Coffered Door

Bari, my native town is dotted with classic and neoclassic style doors. The coffered red door in my photo was, at one point in history, the entrance to a patrician home. A coffer in architecture is a series of sunken panels in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit, or vault, usually found in historical buildings of powerful families, nobles, and royals. Doors were also designed in the coffer style to mark the importance of the family living there. Today, this building with a coffered red door is home to regular working people, the patina of time on the stones around the door tells the story… it is a great expense to clean those stones, modern people without servants usually don’t pay much attention, busy as they are making a living.

Bari Vecchia (Old Bari), Italy

This type of door has a central panel that opens to let in only one person at a time. It closes with a latch and a huge iron key just like a castle key. An iron door knocker announces that someone is at the door asking to come in, otherwise, the usual screaming in the street, calling someone’s name would do the trick and a person would come out at the balcony to respond.
Usually, this large door opens into an atrium without a roof, where people socially congregated. In the atrium, a set of stairs will take the people to their flats.

Bari’s old town has been revamped to accommodate fancy businesses and tourists more than residents. About twenty years ago, the city gave incentives to people living in the old Bari to leave the area and find newer homes in the modern part of Bari. As a consequence, many designers, movie producers, music makers, architects, lawyers, and many professionals took over the top floors of the historical area. Down below at the street level, restaurants, bars, pubs, various eating places, and shops for tourists occupied what was once warehouses, deposits, and market stalls. Today, old Bari is very safe and retains the charm of an ancient town. It is called the living room of the city. I remember when I needed a man to accompany me as a protection, just to attempt to walk around along the perimeter of the old town, it was never advisable for a woman by herself to get lost in the deep part where it would have been difficult to get out.

This is my entry for Thursday Doors challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here:
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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca Budd
    Mar 04, 2022 @ 20:20:54

    I LOVED this post, Valentina. My husband and I read your comments over breakfast this morning. Oh, the stories that door could tell us. We never made it to Bari when we were in Italy in 2004, but we always wanted to go there. I had read that Bari was influenced by Byzantines and that it was a Saracen stronghold. So much history in one place.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Valentina
      Mar 04, 2022 @ 21:12:47

      You are absolutely right, Rebecca. The region of Puglia is full of history in just about every corner. Perhaps you will have another chance to go there. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

      Liked by 1 person


  2. Dan Antion
    Mar 04, 2022 @ 13:17:14

    That’s a beautiful door, and the history is fascinating. Thanks for adding this enjoyable post to Thursday Doors.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. robertawrites235681907
    Mar 04, 2022 @ 12:35:42

    Hi Valentina, this is a great door. Thanks for sharing the history behind it too.

    Liked by 1 person


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