More great Italian door hardware

Check out the age of this metal-studded, wooden door, which is located on the beautiful avenue known as Via Maggio in the Oltrarno. I love the brute force of this rugged door and the aged quality of the door knock and studs.

Not far away is another door with an entirely different personality; the wood and metal of this one are as elegant as the other is rugged.

But, for me, nothing beats the elaborate elegance of this fishtail fancy wood work on this other door. The doorknock is unusual. I’ve never seen a fist design like this one before.

You can often find the door knock design below on palazzi doors around Florence, but I don’t often see them with such clearly articulate teeth holding the movable part.

And, finally for today, is this last design, showing a none-too-ferocious looking lion holding the movable part of the door knock made up of 2 dolphins. The whole is then surrounded by a complicated partial victory wreath, composed on the left side of oak leaves and acorns, and on the right, hmm…, I’m not sure exactly what leaf this is? Traditionally it is laurel that makes victory wreaths, but the circular berries look like holly? Chissa?

Even though I can’t decipher the meaning, the oak and laurel (?) were no doubt purposely chosen to tell something particular about the people who lived inside the building. Perhaps the oak leaf and laurel were a part of their family crest, or a part of their family name. These are the things that begin lost.

Another day in Italy, another tabernacle

The tabernacles abound, each as interesting as the last. Along my walk on Via di Montughi just outside of Florence, I came across this one recently.

That appears to be a relief portrait? of a man, or perhaps just a relief sculpture of a “typical man” on the lower right side. Does this tabernacle commemorate a particular deceased man?

On the lower left side, there is a symbol of a heart, fronted by a small figure of the Virgin Mary. I find these tableaus to be very intriguing.

A Gilli celebration!

A couple of weeks ago, when we joined the yellow zone of fewer restrictions, a friend and I met at Gilli, my favorite coffeehouse in Florence, to celebrate. Here are a couple of photos taken on that bright sunny day. We were exhuberant.

We haven’t had such weather since. Another kind of restriction.

When will we ever get back to regular weather and life?

My balcony garden right now!

My jasmine is blooming its little heart out right now and the scent is divine!

As you can see, I’ve got a lot of other blossoms right now too. The nasturtiums both self-seeded and also overwintered and are going strong right now. As soon as the Tuscan summer heat hits my balcony, which it will probably do next month, the nasturtiums will fade away. Do you remember that funny line from the movie “Silver Streak?” Gene Wilder’s character says to his amorous prey that “nasturtiums like it nasty.” In America nasturtiums like all the heat a summer can bring, but I’ve found in Florence they can’t take the heat.

I’ve also got marigolds blooming, which seems incongruous to me in the spring! But these overwintered and are doing just fine right now.