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porta del morto san quirico d'orcia

The Door of the dead

Have you ever seen a door of the dead? Most likely you have, you just didn’t know it! Where do you find it… You must have seen it walking through the narrow streets of medieval villages. I know that some of them are still visible, especially in Central Italy. Here in Tuscany, there are several. …

Particolare piazza del campo, sotto palazzo pubblico una scopa da netturbino appoggiata ad un colonnino

The origins of the Befana

Needless to say, we inherited the character of the Befana from the Romans. During the twelve nights following the winter solstice, the Romans dedicated themselves to celebrations for the birth of nature, during which mysterious female figures, guided by Diana, flew over the fields to make them more fertile. Another hypothesis has it that the flying women …

torre del porcellino Volterra Pisa

Mouse or Pig?

I’ll give you some clues: Piazza dei Priori, Volterra. It seems that this tower belonged to the Topi family. Then you will say: “it’s a mouse!” Wait… But then, the Municipality bought the tower in the 13th century to house the Podestà and also the prisons that remained here until the 19th century. On the …