardware chosen? There are huge variations in knockers. Shapes, sizes, and most of all – the content. Quite common are lion heads, plain circles, and flowers. I love when I see a bright brass part of the knocker that obviously indicates use. Years of use. It puts a small grin on my face.
Capturing the Perfect Photo of Doors
For me, I enjoy capturing the door as a straight-on shot. The door must not be a business and have an address number. That’s my criteria. I also don’t photograph a door that has a car parked in front of it. Sometimes it takes several returns to the same address if the door is that beautiful to get it free of distraction. I will, however, enjoy taking a photo if there is a Vespa in front or even a bicycle. My preference is still just the entry without anything else.
It’s in the Details
I always take the photograph, as I said previously, directly standing in front of the door. I also try and capture the entire surrounding building as I can always crop the image later if I want to concentrate specifically on the door. But sometimes if you just concentrate on the door itself, you can completely miss the details of the entry. The scrollwork on columns, carvings around the entry, and even some incredible mailboxes, or Posta’s as they are called in Italy.
Location, Location, Location
As I mentioned, the color of the doors in a town can be influenced by the area or region. An example of this can be found in the town of Alberobello, in Puglia (the region which occupies the heel of the boot). Here, doors are truly unique because of the type of home they are in. These homes are called, Trulli. I found quite a number of glass doors here, or should I say, wood doors with glass inserts. These doors are special and so is this town.
It’s nice to know I am not alone with this obsession. But there is one more aspect I have yet to mention. New or perfect doors really don’t interest me unless they have something unique about them. For me, it’s all about the rustic, run-down, peeling, half-falling apart doors that truly bring a smile to my face.
Doors are unique I would imagine in any country. But they capture my heart here in Italy more than any other place I’ve visited. Although I must admit, I’ve never seen color as I have in Dublin other than in Burano, Venice. Bold and strong in every color you can imagine. Take a peek at our separate post on the Doors of Dublin
Stay tuned as I come across more unique doors, I will add them to this post.