Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 9, 2013

A very old door in Florence

On my wanderings in Florence the other day I found myself in a back street called Via del Inferno, where I found a wonderful old wooden door.


I have no idea how old it is, or what the building was originally. It is now the doorway to a garage, which offers parking. You would really need to know it was there, because finding it would be a challenge.

I’m sure it has been a doorway to many different things in its life. It must have had lots of new locks and fittings over the years.





It has clearly had lots of coats of paint…in many different colours. I hope nobody scrapes the layers off and gives it a shiny new coat.


Wandering the back streets in any Italian city is a good thing to do.

Click here to see a very old door I found in Naples.


  1. Fabulous – deserves all the shots you took, what a find.

    • Stunning, isn’t it?

  2. Exquisit. I have a weakness for old doors and their hardware. Beautifully captured, Debra.

    • I love them too..and we have lots to choose from in Italy.

  3. Seeing a door like this makes me wonder about all the people who have passed by that door, all the stories that door has seen. If that door could talk, it could tell some wondrous things, I bet.

    • It was a very big doorway, so it was no doubt a carriage entry. I would love to know more about it.

  4. I would say that it is the product of the recycling of halves from two different doors. The Italians are masters when it comes to re-using architectural elements. They have been doing that for centuries. And the results are great, full of ingenuity!

    • The doors were quite big. It is difficult to get an idea of the size from the photo, and I couldn’t get back far enough to get both sides together as it was a very narrow street.

  5. Debra, what a find! I am a ‘sucker’ for those kind of photographs. One can find quite a few of those doors, windows, etc. here in India – but your door is splendid. I agree with mulino, it looks that the door has been “married”, 2 pieces from 2 diff. doors. But who cares, really. Carina

  6. my entry has vanished into thin air – will try again.

  7. What a find, Debra. Absolutely wonderful. I envy you – my kind of photography. Here in India one can find many nice old doors, windows etc. but for much longer? They are all being destroyed or dismanteled and shipped to Europe or America.I also agree with Mulino, that door has been “married”, 2 diff. halves from 2 diff. doors. Carina

    • I hope you don’t lose all your gorgeous doors in India. I thought it was a beautiful place with so much gorgeous colour. I wish I had been writing my blog when I went to India. It was really before I started taking photos at all.

      • Debra, I have the very same problem and regrets. Especially from “my previous life” – all the photo opportunities I had but with films being soooo expensive one only took the minimum. Now it is so much different. And yes, I too wished I would have started my Blog earlier – but, no point crying over spilt milk. Lets hope we can make up for lost chances somehow, I certainly try., lol.

  8. Beautiful details in your lovely photos. If only doors could speak to us, what would they tell us?

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear their tales.

  9. Bagni di Lucca and Beyond wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ Debra Kolkka posted: “On my wanderings in Florence the other day I found myself in a back street called Via del Inferno, where I found a wonderful old wooden door. I have no idea how old it is, or what the building was originally. It is now the doorway to a garage, which of”

  10. That’s what I love about an “old” city – you can walk down the same street many times and always see a little detail you didn’t notice before. Brooklyn is nowhere near as old as Florence, but I often get that feeling walking by the old brownstones.

    • I am hoping to do a bit of wandering around Brooklyn when I am in New York soon. I hope you were OK in the blizzard.

      • All is well here!
        If you get to Brooklyn might I recommend walking along the Brooklyn Promenade? If you have a nice sunny day, the view of Manhattan and Stature of Liberty is stunning!

  11. That is one of my favorite things about Florence, The old wooden doors. I never notice doors in Rome or Venice but in Florence they really do grab your attention.

    • We have lots of wonderful old wooden doors around our village and I have photographed hundreds of them. I can’t resist them, especially the green ones.

      • Oh they sound wonderful!! You just have to love a beautiful old green door.

  12. What an amazing find, Debra, and your photos are really great. I bet the people who use it every day wouldn’t consider it as anything special. 🙂

    • I’m sure they don’t think it is special and would probably prefer a shiny new one.

      • 😀

  13. beautiful old door…I wonder what stories it could tell.

    • These days it would just be talking about the types of cars driving in and out.

  14. I hope it’s left to wear and weather another hundred years or so Debra. It would hopefully just keep getting more beautiful.

    • That would be good. The garage is quite modern inside, so this may not happen.

  15. A door, the entrance and exit to and from privacy. In Italy those old doors are just so much more interesting.

    • There are certainly many wonderful old doors to be found here.

  16. Beautiful element! As usual, love your details.

    • I love the crusty old paint. I wonder how many layers of paint it has had.

  17. The gems one can find when one takes time to look – especially in Italy. Good find Debra!

    • The back streets always offer lovely surprises.

      • Absolutely!!!

  18. That door brought back so many memories of my days there. The doors where huge. And, as this picture shows, very, very old.

    • Florence is full of gems like this. I like to walk with no particular purpose in mind, just to see what I come across.

  19. You can’t help but wonder at some of the old doors in Florence or pretty much anywhere else in Italy. I wonder how many people stepped through that particular door over the centuries and how they led their lives – pity doors can’t talk…….

    • I love the huge doors at Palazzo Davanzati…and you can go inside there and see what an old Florentine house looked like.

      • Thanks for the tip. Thats something we’ll definitely be doing next time we’re there.

  20. Hi Debra, read about you in Florence shopping super jealous! I have blogged about you today xx Hope you don’d mind 🙂 Carla x

    • I am delighted that you included me in your blog! What fun! I wondered why there was renewed interest in the Florence post. It is snowing here in Bagni di Lucca today and it is gorgeous.

  21. I am always drawn to taking shots of doors and windows and love this one.

    • I can’t resist them.

  22. Yes a great door – as “inferno” means “hell” it might even have been one of the original gates of hell! It’s also been noted on an acquaintance’s blogsite at

    • Possibly…if there was such a thing as hell. Your friend’s photo is taken from the same spot that I took mine.

  23. That really looks like it stood the test of time. It’s nice to know none dared to knock it down for burglary. ooops sorry, Burglary can be anywhere.

    • It has certainly been around for a long time, and let’s hope it is there for a while yet.

  24. Great post! Beautiful photos!
    I’d also love to know the history of where those doors have been…

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