Behind Closed Doors

I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.
~ Elizabeth Taylor

I think I’ve said this before, but my husband doesn’t understand my obsession with doors and windows. They both started to charm and enchant me many years ago when I saw, for the first time, a red door in Dublin. Until then I had not paid them much attention as the ones where I grew up were mostly plain rectangular wooden doors with a window or two cut into them.

Large door made of wood planks with peeling stain
Door in Bologna

But that red door with bright brass knob, knocker, and lock caught my eye, and I found myself looking for other doors. I found blue and black and green and yellow doors in Dublin, and a few years later, I found peeling and decaying doors in Italy. They were not all rectangles; most didn’t have windows; and some were falling apart. Beautiful, though, they were.

Modern black and glass door with wood inset
In Monreale

I could not stop thinking about them. What hid behind them? Was anyone home? Whom did they protect oh, so many years ago? Who walked through them? What secrets do they hide?

I don’t have answers, but I have photos. Thousands of photos of doors. Here are a few from this trip.

Decaying wooden door with graffiti of Blessed Mother and Jesus
In Palermo

I found this door on a side street in a rough section of Palermo. The “tutto e niente” translates to “everything and nothing.” I love the ladder. Where does *it* lead?

Old wooden door with peeling red and blue paint.
In the Vucciria

This might be one of my favorite doors of all time. I found it as we were walking in the Vucciria in Palermo.

I was not wild about going to Palermo at first. I thought it would be dirty, chaotic, and seedy. It was, but in a charming way. I found this door on Via Maqueda, the main pedestrian street in Palermo. I love the doors within the doors within the doors.

Red door with red glass windows and black handles.
In Cefalu

I love red doors, and I hope my next house has one. I found this bright door in Cefalu, the seaside town on Sicily.

Black wood door with rusting metal bars
For sale in Erice

Also on Sicily, but in another area, I found a place for sale in Erice, a small hill town south of Palermo. What lies inside?

Wooden door in stone building
Door to gladiator’s dressing room, Pompeii

When we visited Pompeii, our guide showed us the arenas where gladiators fought during the time the city thrived. The fact that they had dressing rooms surprised me. Note that the wood is not original as the lava burned all of the wood in town.

Black wrought iron door in Bologna

I swear that as many times as I walk the streets in Bologna’s historic center, there are things that I miss. Today, I turned my head as we walked down Via Farini, and there was this beautiful—and narrow—black door.

Brown door covered in graffiti
In Bologna

One thing I hate about Bologna is the amount of graffiti all over the place. The city is supposedly trying to fix it, but it takes time and money and volunteers.

Arched wooden door with fading brown stain
In Positano

Being seasick while in Positano, I didn’t feel like doing much. I did, however, take a brief walk and found this wonderful arched door.

I saw this door in Amalfi on Easter Sunday. It is the main door to the town’s cathedral, but it opens only for special occasions. I have to admit I love it, but I don’t remember taking the photo.

Wooden door made of different-sized planks
In Bologna

I have to admit this door intrigues me. It has only one connector (at the top), and seven odd-sized planks—which even I could probably kick in—fit together to form the door. Yet, there is a huge metal plate over the lock area. How will that thing keep anyone out?

Grey metal door with graffiti
In Florence

I leave you with this door, a large metal door with a pedestrian entrance on the left. The sign above the door—Corte d’ Assise—means Court of Assizes, or courts that were held occasionally. The Domani Smetto graffiti translates to “tomorrow I’ll stop.”

Ireland was not responsible only for my door obsession. Have I ever shown you my alleys?

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