How I can I forget where I grew up and where my roots are so firmly embedded to help me going up?
“You are not going to find it on the floor!” I heard it often from my father. It was his way to teach me to walk proud with my head high.
I wonder often why beautiful architectural details are not at eye level for everybody to enjoy, but up above our heads forcing us to walk with our noses stuck to the sky.
The streets of Italy are an open art class where walking is a real learning experience. Nude statues coexist well with people dressed in the latest fashion. Once I stayed in a hotel Venice facing a beautiful nude of a man sculpted in marble. He was so real, I could see every vein going through his muscles and yet he sat on top of a church looking directly into my window, as sinful as he could possibly appear, almost saying:
“I am here, enjoy me!”
Ah, Venice, the only city in the world where pigeons walk, lions fly and sexy men are stones!
In Italy, in one street alone, broken pediments and eyebrows windows, neoclassical and Romanic style, Moorish windows or Baroque style compete for maintaining a place in history and one might wonders what patrician people live there, but too often commoners are the lucky ones and don’t even notice it.
Balconies decorate young and old buildings, they are almost like urban gardens so much sought after today. In reality, space in Italy is limited, people live in flats, for centuries balconies have been seen as an escape valve from the four walls surrounding the lives of everyone. Behind those plants on the balconies, we see, we observe and we keep the secrets of the neighbor’s life unfolding before our eyes.
If ceilings are not made of stones are highly decorated. In modern living, often ceilings are the forgotten walls making the room looked unfinished. In Italy, we like to eat under art, coves and circular shapes, the geometry of roundness gives vibrations of security and harmony.
In the southern parts of Italy, all the constructions are made with terrace roofs to enjoy eating ‘al fresco’ and soaking the Mediterranean sun without being seen, but in the colder north, the characteristic ‘comignoli’ chimneys line the sky. Many wealthy Californians have embellished their Tuscan style homes with copies of our Italian comignoli and ‘faccioni’ cherub’s faces stuck to walls as garden planters. The sophistication and elegance of those stone faces change any non-descriptive house into a classical villa of the past, however the Italians who are lucky to have an outdoor space, most likely will use walls, beams and stone heaves to dry produce for the winter.
My fashion school in Italy is an ancient building born first as a nunnery, then the state police made it its headquarters until in modern days it became a fashion school. Going up those marble stairs made 400 years ago, warped in the center I felt a great sense of respect towards history. All of us students walked on each side of the stairs to preserve them a little while longer.
I never did find anything on the floor, except a few red cents.
This is in response to WP weekly photo challenge theme UP. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/weekly-photo-challenge-up-2
Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is a trained Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, classicism, stylish and timeless designs have influenced Valentina’s design work. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away your comfort. She loves to restore old homes, historic dwellings and she focuses on remodeling. Find her books on