Its Ferragosto, the mid-summer holiday that closes down most of Italy.
Unlike many Italians we chose to stay close to home away from the beach, the crowds and the traffic.
|American musicians participate in the Ferragosto concert|
|H.Kim from Manhattan warms up|
|musicians before the concert and Fulvio 's balcony seat|
|warming up in the town hall|
Concerts featuring the Vetralla town band and an evening of Mozart by the Tuscia OperaFestival were all the entertainment needed.
A special lunch in our neighbor’s garden with a few good friends followed by a stroll around town, camera in hand, made for a perfect holiday at home -“a kilometro zero” .
Photographers have discovered that doorways and cats are icons of picturesque Italy that sell calendars and postcards.
But with cats, as well as doorways, there is more than meets the eye.
During our afternoon walk I noted dozens of doorways worthy of a photo and also some interesting insight into the town’s history.
Our town's old doors and ancient walls remind us that Italy is a layer cake of history which allows intimate glimpses into the past, how previous inhabitants lived and what was important to them.
|terracotta "plumbing" solution of a medieval house|
Time goes slowly in central Italy's Etruria area where the past is naturally recycled and reused .
Where else can you see Roman paving stones inserted into 17th century buildings?
|Roman paving stone basolo inserted in 17th century wall|
And what about the primitive plumbing which consisted of a terracotta pot inserted just beneath the window, making it easy to empty the chamber pots.
Instead of doorbells, there are gorgeously detailed bronze batocchi to decorate the doors .
|door knocker batocchio of 18th century|
Besides the practical use of resounding a hearty knock , they reflected contemporary fashion and family status.
|different door knockers reflect a past theft|
|my front door|
The sphinx-like heads from this door in Viterbo’s center dates back to the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt, 1798-1801,while the Renaissance- style bronze batocchi on my front door reflects their Tuscan provenance.
|Egyptian style batocchi date this door in Viterbo|
The problem is that not every solution is compatible with aesthetics.
|Renaissance doorway with industrial shutters|
This narrow alley holds another example of "speaking walls" where blocked up doors and insertions show the passage of time.
What a shame that the electricity and gas companies had to add their contributions.