Knocking on Doors in Florence…

February 11, 2013 / Art & Archaeology
Florence, Tuscany

Handsome Lion
Handsome Lion
If you’re rushing from the Uffizi to the Duomo or from your hotel to the Accademia or from Ponte Vecchio to Pitti Palace… or if you have your nose buried in a travel guide or map, you just might be overlooking some of Florence’s inviting examples of craftsmanship and handiwork.

Proudly ornamenting many of the portals of historic private residences, professional and government offices, and other buildings are examples of artistic works. What could be just another everyday, ordinary piece of hardware, in this case a doorknob or knocker, is transformed into something extraordinary, i.e., art meets function.  Ranging from elaborate to elegantly simple, their designs can be angelic, leonine or just plain fiendish! Whatever the case, surely their remarkable workmanship and detail deserve more than a casual glance?

Elaborate Door Knob
Elaborate Door Knob
Beautifully crafted, many have that lovely well-worn patina giving them a character that only comes with many decades, indeed, many centuries, of loyal service. Some are welcoming, some intimidating or pretentious, but all are fascinating.

Passages, drama, secrets, stories, lives… all hidden behind and within. Oh, if they could talk, the tales they could tell! Curiosity kindles our imagination. What would they say? “Welcome”, “Go away”, “Enter”, “Come in”, “Come back later”, ”Enter at your own risk”, “Privacy please”… But they remain silent, proud and stoic… revealing nothing.

Lacking the courage to knock or tap, secretly we hope someone will open the door so that we can take a peek inside. So, slow your pace, look around, let your imagination run wild…

Angelic Greeter
Angelic Greeter
Devilish Door Knocker
Devilish Door Knocker
Demon Door Knocker
Demon Door Knocker
Devilish Door Knocker w/Angels
Devilish Door Knocker w/Angels
Fleur de Lys
Fleur de Lys
Demon Dr Knocker - FLR
Devilish Door Knocker w/Angels
Devilish Door Knocker w/Angels
Reach into the Lion's Mouth
Reach into the Lion’s Mouth
Patina that Comes from Age
Patina that Comes from Age
Ornamental  Doorknob
Ornamental Doorknob

Grand Old Lion
Grand Old Lion

Victoria De Maio

by Victoria De Maio

Victoria is a lover of all things Italian! A travel advisor, blogger, writer, tour leader, and published author, she is passionate about traveling to and writing about Italy.

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14 Responses to “Knocking on Doors in Florence…”

  1. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    they are piu bella and a true Italian treasure, however do not forget to have hand sanitizer with you..

    Reply
  2. Does anyone know of a shop in Florence or Rome that specializes in new and/or antique door knockers?

    Reply
  3. I absolutely loved looking at all the ornate doors and the brass work that adorned them. Some were very beautiful and I must admit, some were a little creepy! I can’t even wrap my head around how old some of these doors are since I have always lived in relatively new homes. I would love to experience living in a home that as old as some of the ones we saw in Italy.

    Reply
  4. It was Rome many years ago when I started photographing door, signs, walls fences, gates and other beautiful old “stuff” that makes great pic’s.

    Reply
  5. They are truely wonderful. I came back from Italy with about 30 pictures of door knockers, mostly from Venice, and was so impressed a lion now graces my front door.

    Reply
  6. beautiful and always a pastime of mine too when in Italy; door, window and facade gazing!

    Reply
  7. Tim O'Dea

    Wonderful article and beautiful pictures. I too am fascinated with door knobs and knockers and these take the cake.

    Reply
  8. Larraine Leonard

    These are the “artful treasures” so often overlooked. Sometimes we see but miss so much detail. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  9. Grazie for all of your comments. I’m glad I’m not alone in finding these details absolutely intriguing and beautiful. I can’t wait to go back and find more! Victoria

    Reply
  10. Love taking photos of quirky pieces..look forward to discovering these in Florence..

    Reply
  11. The first time we went to Italy (Tuscany & Umbria) we were amazed at the doors, door knockers, fan windows, wrought iron balconies, etc. My husband, the photographer took many, many photos of them all and we even framed some. Especially beautiful are the wrought iron signs over shops. Just gorgeous!

    Reply

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