The Meaning of the Black Lines on Front Door Entrances ~ Romancing Italy
1:

Sep 11, 2009

The Meaning of the Black Lines on Front Door Entrances

The old way of life, recording or passing information to others in "code" such as the tolling bells and now this door.



As usual, the stone archway and step begged me to take a photo. I noticed that the door had deteriorated at the bottom and that some delinquent had not only scribbled on the door but had painted two very prominent black lines across the two doors, marring it badly.

What I learned next made that door more interesting than any other that I've seen.

Years ago, when one of the owners of a home passed away, his or her death was recorded with a black line painted across the door. When the spouse also passed away, another line was painted. That the two lines are touching on this door means that the passing of the owners occurred at the same time.

Perhaps we are in an age where technology is at a fascinating level and we are living with so many conveniences and comforts. But what I'd give to learn more about how people lived during the last century in this country. In particular, I'd like to know more about the little traditions that marked daily life or as in this case, the passing of life.
Link

11 comments:

  1. This is an interesting tradition that I never new! If you learn more about this please e-mail me... I'm going to go ask around if that did it in Campania/Molise/Abruzzo as well. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Peter, isn't it interesting? I'll be sure to email you when I learn more. I hope you do the same because I WANT TO KNOW!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Peter, isn't it interesting? I'll be sure to email you when I learn more. I hope you do the same because I WANT TO KNOW!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow what a fascinating discovery! I don't think I have ever seen a door marked like this, but I will know what it means when I see it in the future. Great blog post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Will do! I just asked my "fidanzata," who didn't know - but when I head back into the mountains of the Molise - real backwoods - I know just the guy who can tell me about this tradition... if it's a Molisano one as well, that is!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very interesting piece. Have you seen the Golden Door? My sister sent me a copy and it was really well done. My great-grandparents came in through Ellis Island, which I have had the chance to visit. The movie captures the immigrant experience as well as giving you real flavor of what life in early 20th Century Sicily was like.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting info and beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Italy must be a beautiful place, a blending of the old and the new.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You've peaked my interest in the film. I hope I find it here although I have my doubts. The fact that it shows life in Sicily makes it even more appealing as that island has been my first love. It was to see Sicily that I came to visit Italy in the first place. Thanks for the suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It certainly is a blend of the both but Italy is changing fairly quickly and the old traditions, I'm afraid, will be lost forever. The younger generations are not that interested in many of the ways of the old life...not with the conveniences the new one has to offer. Can't blame them though. There are many eco-museums that are being set up as a way to maintain a record of early life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's another new knowledge for me today, thanks sist :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello there Latief, glad you stopped by. Like you, I love to learn something new everyday. It's not hard to do when you are in a foreign country. It would be nice if I would remember everything I learn.

    ReplyDelete

Whisper sweet somethings