In another part of the world, this might look like a rough section of a city, or even a ghetto. But in Italy, crumbling stone foundations and graffiti-laced walls exude a particular type of charm. The allure of Italy is sometimes a matter of perception.
Above is a typical scene in one of the narrow alleys in Spaccanapoli, the heart of historic Naples. In Italy I expect things to look old and not be painted…it just wouldn’t be the same if they were.
Like these very old doors in Colle d’Anchise, the village of my paternal grandparents. If I saw these on a street in the US, I’d have a completely different perception about the situation. Isn’t that a sobering thought?
Of course this ancient stone structure is no longer occupied, but it makes me wonder about the time someone did live here, what the people were like, and what the inside of their home looked like. From what I’ve seen in Italians’ homes I can assume this one was probably spotless.
These uneven steps in the Unesco World Heritage site of Matera look like they were built by hand using a variety of construction materials. Lovely? Not exactly, but they definitely emanate their own allure in being authentic and historic.
Here is part of the ancient Aurelian wall in Rome, built almost two thousand years ago. Do you think it would look better if it were pressure cleaned? The very suggestion seems ridiculous. Yet if this were in America someone would want it cleaned up.
When I visit Italy I don’t go to discover places or things I can find at home. I go to experience a different culture with thousands of years of history and landmarks still intact.
How about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment.
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Grazie and Ciao