Look Down!

June 15, 2010 / Art & Archaeology
Italy
It’s not obvious that one should pay attention to the pavement in Italy – after all, who wants to divert their attention from the energetic gesticulating market vendor and look at the stones under his boots? Do you really want to take your eyes away from the incredible paintings, sculptures and architectural details of the church to focus on its floor?

The answer is most definitely, yes! Streets, sidewalks and floors in Italy are full of patterns and colors, and are often works of art themselves.

lookdown3If you’ve ever seen a cobblestone street being laid, you know that it requires skill, and must be a little like putting together a puzzle. And if you had never considered this before, locate an Italian piazza, sit down with a cappuccino, set up your camera with zoom lens, and ponder the pavement patterns beneath your own two feet.

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by Madeline Jhawar

Madeline is the owner of Italy Beyond the Obvious, and creates Italy itineraries for independent travelers.

9 Responses to “Look Down!”

  1. I couldn’t agree more! The patterns on the streets and piazzas have long drawn my attention. Beautiful photos!

    Reply
  2. Edith Reinhard

    I do look down at the beautiful patterns of pavement not only for the different patterns and colors but also for missing or uneven places. I have fallen twice, once in Bologna and once in Venice.

    These incidents will not deter me from visiting bella Italia!!

    Reply
  3. Helen Ruchti

    To an Italian architect everything matters: floors, ceilings, walls, doors, windows–even door knobs.
    To a city planner, the floor is important because the beautiful buildings deserve it, standing as they do under the beautiful dome of heaven. Beauty is everywhere!

    Reply
  4. Joseph D. Spano
    Joseph D. Spano

    How much we miss..when looking up. So we must be wise with our time. Not to be missed when looking up are the beautiful smiling faces of the people of Italy . So as they pass we must quickly look down and see the beauty below, then up again to see the beauty of life.

    Reply
  5. TOO BAD MOST PEOPLE DO NOT TAKE TO ADMIRE THIS UNUSUAL DISPLAY IF ART. VERY INTERESTING & INFORMATIVE!! THANKS, NEL MAERKLE–WWW.NELMARKLE.COM

    Reply
  6. trionfale

    and then there are the cosmati floors in many churches….how often i suggest visitors check out the Sistine Chapel floor!!!

    Reply
  7. Thanks everyone for all the great and thoughtful comments! Sorry it took me a few days to respond. Some good points, also about church floors, when you’re so distracted looking up….

    Reply

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