Italy is known for its design and finesse in craftsmanship. It is part of their heritage which is passed on through the centuries. Tuscany, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, exhibits this artistic talent proudly and liberally. It is everywhere. The most mundane things are also objects of great beauty. The most ubiquitous being the doorknockers of Tuscany.
A doorknocker’s purpose is to convey the presence of a visitor to somebody’s home. People use it as a utilitarian device. The Tuscans do so with a flourish. The sheer variety and quality of designs is mind boggling. From variations of the majestic lion, demonic figures and old wise men to floral motifs with intricate textures. There is the plain and sombre, and surprisingly, faces with Egyptian head gear. Some are heavy, made of iron, some seemingly light looking yet packing in a punch and some made with brass.
Walking across Florence, Siena and San Gimignano, it was amazing stumbling upon these treasures. I never knew what the next corner would bring. Each one made me think about the people behind the door it guards. Who is the solemn guardian looking out for? The doorknockers actually made me think and look more closely at the ‘people’ of Tuscany along with the art, architecture and food.
Scroll down to see the beauties!