Door stories

Does anyone remember that eighties wall poster Porte Toscane? The one with the grid of beautifully rustic Tuscan doors? They seemed so exotic, looking back. The poster hung in the first proper architectural office I worked in as a graduate. We were a long way from Tuscany, but one of the architects, the nicest one and a director of the firm, Mr Davidson, was an Italophile before anyone much knew what the word meant. The poster was his touch. He even had a house in Radda in Chianti which, now I think about it, must have been quite a rare thing at the time.

My favourite door in Perugia in beautiful via dell'Acquedotto

When eventually I decided to fly the coop and go off to see Italy for myself Mr Davidson was lovely. He even wrote me letters of introduction and gave a handwritten list of some of his special addresses. I remember one was the Villa San Michele on the Isle of Capri which I still haven’t seen, but I want to.

I take photos of doors myself now. I wonder sometimes if it’s something I would have done anyway. But then I think of Mr Davidson and his poster so I guess I’ll never really know. I’ve worked out one thing though. The doors in the poster were never about the architecture. At least not the architecture we were making. Mr Davidson, John, would have explained that too if I’d asked.

But then again, there are some things we just need to see for ourselves.





I love the panelling on this door. Verona again


Comments 16

  1. jann March 26, 2012

    Great old doors, Janine! I’m a door lover, too–something about the symbolism of “home,” I think. The Umbrian doors–dark and heavy (are they oak?)–are quite different from those of Sicily, which are usually less grand and often brightly painted.

    • janinevasta March 26, 2012

      I agree Jann. Something about home and visitors and making a good first impression too. The Italians are very house proud. But the old battered uncared for ones are lovely too! Umbria is all big timber and stone. Oak I think as you say. I love the idea of the doors in Sicily feeling so much more cheerful!

  2. Helen March 26, 2012

    Oh dear – whilst I failed to track down my lovely collection of shop signs (which must be on film somewhere in the depths of the loft), I do have quite a collection of door photos too 🙂 So this post is another one right up my street – thanks Janine! Most of mine were taken in & around the medieval town of Briancon, one of the ski stations of Serre Chevalier. But the style is definitely more Italian than French. If only the food crossed the border too…

    • janinevasta March 26, 2012

      How funny! You’re very welcome Helen. Nice to think we’ve been snapping signs and now doors in unison! You must have some gorgeous images by the sounds of it. Only my coffee must have been better… Jx

  3. Malou March 26, 2012

    Oh such a lovely post! I love those doors out there in Italy, every one seems to have a story to tell of people that pass through them. 😉

  4. lily2u1 March 27, 2012

    Last year when one of my friends was contemplating where to travel next, I suggested Italy. When asked “Why Italy?”, one of the first things to trip from my tongue was, “The doors!” It seemed such a strange response to her, to someone who had not been there, but we know otherwise!

    Beautiful photos, as always!
    ~ Lily

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